I'm feeling sick to my stomach. I just turned down a picture book manuscript, and folklore is one of my favorite genres to illustrate. There's no way I could illustrate three books at the same time. I did this with both The Legend of the Valentine and Summer Sun Risin'. It just about killed me. Besides that, I did those books before my son was born.
The editor did offer another manuscript that she is in the process of acquiring. That manuscript wouldn't be ready for illustration until after I finish Fuzz, Zoom and Ron. I had seriously considered quitting my full time job and illustrating these three books simultaneously (Fuzz will be finished in two weeks), however yesterday I looked at my weekly pay stub. I'd have to do a whole lot of illustrating to come even close to matching the salary on that little stub. Someday.
On another sick note
Yesterday I participated in a Celebrity Reading at Brentwood Christian School. Ha!— they think I’m famous. This is a yearly project they do during Children's Book Week. My presentation went very well. The kids were enthusiastic, and had many questions to ask about illustration, publishing and working for a newspaper. While answering the last couple of questions, I had something very bizarre happen to me. My lower jaw went into spasms, and locked up. I still don't know what happened, but it was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. My jaw would not move and when I tried to finish answering questions my words all slurred together. I tried answering the questions as best as I could, but I cut the questions short. I don't think anyone noticed. I was not having a bout with nervousness, school visits don't scare me like they used to. But I'm quickly taking myself to the doctor ‘cause I hear lockjaw ain’t nothin’ to play with.
Thanks for the congratz and well wishes I received here in my comments box as well as the many emails. Like an editor told me yesterday, "Everything's better with Bluebonnet on it!"