Rain & The Species Route

Okay, first and foremost: I can’t tell you how much it bugs me that my dumb ol’ Thursday 13 was formatted all weird. I tried and tried to fix it and make it all nice n’ pretty, but it just ain’t happening. If you know me in the least, you know how much it bothers me.

Hence, this post. I want to put some distance between my shoddy formatting skills (I blame Blogger) and this new entry.

Well, it’s been an interesting evening.

First off, I left work yesterday to go and fetch my son from daycare. My wife is/was dining with clients, so it was boys night last night. As soon as I left the building, the rain came down like it meant business. I’m serious. It was probably one of the strongest and most fierce storms I’ve been caught up in. I didn’t feel like running for my life (like some old dude I passed at the hospital), but instead I sort of smiled and walked as though nothing were happening. I got soaked to the bone. As I crossed the street, some dude who looked like a jazz musician smiled at me and laughed. I smiled back and gave him a wide-smiled: “Whoooo!”

It rained for a good hour or so. Hard-core, batten-down-the-hatches rain. It was awesome.

Fact: I love me a good storm.

I blasted through puddles in my truck, got splashed on, drove into almost zero-visibility rain. It was the stuff out of movies. Quality.

A few members of my writer’s group was planning to come over to my house last night. We’ve never met at my house before, since we usually convene at the Borders in Roseville, but since I’m on Travis Duty, they were willing to come out. Well, turns out one of the two expected couldn’t make it and so we thought it goofy to just have two of us meet. Online critiques all around!

I’m happy to report that after five chapters, Goodhalo is still holding the interest of one of my critique group commrades. We’ll see if the others like where it’s going.

So, I dialed up my e-mail and saw that I had an e-mail from an editor I worked with to get my upcoming book Patrick’s Super Socks (available January 2008). The subject line said: Patrick’s…Sneak Peek. I had no idea what to expect, so I busted it open. It said, in so many words that the book was in the sketches stages and she was good enough to forward me a file showing a very early and very rough layout of the book. In the body of the e-mail she mentioned that the design team decided to go the ‘species’ route. Huh?

I clicked on the attachment and had a look at what my editor pal had sent me.

What was once a little boy with red hair who had trouble sleeping without his magic socks was now…an alligator. At first, I literally said: “What the @#%^?” This wasn’t what I had planned! Patrick can’t be an alligator! He’s gotta be…a…

Wait a second. This could work, I thought. As I looked at the layout of the book and saw my words on a page with illustrations below it, I sort of got all misty-eyed. I flipped back to the front of the book and saw my name (in full!) on the title page and I got excited about it again. There are tons of books about little boys dealing with crap. There aren’t that many with alligators as the main characters.

Long story short? I dug it.

Then, a thought occurred to me. I submitted (as part of my BIG proposal) an idea to continue the Patrick series with about seven more books that I could easily write up in no time. Would those still work if Patrick was an alligator?

The answer? Absolutely. In fact, it’ll make the books that much more appealing.

So, it’s kind of a cool thing. I’ve got this wacky little file that I keep opening and looking at the illustrations for and deciding that more and more I’m looking forward to January coming so I can hold this little book of mine in my own hands.

That, and read it to my son a million times.

I spent the rest of the evening playing ‘swords’ with Travis and laughing and having a great time. We fought monsters, we ate supper together, we even had a ‘special treat’ while we watched The Simpsons.

Friends, it was a good day.