steepholm (steepholm) wrote,
steepholm
steepholm

A Day with Dr Duck

Sometimes I have ideas for picture books, but I can't draw for toffee so never bring them to fruition.

Of course I could ask someone else to do the pictures, but this feels a bit of a cheat, since in my heart I believe that illustrators have a much bigger and more difficult job on their hands: they are Elton John to the writer's Bernie Taupin. I'm well aware that picture book writers agonize over every word and all, but even so, if I took my 300-word story (no matter how well crafted) to an artist and said, "Here, illustrate that!" I'd feel a bit like one of those people who accost authors at signings, saying, "I've got a great idea for your next book! How about I tell you the plot, you write it, and then we'll split the royalties 50-50?"

I picked up an old notebook of mine today, and came across the jottings my daughter and I had made for "A Day with Dr Duck" when she was feeling poorly once, many years ago. It was just to amuse her as she lay on her bed of pain, but as we plotted Doctor Duck's routine I remember feeling that we were on to something - something big... if only I could draw. First on Dr Duck's rounds were "A slug with a bug" and "A chick feeling sick", both of whom my daughter lovingly illustrated (better even then than I could have). My scanner's on the blink, or I'd reproduce them here. ETA: They are now proudly displayed under the cut:



slug and chick


I see the story continuing with visits to:

A beaver with a fever [Note to illustrator - please provide adorable, hilarious quirky picture]

A weasel with the measles [ditto]

A roo with the flu [ditto]

A snake with toothache [ditto]

A fox with chicken pox [ditto - and feel free to have some chickens looking in at the window and laughing.]

A whale looking pale [ditto - n.b., a snail is not an acceptable alternative]

A crow feeling low [ditto]

We never got as far as the ending. I imagine that Dr Duck, now "tired as fuck", would go home and have a stiff glass of pond water. I could probably tweak it if we looked like getting a contract: that's a writer's job, after all. But then again...

Oh. It looks like someone beat us to the punch. More than one, in fact.

"Gorilla's got a terrible case of super-stinky bottom burps!"?

I can't compete with that.
Tags: my writing
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