Back Again

Okay, I”m back!

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here. January 21st was the last one. I hadn’t realized it had been that long since I put anything up here. All I can say is that a lot has been going on.

My friend, author Bruce Colville, was visiting Egypt when the Revolution broke out. He posted updates on Facebook when he could, which was hit-and-miss. The internet was turned off to prevent the protesters from organizing. What followed were moments of silence when we didn’t know where Bruce was or what was happening to him. In the end, he managed to get to the Cairo Airport and catch a flight to Frankfurt. He landed in the middle of a snowstorm. What an experience—going from political storms into meteorological ones! He got home safely. That’s all his friends care about.

Also on the political front, a librarian friend of mine, Gwen Martin, is in Tunis. She was right in the middle of the upheaval there. Gwen works at the International School. Many students there come from prominent families. Some of those families left the country suddenly. Gwen is still in Tunis. She feels the storm has passed. She even feels confident enough to buy a car. Also, she asked me to send her my author visit information. She’d like to consider me for a trip to Tunis; next year perhaps. Yes! I’ve always wanted to visit North Africa, see the desert, and ride a camel. My wife thinks I’m out of my mind. I don’t. Life’s supposed to be an adventure.

Gwen, if you need an author—MEMEMEMEMEMEME!

Another reason I haven’t posted for awhile is because I got busy on a new book. My agent, Jenn Laughran, suggested I try something along the lines of Jonah and the Whale. She really just threw out that idea off the top of her head. Something about it intrigued me. I went ahead and wrote out a picture book version. A boy in the Louisiana bayou gets swallowed by a swamp creature and finds his long-lost dad, along with Jean Lafitte’s treasure. (I’ve been in a Louisiana/Cajun mood ever since a wonderful visit to Baton Rouge in the fall.) Jenn didn’t think much of what I’d written, though she did suggest I try it as a longer chapter book.

I started. All at once, something clicked into gear. The story started rolling along. I was having such a good time writing it that I didn’t want to do anything else. That’s the funny thing about writing. When your mind is blank and you can’t find anything you’d really like to do, you find excuses for not writing. I have to go to the store. I have to do my taxes. I have to clean the fishtank.

When you find an idea that works, you can forget all that other stuff. I hardly even want to take the time to eat or get dressed. I want to work on the story.

So that’s mostly what I’ve been doing: working on Jo Jo’s adventure down in the bayou. Is the big creature a giant catfish or something more exciting? Something, perhaps, along the lines of the Loch Ness Monster? I’m gearing up for the final chapters where Jo Jo and PawPaw get vomited out. How do I go about describing that experience?

Can you see why being a writer is so interesting!

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