Today I had the opportunity to read one of my picture book manuscripts to a group of about 40 kids from a local summer camp. Eight of the students in the Hollins U. Children's Literature program presented their work. Ericlee and Meilani came along for the presentation.
I read from CITY JAZZ, a piece I wrote several years ago and I've been tinkering with and sending out to a few publishers. In my writing workshop the other night, I finally had a breakthrough and found a new way to end the book and my professor suggested I send it to his publisher so I'm excited to see what comes of it.
Of course, the most important and gratifying part is reading to kids and watching them become a part of the story. CITY JAZZ is written in a poetic style (a tribute to Langston Hughes) and introduces kids to the city of Chicago and jazz through fun-to-say sounds. In this photo, the kids were helping me "play the trumpet" like Louis Armstrong.
Here are a few lines from the book:
Miles hears the band playin'
the drums say rat-a-tat-tat...and splat
the trombone sings bitty-brr-bop-slide, bop-slide
the trumpet blares doody-shoo-wop bleep
the sax smiles blu-weee blinky-wee-EEEEE
the bass keeps time thump-thumpin' and bump-bumpin'
The city breathes jazz music
You can read the rest when it gets published. My husband is training me to think positive!