Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Story A Week Update: Good Duck, Bad Duck

I'm behind on my Story-A-Weeks. Probably nobody noticed except my guilty conscience.

All the binge novel writing I've been doing lately knocked the ability to write OTHER stories completely out of my range.

So, I still owe the blog a few stories. I would take a rain check, but unfortunately our new baby is due in January, so I have to stay on track. Or else I'll hit baby-being-born time without 52 stories under my belt and that would be a DISASTER!

Just kidding. It would not be the end of the world. But I like to keep my commitments, you know? Even if they're only to myself.

This week I half-crawled back on the wagon. I sat down yesterday and wrote a story.

It's called GOOD DUCK, BAD DUCK, and it's a picture book about -- you guessed it! -- a good duck and a bad duck. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

I know they all say, Don't take your kids' word for it when they say they like one of your stories. After all, they might be lying because they don't want to hurt your feelings.

But I'm telling you, I have a great test group: my kids are brutally honest, and they never seem to mind hurting my feelings. They have all made me cry at one time or another in their short lives (and no, I'm not just talking about labor). Even with the books I've written that I've shared with them, I can tell if they're bored out of their minds. They sort of slide off the sofa half-way through and disappear silently down the hall.

Passive aggressiveness at its best.

So, I sat my test-subjects down, pulled out my hot-off-the-press GOOD DUCK, BAD DUCK, and read it to them. We all sat on the sofa and I asked them to use their imaginations since there weren't any pictures.

The response was very encouraging: Lots of belly-laughs. Lots of interaction. And then, every writer's crowning moment of glory: "Mommy, read it again!"

And they ALL stayed for the second reading.

Because of this great response, I won't share the text of GOOD DUCK, BAD DUCK on my blog. I just might have to throw this little duck in the water and see if he swims.


  1. That's wonderful!

    I have a bunch of little critics too. They must get it from their father. ;)

  2. So how do you go about querying a picture book? Do you submit just the text?

  3. Myrna, It's nice your husband does that for you, too! You've got the built-in critique group. :)

    Kim, Usually you submit a PB directly to an editor at a publishing house. First you send a query letter, just like with a novel, and then if they're interested in seeing more they ask for the text. Probably every editor has a slightly different submissions process. PBs are unique because you can publish them without an agent. Many agents don't represent PB because they don't make enough money to be worth their time. (I don't blame them!) Does that answer your question?


  4. Yay for a good duck (bad duck) story! What a wonderful feeling when our children love and admire our words. Thanks for sharing, Amy!

  5. The title is super cute!!! I hope he's able to swim and gets out in the world!! I love when the children love the words you give them!!! Super special!

    Adorable blog, adorable title!!! You are super cute too!

  6. Woohoo! Did this story come out of nowhere, or did you use the three-word prompt? If so, what were the three words?