How unbelievably arrogant! Oh, the audacity, what kind of egotistical fool would dare claim that they’re going to be the next Dr. Seuss, a true genius and one-of-a-kind storyteller??

Um, well …

It was kind of me.

But before I get beaten up … let me explain.

See, it happened about … oh, fifteen years? sixteen? … let’s just say a very long time ago, about two years after I had decided to be a writer. I was sitting on my mother’s front porch, watching my children play on a jungle gym and thinking about my failed attempts as a mystery writer when it hit me:

Why don’t I write picture books???

I mean, my kids were young. I read picture books to them all the time and they seemed so easy to write.

Just think … I could be the next Dr. Seuss!

With this joyous new direction in life, I grabbed a notepad and spent the next few months happily scribbling one story after another. Stuff like Pop Pop in Flip-Flops, The Magical Train Ride, A Fly on the Wall, and then there was my entire Bobby the Bass series. (Bobby goes to school, Bobby gets a baby sister, Bobby and the Bully.) I even made a dummy for my favorite story, Four Flower Friends, and sent it to any publisher that accepted unsolicited manuscripts.

Cute, right???
Cute, right???

After acquiring a couple of years worth of rejection letters for FFF and many others, however, I came to realize some things:

  1. There is only one Dr. Seuss and
  2. if there’s gonna be the “next Dr. Seuss,” it certainly ain’t gonna be me because
  3. my picture books suck and
  4. they’re absolutely, positively NOT easy to write, oh my gosh, so, SO not easy to write!

imageDB.cgiAt the time, though, I was okay with this revelation. I had found new love with the young adult genre after reading the incredibly brilliant HOPE WAS HERE, by Joan Bauer. I was fine with shoving those picture books in a drawer because que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, my future as a PB wasn’t meant to be.



There have been many times in the past ten years when the notion would peck at the back of my head like someone’s wayward selfie stick. I mean, I love picture books! Picture books are funny and cute and colorful! And oh my goodness, how fun would it be doing a presentation for young kids??? Especially if I wrote something with a main character who wears pink and tiaras and feathery boas because I LOVE pink and tiaras and feathery boas!

So yeah. Maybe I haven’t quite given up on my picture book dreams.

And there’s a part of me who misses the writer I used to be before being published, when I would sit on my mother’s porch writing story after story while my children played. When writing was fun. With all of these jumbles in mind, I actually did it–I wrote a picture book for the first time in twelve-some years.

You know what? It felt really, really good.

And it doesn’t entirely suck although it does need a ton, ton, TON of rewriting!

And yes, there are tiaras involved.

Green Tiara

Cross posted on As The Eraser Burns

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