Tuesday, May 02, 2006

So That's What Mommy's Doing All the Time

Last Thursday, I was sitting at the table in our family room where I like to work because the many windows make the space nice and bright. Plus the table allows me to spread out. Anyway, I'm working on a map for my current WIP when my kids wander over to see why mommy is playing with markers.

Naturally, they want to help. I explain to them that they can't help with my project, but they can make maps of their own. They pull up chairs and get to work, asking me questions all the while.

"What are you drawing?"

"I'm making a map."

"Where do we live," my daughter asks, looking over at my pencilled creation with great interest. She's eight and into maps these days.

"This isn't a map of our town," I explain. "It's a made-up place. An island where people can live."

"Oh. Well, why are you doing that?" she asks.

"I'm writing a book, and this map will help me know where things are when I'm writing."

A moment's pause. "You're writing a book?"

"Uh huh."

"Like, the kind in the library?"


Again, she takes a minute to think. "So, how will you make it into a book?"

"I don't make it into a book myself," I say, swallowing a sigh because I have a feeling I'm going to spend the next half hour answering questions about the publishing industry that I don't understand myself, much less have the ability to distill down to an eight-year-old level. "I send it to a company who makes it into a book. I hope."


"I have to finish the book first. Then it takes a lot of time to turn it into something you see at the store."


And that was enough of the Q&A for that afternoon. But the conversation stuck, because Sunday night, as I'm unloading the dishwasher and my daughter is sitting at the kitchen table doing her weekend homework, she speaks up.

"Hey, I have a great idea for a name for your book."

This ought to be interesting. "Oh, yeah? What's your idea?"

"The People Who Live On an Island."

I smile. "Yeah, that would be very descriptive."

"So, when can I read it?" she asks.

Great. Now I'm going to have the kids nagging me to finish.

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