How is it coming?
I started working on my insect ABC book, working title Rowdy Stinkbugs - An Insect Alphabet, about six weeks ago. In that time I went from pen and pencil sketches, to office supply collage sketches, to a first SCBWI critique at the Northampton Forbes Library, and finally to the exciting step of moving to full scale. This past Monday began my full scale transition and I am excited with how it is going.
Insect List Finalized
The hardest part of this book so far has been creating phrases out of the alphabet in order (ex: ABC = A Big Caterpillar or RS= Rowdy Stinkbugs). These phrases played a large part in the insect selection. Additional criteria included incorporating a variety of insect types, sizes, and ensuring all insects were native to Massachusetts. Because of these restrictions, some letters had very few options or had only extremely specific options.
The results? There is more than one moth in this book. But aside from that, I am pleased with the variety and most excited for the combination of tradition kids' bug (ladybugs), likely new insects (viceroys), and inclusion of traditionally negative or scary bugs (ticks).
I have ground bugs, flying bugs, water bugs, night bugs, all the bugs you want (but not all the ones you need). I want to use this selection to highlight the importance of all creatures in successful ecosystems, even the ones we do not like. The informational text on each insect will be vital to this goal. That's my next step.
For the first time since moving to Massachusetts, I met a work connection! Last Sunday, I met with fellow SCBWI member Jess to discuss some creative and educational collaborations both on this ABC book and also a game of memory (or concentration depending on your region and generation) on native plants of Massachusetts.
We will see how this goes, but it feels promising and truly nice to be working with a kind, creative educator and creator.
My Timeline Goals
The next two weeks are going to be chaos in the studio. It is all about crunch time now. I hope to have a working draft ready for the June 19th critique. This is a very ambitious goal, so wish me luck!