Have you ever come up with an idea, that you thought was just so great, so wonderful, that you didn’t really process many thoughts about it, you just did it?
Welcome to my world! I would like to think that as the years have rolled on, I have become a little more reserved, and cautious, but then, I would be just kidding myself!
A prime example of this, is the fine mess I have myself in now. About two years ago, I decided that I could write my very own reading program – I mean, how hard could that be? (Talk about arrogance!!!). Anyway, I could not let go of the idea. I decided that I would only write a collection for Preppies. And so I did.
I have to say, that the writing process was not that hard – the text had to be short in length, and I was guided by the selection of high frequency words that I wanted to introduce, at each level. And besides, I was fortunate to have the test audience with me, every day, to run ideas past. Most characters would fly off my computer screen and I have to say, I became quite attached to them. Others, well, suffice to say, they won’t be home for Christmas, anytime soon!!
Where I struggled, was in the drawing department. You see, I cannot draw, and trust me, I am not just saying that to attract the typical responses: “Oh yes you can, you’re so clever”; ‘I love ___ and ____, they are so great” – remember I work with my test audience, and they are not so subtle in their appraisals!!
This was a real problem, because, naturally, I did not stop at the Prep Collection – of course not! I added not only the The Year One Collection, but I also decided that a Kindy Kids Collection was essential. Oh, and yes, The Year Two Collection is all but finalised. (I have promised to stop there, but you know…). There was no way I could afford to pay someone to do the drawings for me – there are over 400 readers!
So, how to solve the problem? I practised, and practised and practised. I may still not be an award winning illustrator, but at least now, the children can recognise the characters from one story to the next. And more importantly, they can see what the characters are supposed to be.
Back to the mess I’m in and the bull at the gate? Well, in my haste to get my readers online, I decided to just get them finished, basic illustrations and all. And now, I want to redo them – I have to redo them. I want to go back and make amends, and whilst doing that, tweak the storylines just a little, to make them really sing!
Thankfully this should only take about an hour for each title – the good news, I only have about 70 left to do!
I’ll let you know when I am done!
Until next time,
PS The teaching of reading reference? You know what I am going to say: never give up, and PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE, you can but improve!!