So what have I scribbled down over the past two days and added to the slushpile? First up I consciously sought to break the rhyming couplet conundrum (I had to take a train to Wales to do it which shows the strength of the fixation). I ended up producing a stream of words that don't rhyme at all and on Saturday I spawned a 'serious' piece. Pictorially, it's a shipwreck tale culminating in the arrival of a small crew on a desert island. The text, however, tells of the experience of riding out hard times and/or depression. It's a bit deep, profound and metaphorical but, I reckon, with the right artwork could make a very beautiful and touching picture book.
Feeling a need to get on to more fun material after writing "Riding Out the Storm", today I found myself scripting up "There's a Party in the Crypt". It's a rhythmic invitation for the reader to come to a celebration in the cemetery presented by a Baron Samedi-type corpse and I envision it as having loads of fun, schlocky illustrations depicting happy horror happenings in a morgue that's come to life for a party. It's all a bit Tim Burtonesque, along the same lines as The Addams Family and it sounds nice in my head if I imagine Vincent Price reciting it. Kids - not just morbid ones - might get a kick out of it. I guess I just need to find some of those kids or wait until Halloween festivities provide an auspicious opportunity to air this thing.
Writing these two tales has mainly served to underscore the vital importance of the art in picture books. All I can really do as writer - and this also applies to comic scripts - is guide the illustrator and try and show what I'm picturing in my head. These things could become something very cool or astoundingly beautiful but for now they are simply ingredients that require a talented artist to turn into gold. An artist could also totally waste them and turn them into something that isn't very impressive and that doesn't succeed in expressing my original vision. It's completely at their discretion. As a control freak who can't draw to a satisfactory standard that the writing deserves, this can be irksome.
For now though I'll keep on working up them ideas and making manuscripts that could potentially serve as material for another person to take further and turn into a great marvel. The plan is to keep producing on a daily basis, keep on seeking diversity and - damn it - having fun creating all the time as I go. It is a lot of fun imagining yourself partying with the undead dudes in the crypt...