Children's writing

Deadline #1: Check

I submitted my first batch of materials for the Vocab Fun project today. Submissions generate a mixture of excitement and anxiety. I’m excited because I like what I came up with and am proud of it. Whatever happens next, I did my best, and that feels great. I’m anxious because I went ahead and allowed myself full creative reign, and while I believe what I created fits the educational bill, I know it’s not exactly standard fare for these kinds of books. I’m not entirely sure if I’m supposed to be singing in the chorus or if I can sing a solo. The guidelines encourage me to create my own formats, but can that freedom be taken too far?

We’ll see, I guess. I can sing with the chorus. Really, I can. In some shows, the chorus is the best place to be.

So I’m happy with what I had to submit, but submitting it was a bit of a chore. The files are HUGE. I re-learned how to zip files, put all five units in a folder, zipped, and sent. Then I made myself a cup of tea, washed my face, made and ate a giant salad, watched a movie, visited friends in South Dakota, and discussed the possibility of being appointed to a cabinet position with members of the McCain camp should things go that way this fall (I think my chances are good!). Well, okay. I didn’t do all those things, but I did some of those things as I waited for the Giant Zipped File to send.

Finally, it did, and I got a return message saying the delivery failed. Sigh.

Okay, so I zipped the five units individually and sent them in five emails. I got only as far as Canada to visit friends while sending the individual files.

Finally, I got through them, and I got a return message saying the delivery of Unit 4 failed.

I tried from a different email address. Failed.

kalbarri.jpgRemember, you’re supposed to look at the rock, not us. Unless you’re looking at those goofy giant feet, that is. Groovy sandstone rock in Kalbarri, NP, Australia.

I wound up sending Zipped. Individual. Pages. And cringing the whole time, worrying the editor would:

A) Think I was an idiot
B) Get grumpy because I’d overwhelmed her Inbox
C) Inform me I’d screwed up the templates and tell me to hit the road
D) All of the above

No joke. Are those pages dogs or what?

Further investigation (call me Nancy Drew) revealed the answer lines (those lines kids will write their answers on) are digital anvils. Twenty of those lines on a blank page resulted in a 3.44 MB file.

Add a few tables and…we have a puppy.

Good to know. In the future, I might substitute simple underscore lines for the pre-formatted lines, but only for Monster Pages. My goal is to make the designers’ jobs as easy as possible, so if I can use the real things, all the better.

And that was several hours of my day. I’m happy to report that the editor did:

E) None of the above

In fact, she was nothing but kind and patient.

Let’s hope her patience is rewarded with useful material she loves.

Categories: Children's writing