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Big File Cleanout

june-scans_I’ve been trying to clear off my various desks. I have one in the kitchen that is a catch-all for mail, receipts, my purse, cell phone, etc. and one in the basement that is my working desk with my computer, files, shelves, etc. Both had gotten out of control — stacked with months worth of stuff. Several times in the last few months,  I have gotten close to clearing things out and off, but there were still piles that I never quite cleared. I have finally come to the realization that in order to clear off the desk(s), I need to make room in my filing cabinets for more files. I decided to clear the drawer with all my manuscripts to make room for my newer work files.

june-scans_-2I have been generating new categories of work files in the year since Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator was published. Now I have materials from conference talks, clippings and notes that deal with marketing, royalty statements (yea!), lesson plans, etc. The manuscripts that I cleared from the drawer date back to my first writing for children in 2002 — among them are “Growing Salad,” “Bridget is Here for Lunch Today,” “Ladder to the Sky,” “Martin’s Toy Soldiers,” Hello, Bockibooshina!” and “How the Princess Got Her Name.” Many were submitted, some multiple times. I got a few encouraging comments, but — looking back — I can see the problems with them. Now, I think of them as my apprenticeship stories. These are the ones I learned on. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten to the stories that I could sell.

garden-and-painting2Mixed in with the manuscripts are the homemade books that I put together for or with my children and my children’s classmates: “Little Red Hens in Room 1 Bake Bread,” “Lumpy Socks,” and “Nathan’s Book about Tree Cutting.” I think the process of bookmaking is just as important as the process of writing. It, more than anything else, gives you a sense of the pacing of a picture book.

The images scattered through the posts are scans of the “books.” You may be able to understand my clutter problem now that you see the things that I’ve saved. Of course, I’m so glad I did.

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