What’s Next?

As of right now, the revision of my latest Bland Sisters novel is still with my editor,  I’m still waiting to hear about a picture book out on submission, and two new picture book manuscripts are with my agent. In each case, the ball is in someone else’s court.

Now what?

Well, there’s one thing I know I’m NOT gonna do, and that’s sit still. I need to have something cooking all the time, or I start feeling really anxious. Having a new focus takes my mind off of waiting to hear from everyone — and in the publishing world, the waiting is the WORST.

Of course, I am spending some time reviving my blog routine. But I also have research to do for a new picture book biography I’m hoping to write. That’s right — I’m thinking about writing some non-fiction! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while; I’ve just been hoping to find the right subject. And then, just a few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend, and she mentioned this absolutely extraordinary person with whom I just happen to have a childhood connection. Bingo! Now I just need to do some reading…and thinking.

I also have a keynote address to deliver at the end of June, so I’m starting to think about what I’m going to say. Unlike a lot of people, I love public speaking, but there’s a certain amount of pressure that comes with a gig like this — I want my audience to feel entertained and enlightened and inspired, and I want the folks who invited me to feel as if they’ve gotten their money’s worth. Also, speaking engagements these days are not just speeches — they are multimedia presentations, so I’ll have to create a visual aspect to my talk (i.e. something Powerpointy), and coordinate the technology to complement my words. Basically, I need to produce a one-woman show — which reminds me, I need to get my Liza Minelli-esque sequined pantsuit out of storage.

Also, I have another novel to revise. That’s right…another novel. This one is a bit different for me — it’s contemporary middle grade, and it’s something I drafted two summers ago, and then set aside to work on other things. It feels right to go back to it now, especially as the story takes place during the summer. I’m glad I let it marinate for so long, because I can now return to it with totally fresh eyes — and I’m now eager to print it out and jump back in.

Do you like to have a lot of projects going on at once, or do you prefer to work on one thing at a time? What do you do to make waiting less painful?


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