Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Flexible Goals!

Mock-cover for *new* book
The image above is a "pretend" cover I made a few years ago when working on a story I had actually begun in 2003 after going to the symphony to hear Bruckner, my composer husband's favorite composer. On the program for the evening was Stravinsky's "Petrushka" and in the program was a gorgeous photo of Stravinsky and the dancer, Nijinsky. Something struck me from that image and I was compelled to begin a story about what happened when Stravinsky met Nijinsky. I am telling you this story because after 8 years of working off and on the story, it has just been offered a contract with Harcourt Books- part of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! With this wonderful news comes a complete re-ordering of goals- and thus the title of my post: Flexible Goals!
Igor Stravinsky and Vaslov Nijinsky in 1911
Because this picture-book-to-be culminates in the premier of the Rite of Spring in Paris on May 29th, 1913, we have imposed a very quick deadline for publication- wanting it to come out on time for the 100th anniversary- spring 2013! I had just begun the illustrations for another book, but with my editor's blessings, I have pushed that deadline off and now have a goal of finishing the sketches for WHEN STRAVINSKY MET NIJINSKY by January and the final art by April of 2012. I have found that when my goals touch upon my heart's desires, I can meet them. This story and its characters lives deep inside my heart and imagination. I know I can meet these goals!

I have another goal that seemed to come out of thin air, but it is also seated deep in my heart's desires- While lying on the couch with the flu at the beginning of November, I acted on an impulse to register with NaNoWriMo and begin writing a middle grade novel that had been bumping around in my head for over a year. Spurred on by NaNo's pep talks and support from writer friends, I have embarked on a journey of writing that I do not want to let go of. I love my characters, my setting, and the plot begins to simmer, though not thickening yet. November is nearly over, but I am setting what I hope is a workable goal of writing two pages a day, even through the above deadline!

Goals are often attached to commitments. Over the past five years I have committed myself to being the script writer for Circus Juventas and I have committed myself to visiting schools and libraries as an illustrator/author. The Wild West is the theme for this summer's Circus Show and the script is nearly done. Usually I would linger over the winter holidays, finalizing the script for the unveiling in the new year, but I have already spoken with the Artistic Director and set myself the goal of finishing by December 12th before the circus school's winter break. And almost with some kind of sixth sense, I have not scheduled myself with too many school visits this winter leaving open time for illustrating WSMN~ what a gift for the new year!


Christy said...

Lauren, this is all thrilling! I am delighted to hear that your intriguing 2003 story will become a 2013 release and that you committed yourself to NaNoWriMo which such satisfying results. Wise woman, moving your circus deadline earlier.

So true your observation of "Goals are often attached to commitments." I just commited myself to getting some paid editorial help on my middle grade work-in-progress. I thought that commitment would spur me on.

Congratulations on all the happenings in your rich creative life!

Lauren said...

Thanks Christy~ it is all thrilling! Truly a dream come true to be working on this story for a picture book!
I am eager to hear how the editorial help goes with your middle grade work-in-progress. A big step in the process for sure.

john said...

What wonderful news so close to Thanksgiving. Congratulations, Lauren, and how fun to know we'll see the book in 2013. Way to go.

Edie Hemingway said...

Oh, Lauren, congratulations on this new contract, as well as getting a good start on your middle grade novel during nanowrimo! I'm so happy for you! Your range of creativity is impressive. One of these years I'm going to come see Circus Juventas.

David LaRochelle said...

This is so exciting, Lauren! What thrilling news about NAJINSKY and congratulations on your dedication to your middle grade novel. I'm excited to watch both progress! It looks like the next year will be filled with fulfilling projects!

Mark said...

I love the insight: "when my goals touch upon my heart's desires, I can reach them." How true! And what a sense of accomplishment it must be, having your book under contract after 8 years of working on it. Congratulations, Lauren!

betsy woods said...

lauren, am intrigued. Comepletely.

Stephanie said...

Congrats! How nice that something from so long ago will finally come to fruition.