My goodness, it seems pretty hard to recapture the magic of picture books.

They are so deceptively simple!

And yet, I wonder if I haven’t sort of moved on.

I’m looking at most of the picture books I find in libraries and thinking ‘meh’. And I watch my grandchildren’s reaction closely as I read picture books to them, seeing what they respond to, what they laugh at, what makes them want to read a story again.

There is such a discrepancy! The older grandkids (9 and seven) really like the longer picture books! Westlandia is one of their favorites!

It’s a fascinating story about a boy who creates his own little world/ecosystem based on an imaginary fruit that he plants in his backyard as a sort of summer project.

It really is a story that shows the basis of any society–agriculture.

And they like the whimsical picture books that tell real stories.

The younger ones like humor! We’ve read Robert Munsch’s Smelly Socks probably a dozen times! It’s not one of my favorites. I still prefer Stephanie’s Ponytail. I think it’s brilliant! One of his three masterpieces.

I just finished a story I’m quite pleased with. Sent it off thinking ‘ooh maybe!’. But then the doubts creep in.

They always creep in.

And then sometimes like this morning, I was looking through snips I’d written, just dribs and drabs of stories I began in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. And they’re often filled with whimsy but they don’t go anywhere. And I ended up abandoning them.

I really feel like I’m going through a different stage of my career. A floundering period where very little is falling just right and yet the underlying concepts are there.

And yes, I think I’m over thinking things.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a book accepted and I’m starting to regret the fact that I gave away Not Guilty to an educational publisher when I could have expanded it and made it into a full length prose novel.

Right now I’m neck deep in presentations. I’m doing the Sophie’s Studio workshops at the Toronto Public Library. They’re a lot of fun! They have to be because the kids are coming after school. We’ll focus on story creation, emphasis on the fun imaginative stuff.

A new year and a new group of kids. We’ll see how it goes.

And I’m just wrapping up on the mentorship program through TDSBCreates. It’s been fascinating working with a group of four intermediate girls. Their writing is a lot better than I thought it would be! And I’m doing a TDSBCreates residency with two classes of grade three students!

Oh they’re so different from the grade four and five students I’ve worked with for the last couple of years. So enthusiastic, I often have to take time to calm them down!

But they’re cute! I was doing my story creating exercise with them yesterday and oh the exuberance!!! LOL

I just wish I had more time to write!!!!

I know I could have done some writing right now, instead of blogging, but it wasn’t enough time to actually write, get deep into the revisions of the one project (which I have to finish up) and get back into the new project that’s beckoning me!

Oh well, what are these but first world problems?

Sometimes they make me feel guilty because people are really suffering all over the world.

I heard that we’re in for yet another recession, and it will hit globally.