After receiving many positive reviews of my work this week, I’ve finally started floating back down to earth.  I’m listening more to the constructive comments than the complimentary ones.  I had been inspired and encouraged, and while some of that enthusiasm remains, I’m now taking a serious look at the difficult work that lies ahead, and it’s daunting.

One of the most helpful things I’ve realized is that my natural voice suits the middle grade market best.  However, I gravitate towards writing short stories.  A chapter book is a stretch for me and a novel seems as distant as the next galaxy.  I am wondering if there are any short story anthologies for middle grade readers.  If there are not, does that mean kids aren’t interested or there’s a niche to fill?  It’s a question I’d love to ask a professional.  Do you have any knowledge to share?  (If you have a blog about children’s books, please include a link in the comments and I’ll add you to the blogroll.)

On one hand, I’m ignited.  I wrote another story in a flash of inspiration earlier this week.  On the other hand, I’m burned.  As written, it’s probably too advanced for a picture book, although the length would be suitable.  I’m always afraid to reduce the language for fear I’ll lose my voice.  I have to respect that voice.  It has brought attention to my work and it just spills out automatically when I write.  I just have to find a way to make it fit into a neat little box, a box that a publisher wants to fill.