I am deep in my teacher life these days. Our state writing test is looming on the horizon and the stress is building up in schools across our state. Every state is different, but most require the students in one elementary grade, one middle school grade, and one high school grade demonstrate proficiency in writing. In our state, fourth graders are required to respond to a prompt they’ve never seen before, plan, and draft a piece of writing within 45 minutes. Most adults couldn’t handle this pressure or perform at the drop of a hat, but we require kids to do it. So I have to try to maintain balance between helping my students be prepared for the test and keeping them motivated and in love with writing. (Not an easy task, I must admit.)
But today . . . at this moment . . . I am feeling like an author. I received revision notes from my editor on Friday. While there were only a few suggestions, I’ve been reworking the pages all weekend. The next step will be to retool my illustration notes. (My editor likes extensive art suggestions with a cinematic approach, which just goes to show every editor has different requirements.) My editor also told me which illustrator she is pursuing for my book, COWBOY CHRISTMAS—how exciting is that?
Throughout this week , PICTURE THIS! will focus on gathering ideas for writing. That’s a nice combo between my teacher role and my author role. I hope you find some helpful tidbits as you follow along.