I love the idea of making ordinary things extraordinary. I love the sense of surrealism and the sublime in grabbing the mundane and spicing it up with some madness. Regular people become compelling and attractive when the unexpected or odd becomes part of their character or existence.
These things inform a lot of the stories I tell and that I want to tell and my latest effort is rife with that. Today I've knocked out "Nana Irene's Extreme Ironing" (title subject to change, as all of 'em are) which takes boring stuff (old people and laundry) and gives 'em a kick and a bang (the granny is a go-getting globetrotter who turns ironing into an adrenaline rush). Extreme ironing is a real sport, by the way, but I don't know whether anyone has done it through a hurricane or on the back of a whale like Nana Irene has.
It's another case of silly shenanigans from me, but for this one I grappled with it and rewrote most of it to make it even more friendly for young children. A story about an adventuring grandma who makes a household chore into a creative thrill ride is, i reckon, of more appeal to younger kids and it's been a good exercise in attempting something specifically for that age group - trying to make something that's more openly accessible. Everything has to be made more basic, verbosity has to be cut down and you have to picture kids reading it and reacting to it.
It's a very interactive and immersive experience writing these here picture books, I tell thee. Having now got into the mindset of an octogenarian adrenaline-junkie ironing board surfer I'm going to go and grab some clean clothes and de-crease them while dangling from the roof. I can't wait to get into the mindset of a flesh-eating alien deathworm tomorrow when I get around to bashing out the day's picture book tale...