I’m sure a lot of blog posts start off with “I’ve been meaning to write something for a while now.” Late January and early February have been a busier time than I thought they would. A bunch of regular clients have needed me to work on projects and I was down with a 24 hour bug that took a couple of more days afterwards to get back up to speed. And I’ve been in preparation for a number of things.

Preparation, of course, is getting your stuff together before the “thing” you are preparing for happens. Sometimes it’s a very short period but preparation can also take a longer amount of time. Preparation can be fun, occasionally as enjoyable as whatever you are prepping for. Sometimes it’s just stuff you gotta do. I’m in a preparation period for at least 5 “things” along with my usual amount of work. They are:

1: Upcoming School Visits

Timothy Young's School Visit Poster

From the end of February to the beginning of April I have 11 school author visits lined up. I’ll be traveling between home to Wilmington DE, all over New Jersey, over to Long Island and up to Syracuse NY, twice. Over the past few weeks I’ve been preparing and sending book order forms and other paperwork to the schools. Every school I visit gets a personalized poster that is mounted and framed so I’m buying the frames and getting ready to print, sign and mount them. Soon I’ll book hotels or airbnbs and then I’ll order and sign books as the book order forms come back to me. A one-day school visit takes weeks of prep time but it’s well worth it. I have a couple of others that are still being finalized and I’m in the process of setting up still more visits from late April through June if anyone is looking to book me.

2: Tax Prep

Knowing that I’ll be on the road so much next month means I have to get our tax prep out of the way. As a sole-proprietor I have a lot of materials to get together for my accountant. Milage charts for all my travel last year, receipts for expenses and making sure all my 10-99s have come in. This period makes for a weird kind of nostalgia, reliving my past as I go through my 2018 calendar and skim through last year’s emails to make sure I haven’t missed anything important.

3: untitled Book Launch

A spread from author/illustrator Timothy Young's book "untitled"

Of course, my next book, untitled, comes out in May. Schiffer, my publisher, and I are very excited about this book. It’s an unusual book and very funny. (This is what does not come easy to me, blowing my own horn by telling people my book is really funny.) I’m in the process of setting up events for the launch and getting the word out to reviewers and booksellers.

4: New Projects

I’m always preparing for something new. Right now I’m trying to squeeze in the time to work on 2 new books, germinating ideas for at least 4 other books for down the road and I’m working on a prototype for a toy idea. Nobody pays me for the time I spend on these and I work with the hope I will get them to market and make some money from them. I have spent years on ideas that never went anywhere. I’ve also been lucky to have the books I’ve had published and a couple of toys on the market that have made it and that still pay me enough to keep going. I do this because I enjoy being creative, although it helps when it also pays the bills.

5: The Chesapeake Children’s Book Festival

The 4th Annual Chesapeake Children's Book Festival

I’m also preparing for this year’s Chesapeake Children’s Book Festival. The author applications are in and we’ll be shortly announcing who will be on the roster this year. We’re also in the midst of fundraising and getting prepared for June 8th. Luckily, I’m not the only one doing this but we all have our parts to do.

And I’m trying to keep this blog thing going. I’ve got a couple of followers. (thanks!) and a few visitors so far. Nothing earth-shattering, but what I like about the blog is that it gives me another outlet, more permanent than social media, a place to tell my story and maybe, just maybe, folks will stumble across it and find it interesting.

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