Yesterday morning, an acquaintance told me about a concept for a picture book that sounded so perfect, it’s amazing that someone else hasn’t already thought of it.

Funny I should think that when I did.

This sort of implausibly unclaimed idea comes along from time to time, and one of them came to me a few years ago. When I thought up the title and concept for P.O., (a.k.a. “the bomb,” for you longtime Bartographiles), I immediately checked into whether they’d already been done. Astonishingly, they hadn’t, so I started writing and ended up with three complete picture book manuscripts and partial takes on two more stories, all involving the same characters.

Then came yesterday afternoon’s news from my agent. She’d submitted P.O. to an editor at a major house, and something about the title rang a bell with this editor. Could that be because another editor at the same house had recently been showing around an illustrator’s project with the same title and concept?

Yes, indeed.

It makes me a little queasy to think about, so I’m not going to think about it. It’s just that simple.

Not thinking about it.

Still not thinking about it.