I'm guessing it's only in the states that Labor Day is celebrated? It's a day when we are supposed to take a moment to honor the working men and women who are the backbone of our free society. A day when the working class is supposed to relax, kick back, and enjoy NOT having to work. While I'm not exactly working my regular job this Labor Day, I will be working to represent my TaeKwonDo school as we perform a Board Breakathon at one of the malls to help raise awareness and money for Muscular Dystrophy Association. We've been doing this for almost twenty years in our organization and I'll try to post some pictures on my Facebook page over the next couple of days.
There is another little bit of "laboring" I'm doing these days and today's holiday is not stopping me from working as hard as I can on one of my current writing projects. Now that I've got a number of polished picture books in my writing portfolio and more in revising phases, I am turning my attention to one of my true loves...children's non-fiction.
I love learning new things and I was always one of those geeks in elementary school who couldn't wait to be told I had to write a paper. That meant it involved research and THAT was addictive to me. The rush to be first with a new bit of information others might not have. Today it is the excitement of realizing I've stumbled across something few people in the world might know about and how can I turn my discovery into a compelling story?
I have to thank my sister, Janet, for the historical nugget she tossed my way a few months ago. When I read the blurb about something that happened more than 50 years ago I was compelled to find out more! This non-fiction research path I've traveled lately has been a true labor of love. It astounds me how little written information is available and that there is NO published book ANYWHERE covering this moment in history. So it's a challenge to me and a mystery I am determined to solve.
In the next few weeks I plan on posting about this particular journey...what I am doing research wise, what works, and what doesn't. Hopefully one day soon I will be able to announce the first draft of my non-fiction picture book is complete but for now it's...
STEP ONE: PICK A TOPIC
There are literally millions of non-fiction ideas just waiting to be developed so why not by YOU? Find something you can be passionate about. Something you've heard on the news, read on the internet, saw written in the sand...you get the idea...and run with it. The first thing I did was Google anything I could find on my topic. I literally found only half a dozen articles written over the past 50 years on this event. Does that mean I should give up and pick another topic? No, it just means I needed to dig further.
Next week, find out what I did to discover some primary sources who were very helpful with my research. Until then, look around and keep an open mind. You just might be surprised what idea seeds might begin to bloom...