Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A big tick, a smiley face stamp and a jellybean...

My side of the family has a history of heart and blood pressure related health issues so after experiencing some dizziness over the last three or four weeks, today I took myself off to my doctor to get my blood pressure checked. I got a big tick, a smiley face stamp and a jellybean and I can now report blood pressure isn't an issue for me right now. The dizziness is just me (yes I know you already knew this) but its nice to have a health professional confirm it. Heh. She told me to try breathing with my diaphragm but I'm incredibly shallow and this makes me look fat so as long as its not life threatening I think I'll stick with the dizziness.

My recent attempt at a new picture book has come a little unstuck as I realise it is a picture book in the body of a short story (with a slightly Frankenstein's Monster quality about it) - rats! I like the story; it has some darkness, some charm and some originality about it - some of my favourite qualities - but it unfortunately lacks some other qualities essential to a successful picture book, especially in these financially difficult (ie best to write something commercially viable) times. It is at the older end of the picture book age range (always a hard sell here I think), and I don't know that it manages to conjure up a sufficient number of different images to satisfy the requirements of the picture book format. The story itself is resisting pagination. Easy, I hear you say - make it a short story instead. Sadly I don't think it has short story chops. As is so often the case with my stories, it is a fantasy-reality hybrid which makes it less saleable in an educational short story market, and the trade short story market is tiny and usually theme driven. I guess I have two options. Either 1) euthanasia, or 2) put it away and see what happens. A story has to be pretty bad for me to put it out of its misery and this is definitely not one of those. With option 2, I have learnt over time that a number of things can happen while a story is in hibernation. Sometimes the market place changes or hitherto unknown or impossible opportunities present themselves. I am learning and developing as a writer all the time and sometimes either experience or events will provide a writing solution to my story problem. For example, my last completed picture book story (started february 2006, completed march 2009) required years (although I wasn't thinking about it that entire time) for me to figure out an appropriate workable plot line. If nothing else, experience has taught me never to throw anything with potential away. So this story is going for a little lie down in my filing cabinet while I wait to see what fate and the passing of time has in store for it :)

Today's juicy link is this fab little guest spot by writer Varian Johnson on 'Battling Time Suck' over at Justine Larbalestier's blog. Good stuff.

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...


Phew! Saved from being euthanized!

Reading writerly blogs like I do now and again, I always come across writers who say how they need a break from their current WIPs or that they just need to re-group and re-think as many reach exhuastion point and need to find meaning to carry on.

So it's so refreshing to read about a story needing a break - just a lie down in the great big drawer where all good stories with potential lie down to recover and recuperate.

GOOD LUCK!!!! I hope that the story's little holiday won't last too long and that it'll be out and about very soon!

Take care