I had the dream, I had the story, but nothing was really happening. I needed to get serious about it, but I had no game plan. I had no next step. So the story took a backseat. That was until a lunch with the students at Beyond the Sock.
Beyond the Sock is something pretty special. It brings people from all over the country together working on the same goal: learn how to make and preform puppets for TV. In the years that I have been a part of it, I have met people from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, Sri Lanka, the Arctic Circle, and all over the US. It is a crazy five days of the workshop, but it is a blast.
One of the lunch breaks, I was eating at a local restaurant that is walking distance from the workshop. There were about 10 of crowded around a table talking about everything from shows we had watched previously, places we have worked, to goals and dreams. I then mentioned my children’s book. I explained what I wanted to do, but that I didn’t have a good game plan. The others were very supportive and two really great things came out of it.
First off, a fellow volunteer Jennifer was a full-time puppeteer and an artist. After talking with her, she helped to draw out some preliminary artwork and character sketches. Working with her I was able to get a visual on how I wanted the book to look and a better feel of the author / illustrator relationship and work dynamic.
Second, one of the students that year was Jess. When she heard my story, she instantly offered her help. We talked and worked out a plan. She became my editor. The rough draft was sent over to Jess and after a few weeks a detailed report came back. It was amazing, very well thought out, very constructive and informative. She then setup ‘homework’ for me to do on how to get into the writing and publishing game. I had articles to read and books to buy.
It was because of these two ladies that I Want A Pet Turkey has any forward movement. They are both on the list to receive copies of the book when it is published.