Q. What does a frustrated writing chicken say? A. "Block Block Block!"

My friends Melissa and Meg came over this morning for my fabulous pancakes (not boasting; simply a fact) and a writing day. They were working on creative projects; I was working on my talk for LA SCBWI in April. But while I could write down all the facts I want to put forward in my talk, I feel unsure about my metaphor tying them together; and so many of the facts seem to be taken from or inspired by Uri Shulevitz's excellent Writing with Pictures that (at the moment) it seems like the talk should really consist of my waving his book in the air and saying "Buy this! Buy this now!"

So instead I wrote a letter to an author about a picture book, because it's much easier for me to write about concrete things that already exist than theory I have to create. (Which is why I am an editor and all of you are writers.) I will go back to the talk tonight or tomorrow, get off the laptop and back on paper (which was probably half the problem anyway -- so hard to draw connections between things when you can't actually draw arrows), write write write till the deep structure of the thing clicks into place and the story I have to tell about words and pictures and how they work together emerges. (It's a romance! Hey, that's an interesting metaphor . . . )

Until then, I guess the ideas just have to percolate a little more. And I'm going to have dinner.