Last weekend I went to the ballet with a very inspiring friend. We were chatting about my fairly-new full-time and full-on job and she asked how I was managing to keep up with my writing.
“Do you just wait for the weekend?” she said.
The answer, of course, was yes. Heck yes. My job is interesting and challenging, and some amazing colleagues and wonderful students are under my wing, but my really happy place is making up stories that will make children laugh or help them make sense of the world. That one perceptive question made me really think about my priorities and where to put my energy, and out of that came my 2021 ‘to-do’ list.
Firstly – a set of three rhyming picture stories featuring a character called Eli Ants-in-his-Pants. He has been a fun character inspired by lots of people I have taught who hate sitting still. I’m crossing fingers, toes and everything else that I have found the perfect illustrator for him.
Secondly – Marlon the Lonely Moustache. This is a colouring book about a moustache who wants a nose to live under and tries out several before he finds the perfect one.
Thirdly – the final strange saga of Sabrina Summers is almost ready to go! Thanks to the team at MJ Kids in New York for publishing the first two.
Fourthly – a bit of a change for me is an adult story to go in an upcoming anthology called Sunrises and Footprints. All the stories in this book have been written by the Risingholme Writers Group in Christchurch, NZ. Mine is inspired by a poem by Robert Graves called Flying Crooked and it’s about a woman who writes her own eulogy.
That’ll keep me quiet for a few weekends, but it doesn’t stop there. My travel book Big Boots is still muddling along, so are my steampunk early readers, several picture books, and lots more junior fiction. I just need my weekends to be 7 days long!
Oh and my very inspiring friend? Check out juliecrabbe.com