Tuesday, February 18, 2020

How to Train Your Patience ...

2020 seemed rather unformed when it started back on January 1st, but I am happy to say things are beginning to take shape and give some structure to my year.

One of my picture books, Sharing with Wolf, (with the lovely and talented Nikki Slade Robinson and published by Scholastic) is off to the printers and oh-my-giddy-aunt, it has endpapers!! You know what that means!! :-) This book is set to take off on June 1st and tells the story of a lamb keen to rent a room at Wolf's place. It is very gratifying when you have tried to write something funny and you hear people laugh out loud as they read it. And there is humour and much more in the illustrations besides.

Look how delicious it is!! I can't wait to show it to you.

Illustrations are also coming along for Moon and Sun (illustrated by the amazing Malene Laugesen and to be published by Upstart Press). I have had a sneak peek and they are dreamy and divine and just right for a story of sibling rivalry and sisterly relations. This book could not be more different to Sharing with Wolf. Was it written by a different part of me? Maybe. You will need to judge for yourselves. I hope to give you a glimpse of this soon. It is all very exciting.

In other news, I was approached by an Auckland Council Community Group to run some creative writing workshops for intermediate and high school aged students and this is now all on at Te Oro: Music and Arts Centre for Young People in Glen Innes. There will be five 90 minute workshops covering different aspects of writing, run weekly on Mondays at 5pm, starting March 2nd. I'll be running the course again in May as well. You can check out details here

And I am now the New Zealand Soc. of Authors representative on the Book Awards Trust. I'm also working on a new junior fiction project which is a very different form to anything I've written before. Please hold caller, while my old brain works out these new tricks. Crikey, folks, it's all go in the muppet labs.

I still have manuscripts out with some publishers both here and overseas and as always I remain hopeful of a good outcome from someone. I mean, why submit if you don't have hope, eh? The challenge, as always, is to keep the career alive. You might point out that I had a book out last year and I am about to have two books out this year, but I would then remind you that publishers are working two years ahead and whatever is accepted now is unlikely to be out until 2022 (or maybe even later). And an acceptance, if it happens, may still be months away or perhaps even years. Or it just might not happen and whatever I am working on now needs to be finished and polished before it too can begin to try its luck out there, rinse and repeat. Training your patience is one of the best things you can do for yourself as an author. So, how do you train your patience?

1) Your patience will function better if it has deadlines to work to. Always ask when a response/result can be expected and keep your patience informed. Although once deadlines have come and gone I have nothing for you and all bets are off 

2) Your patience can sometimes be talked down with a mantra of rational reasons for delays, silences and deadline blowouts. Memorise this mantra

3) Distraction is a useful tool that will help your patience remain up to the task. I find frequently shouting 'over there' and pointing into the distance can keep your patience disoriented enough to perform twice as well as it thinks it can

4) Reward your patience regularly. Your patience will work harder for you if it feels loved and respected. 

5) That ugly relation impatience is always lurking, trying to muscle in on the action. Be vigilant. A good treatment for impatience is to give it something else to do - for example, when will my basil seeds sprout?