I’m still thinking about Barbara Kerley’s post from February 10, Done. She was writing about being dum-diddly-um-dum done with her latest book, but I’ve been thinking about certain books where I never really felt finished. For example…
The first children’s book I sold was Unseen Rainbows, Silent Songs. It was born out of the trippy desire to let kids know that parallel universes exist all around us. Other animals on Earth have very different senses, so on some level, we co-exist but on very different planets. We think we know the world, but we only really know our world. There are others dancing around us we’ll never see or touch or hear.
That book definitely had my best title, perhaps the best idea, but not my best writing. I worked so hard, and it showed. Every sentence was beautifully, lyrically crafted. Damn, Susan, give the kids a rest. Eventually I cut out a good part of the fancy language and then the editor who acquired it cut out more. The occasional times when I pick up and read a page, I’m cutting it still.
I’m also writing it still.
About a year from now, I have a book coming out called It’s a Dog’s Life. Its working title was The Secret Life of Dogs, which pretty much tells you what it’s about. In hopefully humorous (not at all lyric) fashion, it reveals just that. And part of that secret life is…yep, what they can hear that we can’t hear, the very different view they see when they look at the same thing we do, smells we have no whiff of that rule their world.
There are certain ideas that resonate with you. So you see their echoes in different places and different forms—and write about them.
Who knows, in 2016…