Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Proof That the World Needs PBs About Lice

The phone call that's hard to get and harder to make: informing your immediate friends that you may well have shared your pest with them and theirs. I got a call yesterday from a family friend to be on the lookout when we get home, as our house may have been involved through the generous act of feeding our kitties in our absence.

When I told Grandpa B. he said: "why do you think you people have so much trouble with lice up there?" (as in "Up there, in the mid-continental US"). I spluttered and said they were everywhere equally but generally nice middle-class families didn't like to speak of them. Grandpa B. would also benefit from a picture book on the subject!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Grandma C is PG13

We are treating our kids to their annual trip south to see the hubby's father and stepmother, whom the kids adore. Exoticism abounds. They have macaws indoors and out. When the birds get into a screaming contest there's a parrot in the middle shouting "shut up shut up shut up!" In the same spirit, Grandma C is idolized by our two PBS-reared kiddos for her prime time language and her insistence that she will take them on her boat to south america... and put hairs on their chest. It's like an annual, gorgeous, seafood-laden innoculation against looming tweendom.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Throwing down the gauntlet

OK, so I know I'm wired to see a challenge where perhaps none was intended, but early in the marketplace book a source is quoted as saying that head lice and torture are not for the picture book crowd. Don't worry. I don't plan to prove anyone wrong on the latter count. But head lice? Come on, people. It's endemic to the elementary school experience. It may not be a child's fear, but it certainly is a parent's! And without a pondering "lesson" attached (head lice prefer clean heads, folks! social stigma is for the ignorant!) it could be a great picture book.

So of course I set about writing just such a great picture book last night. It's called: Mrs Redmond Says Lice Won't Hurt You (But Crazy Hat Day Has to Wait). Seriously. It is.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dramedies, as promised...

OK, so this did happen last week (but the blog did not yet exist at that time...) but I did promise on my NEW website that my blog would divulge self-deprecating stories revealing my haplessness in the publication field. But first, as context: I reminisce.

When on the academic job search, I decided to devote six months to the process in order to make my irrevocable mistakes, learn from them, make progress, and still get a job offer in the scant six months I had before graduating. After which, the Canadian government would put me on a short timer to get hired or leave the country, of course. One of the more memorable gaffs I made was writing to "some little place I'd never heard of, with a Welsh name" at which my supervisor visibly paled, and said "Bryn Mawr?" "Oh!" I replied. "You've heard of it?" Such gaffs were then written up as tidbits solicited for publication in the Academic Job Search Handbook, so who got the last laugh there, huh?

In any case, I go about my first picture book submissions last week with the same gusto, and with much the same result. When sending multiple submissions (yes, I carefully labeled them as such in the cover letters, and I know they're supposed to be evil, but really... six months??) be very careful to have the copy machine "sort" the little beggars. If one takes the top two pages from the pile and seals them into 9x12 envelopes already stamped, and only then realizes that there is nothing put page 2s left in the heap... well, scotch tape has to become involved, and it isn't pretty. Editors: please overlook the small smudge of glue on the very edge, and the little line of tape. The envelopes aren't re-used, I promise. (How tacky would that be?!)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hello World

Hello, blogosphere! I look forward to this forum for communicating about things kidlit, fairy tale and otherwise, and connecting with others over kidlit in particular.