Finished a new picture book last night and got that nicely satisfied feeling that you get from a good writing session. It's almost as if the creative monster is lurking inside you and when you do a bit of good work he's fed and mellow and doesn't keep you up at night - at least until the next day when you'd better do it again or he'll get all uppity.
The new picture book is a follow-up to When It's Six O'clock in San Francisco, and frankly I'm wondering what took me so long. It's the only logical follow-up and because I wrote it in the same style and in a similar format it really wasn't all that hard. Now I just have to get it to pass muster with Agent E (after the critique group has had a crack at it) and hope that Clarion thinks it's as nifty as I do. Oh yeah, and write an author's note that sums up a very complicated subject so that a five year old can understand it. The author's notes are ten times harder than writing the book itself. For Six O'clock it was like: "Can you explain the history and meaning of time zones so that kindergarteners will get it? Oh, and do it in under 200 words." No problemo.
Can't tell you what it's about yet, but here are a couple of my "inspiration photos" for the new book:
Figured it out yet? Because my picture books are often set in countries where I've never actually been, I find images on the web and use them to build the story around. I guess they came out pretty good, because someone from South Africa read my section that was set there and wanted to know when I'd visited last.
Back when I wrote Six O'clock, YouTube wasn't such a big thing, but this time I got to watch a whole bunch of videos about street food in Nairobi for one of my segments. Almost as good as being there.
On this date: In 1989, Cops premiered.