Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day #20: Prioritizing

The following is a list of my latest creative projects. They are at various levels of completion, but most of them are fully drafted and need revision (or need an editor's thumbs up).

I've tried to list them in order of importance to help keep my priorities straight.

#1) There's a Dinosaur on the 14th Floor -- The contract is being drawn up this month and (to the best of my knowledge) should be delivered to my agent before February. Then, the editors at Candlewick will contact me regarding revisions. (I'm in waiting mode with this project, but I am definitely excited about this book! It's my first fiction title!)

ACTION: Wait for revision notes.

#2) Around the World in a Bathtub -- I'm awaiting editor notes on this one too. In the meantime, I'm researching, fact-checking, and fine-tuning what I already have. (And I can't wait to find out who they choose as the illustrator!)

ACTION: Finish fact checking. Wait for revision notes.

#3) The Three Musketeers -- The second draft is complete, and I've already submitted to one publishing company. Auditions on the last weekend of January, and then it's solid months of rehearsal. (Did I mention I'm directing? I'm gonna be a busy guy.)

ACTION: Prepare for audition. Figure out blocking.

#4) New Picture Book #1 -- Keeping the titles secret on newer projects. the first draft of this manuscript was all rhyming couplets. And although the poetry was funny and proficient at the beginning, it soon falls apart -- serving as a good illustration as to why so many modern editors cringe when they hear the phrase "rhyming picture book."

For the second draft, I sketched out the entire story. (No, I am not planning to be the book's illustrator.) That really help me understand the story's focus and helped solidified what I call a "playful structure."

My agent has read this. She likes it, but it can be improved. So, hopefully in a few days I'll be done with the third draft. (And my agent will go from "like" to "love." Basically, if she loves something it is as good as sold!

ACTION: Revise and Re-Submit

#5) New Picture Book #2 -- I've completed a couple drafts of this project. The first one happened about two years ago. It sat in the drawer for a long time because the story was lacking something. Then, about a month ago I had an epiphany about the main character. That led to a reinvention and ultimately a stronger story. I'll be sending it to my agent soon -- but I might wait until Picture Book #1 is settled.

ACTION: Polish current draft. Send when the time is right.

#6) Camp Omigosh -- I've been working on this for a long time. Not just the writing part, but also trying to figure out how to get this book out into the great wide world. Right now, it looks like a new small press publishing house is very interested in helping me bring the book to readers. I'll let you know more about this very soon. But first I'm waiting to hear back from the editor. (Who is a good writer friend of mine, so hopefully that's to my advantage.)

ACTION: Wait for editor feedback. Brainstorm marketing ideas.

#7) "Strangers" -- A One Act Play -- I love this thirty minute play. I think it's right up there with "Conflict," maybe even better. But I sent it to Playscripts back in June and haven't heard from them yet. I sent it to a couple other places too, and haven't heard back. So maybe they aren't interested.

ACTION: Touch base with editors and/or submit to more places.

#8) Pet Store Book -- This is something I wrote about five years ago. I'm still interested in bringing it to life, but not sure what to do with it. It needs to develop in a more specific direction. Right now it's a chapter book for younger readers, but it seems to have a middle school sense of humor.

ACTION: Brainstorm & Choose a Direction

P.S. I realize that some of this listing and organizing might not be exciting for those of you who read this blog. I thank you for your patience. By writing these things -- and posting them so they are out in public -- it helps me become more focused, and it holds me more accountable for the goals I set. 

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