Although To See the Worldis now finished, I know that there will still be a lot of demands on my time until after the book is launched on the 1st May. Anne Chappel from the State Library of Western Australia is doing a great job of organising the launch, as part of the Heritage Festival, but there are always little unforeseen problems and details to sort out, often at short notice. So I can’t really settle to a new novel just yet.
At times like this it’s great to have something like the Professor Louis Labrat idea to play around with. I am hoping that the short story that is developing might turn out to be my next picture book, but even if it ends up going nowhere it’s fun to do. I tried out a rough version of the text on the four classes of Year 1s and 2s I was speaking to last week. My brief had been to give the students some insight into the process involved in writing and publishing books. As it happened I had, early that morning, been working on adding two new ‘scenes’ to the story. I took my messy hand-written additions with me so that the students could see the crossing-out, renumbering and adding-in that happens, even after you think that the story is finished. After reading Professor Louis Labrat to the students I got some great feedback, from them and their teachers. That gave me the confidence to recite it, like a poem, at the birthday party of a friend yesterday. She had asked me, as she does, to tell one of my stories during the celebrations.
I’m still not sure whether Professor Louis Labrat is a poem, a song without music or a picture book without pictures at this stage, but everyone seems to love it so I will keep working on it and see how it eventually turns out.