I finished my 10-page submission for the October critique today. I have another nine days before I have to turn it in, and I’m sure I could easily spend that time dabbling and tweaking, but I’ve got a revision to do for a book under contract. Got to move on.

I am happy with what I’ve written. Maybe not as happy as I was before I started reading Lisa Yee‘s excellent Millicent Min, Girl Genius the other night, but happy enough. At risk of giving too much away, my submission includes the words “hydrogenated,” “plush,” “bravado,” “nonchalant,” “Edsel,” and “speck.” It makes me laugh. I have no idea when I’ll get back to working on the rest of the story.

Also today, I saw that the 2006 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market is almost out. Seems to arrive earlier every year. I’ve bought it every year since I began writing for children, and I’ll probably buy it again this year, out of habit and a sense of better-safe-than-not-as-safe, but I didn’t get much use out of it this past year (and practically none out of the online component I ponied up extra for).

It’s not them; it’s me. Thanks to a combination of my working on longer-term projects, having a few manuscripts attached to particular editors, and deciding to retire some older manuscripts without getting many new ones into circulation in their place, I just didn’t need CWIM as much this year. Oh, and as I scout around for an agent, I also haven’t been querying as much as in previous years.

But I think I’d get all twitchy if I didn’t have the latest version on my shelf. How’s that for an endorsement?