Thursday, January 26, 2012
Punxsutawney Phyllis- Road to Publication Part 1
Susanna Leonard Hill is here today to share the story behind her adorable Groundhog's Day book PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS:
It's morning drop off time.
Child number one, who is 5, gets dropped at Kindergarten.
Child number two, who is 3, gets dropped at preschool.
Child number three, who is 1, stays in her car seat and puts anything within reach up her nose.
Child number four, (who some mistake for a dog although she is actually a human trapped in a dog's body), licks the window experimentally to see if child number two left anything good there - always a distinct possibility - and yes! score! there is a trace of strawberry milk!
It's really best if you never look inside my car. It's called the Dogmobile for a reason :)
The morning is gray. The sky spits ice. Dirty snow is lumped along the road sides. Everything looks defeated. Whose idea was winter anyway?
As I drive toward home, the baby sneezes - has she found something to put up her nose or is this the onset of a cold?
I wish for an early spring.
Just then, the radio DJ announces that Punxsutawney Phil has come out of his hole and declared 6 more weeks of winter.
In my sleep-deprived state I have forgotten that today is Groundhog Day.
I think - hunh! 6 more weeks of winter! Why doesn't spring ever some early?
Then I think - why is it always Punxsutawney Phil? Couldn't a girl groundhog do the job?
And then I think - HEY! I have an idea for a story! and suddenly I feel a little less grouchy about the weather :)
This is how stories often come to me - in the middle of everyday life, a piece from here, a piece from there that suddenly seem to fit together. And that is where the idea for Punxsutawney Phyllis came from while driving my kids to school on a gray February morning - Groundhog Day weather prediction, girl instead of boy, early spring.
All morning while I played with the baby, folded laundry, (wait, who am I kidding all morning - anyone who has kids in preschool knows they only stay there long enough for you to drive home and load the dishwasher before you have to turn around to go get them!), but anyway, as the morning passed I made up that story in my head. I thought up the first sentence and rehearsed it so I could remember it until I had a chance to write it down. "It was February 2nd. Down in the groundhog hole things were stirring, but not very much. Mostly there was a lot of snoring and rolling around."
OK. Hold on there a second. Before you start judging me for my GACK-awful beginning, let's just remember - we've all got to start somewhere!
TO BE CONTINUED