My Big Announcement: “I’m Cheating On You”

posted in: Books, Kids | 67

Some of you may have noticed I have been a little distant lately. Phoning it in with archived blog posts. Not reading or commenting on the works of my fellow bloggers. Failing to dazzle you with my freakishly vivid childhood memories as part of the Remember the Time Blog Hop. I understand that all good relationships need to be nurtured, and I am not really doing my share over here. And it is time you knew the reason why…

I have been cheating on you. Artistically speaking.

I would like you all to meet the pair who has been on the receiving end of most of my creative energy lately:

updatedmayhemcoverblog
Rough copy of the cover

This is Lulu and Milo. They are the starring characters in my very first children’s book, Absolute Mayhem. The story is complete, and I am currently working (very painstakingly, I might add) on the illustrations.

This book has been a dream years in the making, and while I am closer than I have ever been to making it a reality, it sometimes still feels I am eons away from completing it. I have even had second…and third…and fourth thoughts about sharing just this little bit of it with all of you. Because I can’t say exactly when Lulu and Milo will be ready to fly. I fall in love with these two crazy kids more and more each time I make the curves of their over-sized heads or put the sweet circles of rose in their cheeks. So I want them to be perfect when I send them off into the world.

Thankfully, their first introduction to anyone besides my family and a few close friends was pure deliciousness. My son’s Kindergarten class had been working on a storytelling unit, and his teacher asked if I would bring in my sketches so the children could see the creative process of writing and illustrating a book. And since a bunch of five- and six-year-old kids are pretty much my exact target market, I figured this would be a brilliant way to get some valuable feedback.

And feedback I got. The kids were engaged, curious, and gave the sweetest, yummiest compliments I could have ever hoped for. One little boy raised his hand and simply said, “I think your drawings are beautiful.” I pretty much melted into a pool of maple syrup. They asked intelligent and thoughtful questions about the writing and illustrating processes. I was as impressed with them as they seemed to be with my book.authorvisitmontage

But guys, that wasn’t even the best part. After I had spoken to all four Kindergarten classes, I walked out with my son to the lunch room and sat with him while he ate. Kids kept coming up, asking me for hugs and saying hello. The next night, his school had a movie event, and again, kids would run up to me and say, “Hey! I saw you! I know you! You’re the book lady!” I felt like an honest to goodness celebrity with the bestest littlest cutest most huggiest fans ever. And I promised those kids that Lulu and Milo would be out to play with them soon.

So now you know where my priorities are for the moment. I have some kindergartners to answer to. I am still going to try really hard to post here once a week…but don’t be surprised if archived posts pop in now and again. (Or if any of my blogging buddies want to help a girl out with some guest posts, just let me know!) I am still going to try really hard to visit the other blogs I love and read the awesome things you all have to say…but don’t be surprised if I fall short now and again. (At any given moment, I have open tabs with blogs I hope to get to later that day. Some of those tabs stay open for weeks.) But when it comes down to it, Lulu and Milo need me more right now.

So I am hoping you all will stick with me. I know blogging is a fickle business, so I haven’t been surprised by my recent declining stats. It is what it is. But I would love for you to keep your eye out for more updates on Lulu and Milo sprinkled in between my regular nonsense. In addition to the blog, I will be keeping my Facebook and Twitter accounts abreast of book happenings as well (but let’s be honest. I’m mostly just on Facebook. Whenever I open my Twitter feed, I just get anxious and overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy over my apparent tweeting disability).

OH, and since I have nothing else going on, I have also decided to officially make my editing services available to a wider market. I have been quietly doing freelance editing as a side dish, but have now taken the plunge to make it more of a main course. You can find more information on my Editing Services page.

As a final note, I love you guys, and thanks for being such supportive cheerleaders. You always make this a fun little party space.

Customers who like this blog also follow me on Facebook, Twitter (@RYouFinishedYet), and Pinterest.

67 Responses

  1. Kelly! That is so exciting! What fun news to read on this very gloomy morning (in MN anyways). I can’t wait for you to finish, so I,….I mean my kids can read your book! :-)

    • Thanks! And hey, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good children’s book. I love reading my kids’ books, and sometimes I like them even more than they do :) I have a serious infatuation with Sandra Boynton.

  2. I love the reactions of the kids at the school!

  3. Good-freakin’-ness! Look at his knobby knees and the AWESOME way you split the colorful mayhem with the black and white … hmm, normalcy? Mundane? It’s just SO, SO GREAT, Kelly! And the huggie kids treating you like the celeb you are? Shut it! My Tuesday is officially made and I’m forgiving you, in writing, for having not read my last blog post, Voluntary Torture :)

    This is wonderful x10!!

    • Do you know how much you make me smile? It doesn’t surprise me that you totally “got” the cover of this book. You’re the best.

      And SEE???? That was totally what I was talking about. Your blog post has been an open tab in my browser since the DAY you posted it. I’m not joking. I promise I will read it soon, because you know how I love me a good laugh. :)

  4. That is s awesome! I love Lulu and Milo and that reaction from the kids must have been so heart-warming and inspiring! Can’t wait to see the book (and buy it) and I’d be more than happy to guest post if you need or want. Just let me know. :-)

  5. You know I am in your corner since I am your biggest fan!!! So proud of you! Oh, and Lulu and Milo look amazingly familiar 😉

  6. Great to hear! Looking forward to seeing you when you come around, and to hearing updates on Lulu and Milo.
    Go you!

  7. Yay! Follow your dreams.

    • Thanks! I know you have been down this road. Any advice?

      • Take your time and get it exactly how you want it. It’s got your name on it and, with luck, it will be out there for a long time. You want to make sure it is a product you can be 100% proud of. You don’t want to have to promote something that you have regrets about. Also (and this can be the hard part) try to always keep having fun at what you are doing. :)

        • Awesome advice. I especially need to heed that “take your time” bit. Since I feel like I can finally start to see some light at the end of the tunnel, I can feel myself getting antsy. But I know I will kick myself if I allow illustrations I’m not almost 100% happy with into the book (because let’s face it, I’m NEVER 100% happy).

  8. We’re not going anywhere! But congrats on the book! It sounds like once you’re finished it’ll be a hit! Keep at it!

  9. Can’t wait to read about Lulu and Milo’s adventures!!!!!!!

  10. Anne Nestor Blind

    I’ll be one of the first ones in line! Hopefully I have enough clout to get an autographed copy! 😉

  11. Wow, I’m so excited for you! And I can’t wait to read about Lulu an Milo and their adventures! It sounds like a wonderful way to spend your time. :)

  12. Aw, I love how little kids are so truthful. That has got to make you feel GREAT. Congrats on moving forward!! I also love how you keep tabs open on blog posts you need to read. I need a better way of reading blogs.

    • Thanks and Ha! Well, considering i haven’t read most of them, I’m not so sure it is a good way to subscribe to. I think I really just need to try to give myself a treat every now and again and say, “I’m just reading blogs for the next half hour.” I’m just not good about doing that.

  13. Love the cover!! You are super amazing!

  14. Jessa McClintick

    Kelly!! AWESOME!! I’m so excited to see this unfold! I know that Miss Scarlett will be a big fan (and so will her mommy)!

    • That means a lot coming from you, considering what an incredibly talented artist you are. I’ve had a few moments of frustration where I’ve thought I should just call you and have you do it, but I’m happy I stuck it out. Miss Scarlett will certainly get a special copy!

  15. Oh, my, this post made me ferclempt :) It’s so exciting to see Lulu and Milo on my computer screen and to hear the insight from the kindergartners! Congrats!

  16. I love your cover! If the rest of the book is anything like that I’d be happy to buy a copy for my house 😀

  17. Another role model! Your illustrations are fabulous. I, too, would buy a copy for the waiting room at work, where lots of children and their parents will see/read it.

  18. SOOO excited for you sis! Can’t wait to get one of the first copies! My sister is famous!

  19. That’s awesome! I’ll be looking forward to reading it.

  20. Wahoo!!!! Keep us updated

  21. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, BUT… that looks fabulous! I can’t wait! Congratulations on all your hard work (and accolades from Kindergartners) so far, and happy thoughts to you as you continue your labors!

  22. Soooo excited for you! And terribly impressed by your artistic skills! I think you should get all of us (your blogging friends) to market it in our local towns when it comes out! I’ll buy it and take it to school and library story time whether you ask me to or not :)

    • I will officially take you up on that offer :) You rock! There will have to be quite a bit of grass roots marketing going on, so I will greatly appreciate anyone spreading the word. And I love you even more for offering from the get go, because I know I’m going to hate asking people to help me out when the time comes. It always feels awkward to me. I would hug you if we were in the same room :)

  23. Like I tell my Lulu like grand daughter, you can’t get better unless you begin. And I would say you have had a very good beginning, you are now only in transition! Go for it!

  24. Mazel, Kelly! This is just awesome! Love the names, love the title, and love your illustrations! I’ve missed you, but how exciting to see why and where you’ve been. When I ran the art program at my kids’ elementary school, back in the Middle Ages, I loved the kids called me the “Art Lady.” Little kids are so honest and lovely, and have such a way of making you feel like a million dollars! WAY TO GO, darlin’; you rock!

    • Thank you!!! I think if I were ever to teach elementary school children, I think I would definitely be in art. There is something so beautiful and mesmerizing about seeing kids in the throws of creativity like that.

      I have missed reading other blogs, but more than anything, I have missed the banter. :)

  25. That is an exciting dream you have! Congratulations on making it become a reality. I think your priorities are exactly where they’re supposed to be-spending time with your littlest fans and family :) I’m cheering for you!

  26. Good for you! Congratulations!

  27. It’s extremely important to have goals and dreams Kelly. Don’t be reluctant to share partial progress or your private thoughts. I’ve found that by making them “public”, it puts more pressure on me to stick with it.

    I hope your book is a huge success and in any regard, celebrate the success of carrying out your plan and making your goals!

    Good Luck on this!

    (Oh, and this does not mean you are off the hook for taking time out to read my fabulously childish stories).

    • *hangs her head in embarrassment* I know. I was literally JUST on your blog yesterday and saw you had posted something about planning a first kiss when I got pulled away from the computer by one of my kids. And I never made it back. So see, I have good intentions. Does that count? :)

      Thanks for the encouragement Rob. I really appreciate it! And you’re right…now that I’ve put this out there, I have to get it finished. Otherwise, I know I’ll hear from you :)

  28. How exciting! I can’t wait to read it :-)

  29. What a great reason not to blog. As for those open tabs, get a Pocket account. You can save all sorts of thing to read later. Thanks to them, I have only 6 tabs open instead of 20.

  30. […] Remember when I used to do that? It has been awhile since I have taken part in the Hop due to a recent change in focus, but Rob from Growing Up On Prytania has kindly kept the memories churning for me and Emily of The […]

  31. […] into my head this evening. And since I have devoted this week to finishing up illustrations for my upcoming book (woo hoo!!), I decided to call this one up again as my pinch hitter. And since most of my readers […]

  32. […] blog…or comment section. Especially since I am on the very brink of launching my career as a children’s author. (Like, the very, very brink. Like, weeks away, ya’ll. Weeks. So STAY TUNED!!!!!!! There will […]

  33. Kayso there are a hundred and eleventybillion comments here, and I’m still new to you, but many congrats, and I think your time is being spent very valuably on this book, and WOW – props to you for illustrating it as well :)

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