Zokutou word meter
30 / 30

So I am please to report that I finished my dummy in time for last night’s critique session with my stupendous live writer’s group friends. They gave me great suggestions and helped my with some real issues and now I am back to the revision stage so that wonderful blue line will go away. But not entirely. That is the pleasure and pain of revision is that you already have something to work with.

For a moment, indulge me. When your manuscript is presented to an audience it is always difficult and emotional. Presenting my illustrations and writing last night was especially draining. I had so much work, time, love, energy and money (color printing costs) in those pages that it was physically difficult to write on the draft. Finally, I got over it and started marking it up. Four years this manuscript has been in the making. And so many different forms and revisions… I can’t even count. It is truly a labor of love because even if some fabulous agent and/or editor person picks this up and pays me for my work it will not properly compensate my time. It won’t matter. The compensation (for this one) is in the process, what I’ve learned about myself as an artist, author and a parent. Sharing this book with the world is my goal.

Dummy Progress

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12 / 30

Forty percent! Well, I’m moving along here. I’m hoping to be done by Sunday night. Possible, possible.

As a writer, the most exciting thing about illustrating my own work is that I am able to see how the pictures and the words work together. My manuscript started at 340 words and I’ve cut almost 100 of those. Why? Because the pictures say they same thing as the text. Instead of telling the games that the main character played throughout the day I can show a room full of leftover games and toys with the text, “Mama and Orson played all day long.” This is liberating but also very difficult because it is sometimes hard to decide how much the reader will “get” from the picture and when words have to stay or things need to be explained. As writers, we always try to show and not tell. In picture books, we need to let the illustration do the telling too. Words are also necessary when the pictures and words are in opposition to set up a humorous moment. My text says, “Mama got ready for Orson’s bath. Orson got ready too.” The picture shows Mama getting ready and Orson hiding under a towel. Keep on working!