Things to do when you turn 50
- Wear loose clothing
- Remind yourself that it’s just a number – no biggie
- Get life insurance
- Join the AARP
- Write a children’s book
I began writing Odd ten years ago. Twelve revisions later, it’s a completely different story.
An odd promise
Ten years ago, my sister, Umi, and I made a promise that we’d do something fun together when we both turned 50. We didn’t need reminding that we were going to reach this milestone pretty soon – my three kids constantly remind us that we are practically fossils. But we figured it would be the best way to celebrate the fact that two people can live as long as we have without having a single spat! It’s true. Growing up, we were BFFs. She had my back and I had hers. Ours is a special relationship, untouched by harsh words, jealousy, or sibling rivalry.
When we made this pledge, I had just completed my first draft of the MG manuscript. Umi is a veteran IB art teacher at Atlanta International School. I was curious to see her vision for Odd, an alien that takes the form of a peculiar looking dog with a Mohawk and mismatching eyes. We both loved this character. Umi and I have owned a lot of dogs over the years and in Odd we saw bits of all those animals we loved so dearly. Odd is a shout out to Bobo, Honey, Keds, Gayson, Doodoo-ma, Scampy, Rai, Sparky, Leila, Spinner, Emma and Zephyr.
Quite truthfully, if I were a dog, I’d want to be just like Odd—Mohawk and all! And if I were an alien, I’d definitely want to be Odd.
An Update -2022
Since then, I’ve signed with Ana Crespo, East West Literary Agency. Our paths crossed during Covid when all our SCBWI connect meetings went online. By chance I got on a list to attend a connect meeting hosted by the Colorado Springs arm of our Rocky Mountain Chapter. Ana was the guest speaker. The attendees were invited to read about 10-minute’s worth of their manuscripts. I almost chickened out, but went on to read my first chapter of Odd. After the meeting, Ana reached out and asked to read the full manuscript. What ensued was a year and a half of collaboration and an offer of representation. I couldn’t wish for a better champion for Odd and the rest of my books.