Thursday 29 May 2014

Dusting Off My Manuscript

If you follow my blog regularly, you will have noticed that I have not been blogging for the past two weeks. That's because I've been hard at work writing a new book.  My manuscript for the picture book I'm Just a Home Child, based on the life of my great-grandma, has been on the back burner for a year and a half.  I didn't give up on it, but I figured I'd focus on other things and return to it when the time was right.  Well, that time is now.

It has been an exciting two weeks.  I've found myself rushing through household chores so I can get to my computer to write.  I think about it when I'm on the elliptical machine at McFit. I think about it when I'm driving down the street.  All I want to do is write.

You might ask me:  How do you write a book in two weeks?  Well, it really hasn't been two weeks, it's been five years.  It was back in 2009 that I started researching my great-grandma, Daisy Blay's, life.  I wrote a short story called "The Gold & Pearl Necklace".  I wrote a picture book called I'm Just a Home Child. Now, I'm composing a chapter book called I'm Just Daisy.  Thank you, Jacqueline, for the title!

I had everything at my fingertips to write this book:  file folders full of articles I printed out; library books about the British Home Children; copies of old photographs, notations carefully written on the back; endless hours of Internet surfing, and e-mails from our family's unofficial genealogist.  Thank you, Aunty Marlene!

And how can I forget to mention the invaluable advice and inspiration that I've received from fellow authors? I found the perfect chapter book at Brantford Library about the British Home Children.  I cried:  "That's the one!  I want my book to look like that book."  The format is perfect.  The layout is perfect.  The cover art is perfect.  And when I contacted the author, she gave me a gracious reply:  "No problem.  Go ahead and copy my format."   I was thrilled!  Thank you, Beryl!

Another author, who has several published works to her name, has proofread my manuscript and given me excellent feedback.  She has dissected it, page by page, and made meticulous notations.  I have followed her advice, almost to the letter.  Thank you, Rose!

I've breathed new life into an old manuscript.  I wrote and rewrote the query letter.  Now it's time to send out this baby. I feel like I've found the right format   I feel like my timing is right.  I feel like I'm knocking at the door and someone is waiting on the other side, ready to answer it.  I can hardly wait to see what's inside!

Note:  For my last post about writing my home child book visit "Manuscript Musings" at

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