The buffaloes are returning

Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

A few years ago, my main focus in writing was the text for a children's book called Buffaloes on the Bed. I was deeply passionate about it, read it to anyone within earshot, and even sent it off to a publisher, to which it got no response, I must add. But then my passion cooled, I realised that it wasn't as amazing as I believed it was, and I shelved it. Until a couple of weeks ago... 

As many of you know, I recently completed a writing course called 'Writing with Jane Austen'. It was a six week course, and we worked our way through Pride and Prejudice, discussing her writing style, and completing various exercises. Well, that came from a writing community called The Habit. A hub of community where like-minded writers can connect, discuss, and give one other just a little more.  courage. And there came the opportunity to join this fellowship, so I did. 

Now not only does this give me the opportunity to access courses such as  Writing Through the Wardrobe, Writing with Hobbits and Writing with Atticus, it also enables me to share work that I'm writing on, hence bringing my picture book text, blinking and yawning, into the light. 

I was greatly encouraged, especially with feedback like this 'I LOVE that this ends with the animals settling down to sleep, I could see this piece being a delightful picture book with lots of room for the right illustrator to display their creativity. and My daughter would love to read this picture book

But now I have a challenge on my hands. I need to delve and craft and wrestle with 12 lines that don't rhyme as they should. I had a wonderful session, with the marvellous poet, writer and storyteller, Amy Robinson, recently, where she helped me to make a ballad that I'd written, shine! I learnt poetic expressions that I'd never heard of before. It was a real eye-opener, and immensely valuable. 

Have you ever found that unpicking your writing, is like pulling at a loose thread, and before you know it you're in a mass of tangles? I know they say 'kill your darlings' but my heart is set on ending my book with 'A hippo in the hall' not a buffaloes party in the dining hall' , which somebody kindly suggested. But that's the risk you take when you ask for advice. 

And then there is the quandary, do I come back to the buffaloes or carry on murdering with Mother - though she's unhappy with me, as I recently lost three diary entries, which was immensely annoying, and has hopefully taught me to save my work more carefully. 

Anyway, that's my thought for the month, hopefully next time, I'll be able to share a little about what I found after examining The Lion, the Witch and the  Wardrobe with a writer’s eye. Though anything could happen over the next thirty days. 

Martin is a writer, baker, photographer and storyteller. He's been published in the ACW Christmas anthology and Lent devotional. He's currently honing his craft at flash fiction and you can find him on Twitter here. 

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