Yesterday after I'd been writing awhile, I went into the kitchen to stretch my legs and tackle a sink of dirty dishes. Our two-year-old cat, Humphrey, jumped up on the sink to see what I was doing, slipped, and fell into the sudsy water! After I pulled him out, then spent the next 15 minutes chasing him around with the dishtowel to try to tackle him and dry him off, I had to laugh. Humphrey's a big part of my writing day!
When I sit in my recliner in the family room to read through books for ideas, Humphrey jumps on the nearby couch to take a nap. Our dog, Lucy, likes to sleep on the couch on her little afghan I crocheted for her. So when Humphrey consistently tried to make Lucy move off her afghan so he could sleep there, I realized I needed to make Humphrey his own blanket, too. So now when I'm sitting in the recliner looking for ideas as I was yesterday gathering activity ideas for the fourth grade math activity book my husband and I are writing, Humphrey can join Lucy on the couch for a nap and enjoy a snooze on his own "blankie."
When I move to sit on the living room loveseat to write, as I often do when I'm writing text for a picture book, Humphrey comes in and jumps on the nearby couch. He loves to stretch out on his back! It was here that I spent most of my time writing the poetry sections for each letter of the alphabet for my newest picture book, D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet.
And when I take a break from writing to have lunch, Humphrey runs in to check out the refrigerator when I open it. He's always hoping it's tunafish time!
I sit down to eat--and guess who is up on the table! Since I'm alone many hours of the day (that's the life of a writer!) Humphrey keeps me company while I eat--even when he gets tired of watching me eat and falls asleep!
And of course, when I sit down at my computer to type and write, Humphrey's favorite spot is to perch above me on top of my desk. Unfortunately, he uses my printer as his launching pad to jump up there, and at 21 pounds, I'm not sure how much more launching my printer can take!
And then there's always those moments like when I received the ORIGINAL pencil sketches from my publisher of E.B. Lewis's art for D is for Drinking Gourd. I was sworn into taking the utmost care of the pages until I could review them and return them the next day. I was busy taking photos to help me remember the art as I worked on revisions--when suddenly Humphrey decided to help. Horrified, I realized he was also in the viewfinder of my camera as he had jumped up on the pages to see what I was doing at THIS stage of my writing day. I quickly grabbed him and locked him behind the bedroom door for the rest of the photoshoot--but not until I got this picture of my adorable writing buddy.
Ask the Author:
Attention teachers, home-schoolers, families, kids and everyone who loves to read! If there is a question you'd like to ask about my newest book or my life as an author, post your question as a comment on my blog. I will be selecting questions to answer on my blog throughout the upcoming Virtual Book Tour celebrating the release of my newest book, D IS FOR DRINKING GOURD: AN AFRICAN AMERICAN ALPHABET. Mark your calendars to join in the fun! The tour starts February 1, 2008.