Back on the Front Porch

by jeanieransom on November 13, 2011

Who wants to sit on the front porch when it’s 100 degrees outside? My two office assistants do.

Unfortunately, my assistants wear coats year round, and they are unable to shed them (though they do shed a lot). Still, it was hard convincing my persistent assistants that their time outside should be limited to taking care of personal business.

Thankfully, Fall seems to be here, though it has had a sputtering start, with wild temperature swings that in turn tease us with glorious cool days and taunt us with hot days much too similar to the summer months of unrelenting heat.

Today is one of those glorious days that beg for us to go outside — and, because my office assistants were also begging to go outdoors, here we are. The Front Porch Office is open, with hopes that there will be many days left before the air starts nipping at my Shelties’ noses.  And as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I can’t type while wearing mittens, so at some point, we’ll have to move back inside.

It’s been awhile since my last post, and a lot has happened in my writing life. This past spring, I had the honor — and the pleasure — of speaking at several schools and special events, including White Rock Elementary in Jane, Missouri (just above the Arkansas border, and just below Joplin, MO), and the Adventure Club, an after-school enrichment program run by the University of Missouri in Columbia’s education department.

I also participated in the Missouri Association of School Librarian’s Spring conference at the Lake of the Ozarks, where I met so many wonderful librarians from around the state, as well as other authors and exhibitors who were passionate about the power of the written word.

This past summer, Charlesbridge Publishers offered me a contract for the sequel to my picture book, What Really Happened to Humpty?, tentatively titled “The Crown Affair.” I am excited to have the opportunity to work with editor Randi Rivers again, and to see Australian illustrator Stephen Axelsen comes up. The book is scheduled to come out in Spring 2014, which sounds like forever,  but to those familiar with the picture-book publishing process, it’s perfectly normal.

Speaking of the publishing process, I thought that being able to take readers along with me through the many steps it takes to make a book a reality, in real time, was something that doesn’t happen every day. (At least to most writers.) So, in the next few weeks, I’ll start blogging about what’s happening with the manuscript as it moves from rough draft through revisions and beyond. This month, I expect my editor to send me the first comments and edits on the manuscript I submitted — and, I expect there to be a lot of them.

Follow along with me and get a behind-the-scenes look at all the things that go into getting a book published, the good, the bad, and the ugly. But rest assured, the good wins out in the end!

I plan to share some of this “real time” process with students as I visit schools this year. While I often do presentations about how a book gets published, I think that being able to give kids a sneak preview of a book no one else gets to read until 2014 — as well as to show them first-hand that I have to do many of the same things that they do (editing, proofreading, revising, revising, and did I mention revising?) is something I’m really excited about.

To make it easier for my blog readers to find the posts pertaining to this topic, just look for this title:  “As the Story Unfolds:  The Real-Time Tale of a Real-Live Book’s Path to Publication.” I look forward to sharing my manuscript’s journey with you. And, as always, if you have any questions about writing, publishing, or my school visits, you can email me by clicking on the “Contact” button on my home page.

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