Children's Books / Writing



My kids have been crazy about Adele for the last few months and singing her hits including, “Hello” non stop. So, “Hello? Can you hear me?”

I haven’t been in California dreaming the whole time that I’ve been absent from this blog, though I’ve realised that had we remained in San Diego, our son – my baby, would be entering the American Kindergarten year, i.e., school in the fall. In comparison to having one year left in the German kindergarten system before making that big step to school while sitting in our church library on a rainy, grey German day, California dreaming is really worlds away.

My writing has taken a back seat — back back seat since I have paused from writing here. I realised that picture books wasn’t the genre I wanted to continue pursuing. I still find the ideas of my manuscripts worthy, but rewriting them into good stories was another matter than coming up with good ideas. Getting first drafts down was my accomplishment in this endeavour and I feel that some of those drafts will develop into another life later. But not now. Sparcity and poetry are writing styles I enjoy and value but I have to say that they are not a natural fit for me.

At a North Rhein-Westfalia SCBWI meet up with Laurel Decher last fall, I came up with another idea that I wanted to write about. Since Laurel always brings helpful writing exercises for us to do with her – she is a natural writing teacher as well as a gifted writer  – I was able to write a few pages of my idea each time we met during the last twelve months.

So what’s the new idea? Right now I am thinking of a middle grade novel along the lines of Linda Sue Park, one of my writing role models. My main character is a Korean American middle school girl who learns the truth about her grandfather: He didn’t die because he was sick, as she had been told when she was little. He had in fact disappeared in North Korea during the Korean War. Would she and her cousin in Korea be able to find out what happened to him when she goes to Korea for the summer holidays?

I’ve been really excited about this idea and have been enjoying the snippets I’ve been able to write about. Of course, there is a massive mountain to climb in terms of coming up with a storyline, figuring out a climax and executing it. Then of course there is the agony of editing and rewriting. The challenge is also carving out the time and commitment to pursuing this story.

So, let’s see how this idea develops. There are other non-fiction book proposal ideas I have had percolating in the back of my head, but I am going to do my best to focus on one thing at a time.


5 thoughts on “Hello

  1. That sounds like an interesting premise for a Middle Grade book, Jane! I look forward to seeing you at the Europolitan Scrawl Crawl soon! Rummages through writing toolbox. . . .


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