(Just a first draft. Illustrations to follow.)
- - - -
Edward would wake up at night because of the voices in his head.
They weren't unpleasant voices, but they did want something.
They wanted to be heard.
Not just by Edward, but by the whole world.
Edward didn't mind listening to them - in the daytime, when he wasn't doing anything important.
But waking him up at night got to be annoying.
So he asked the voices, "How do you want to be heard?"
They were silent all day. They were silent after dinner.
So Edward asked them just before he went to sleep, "How do you want to be heard?"
Edward slept peacefully that night - until just before he was supposed to wake up anyway.
Then a single clear voice said to him, "Edward, we've decided: write us into a book and get it published."
Edward smiled. He had never written or published a book before. This could be fun.
Edward smiled all day during school, as he thought about how to do this. Edward stayed by himself on the playground that day during recess, just so he could keep thinking and smiling.
After school, he came home and went straight to his room.
He got out a big yellow pad with lines on it and started writing.
The voices didn't rush him, they told him their story.
Every once in awhile, they stopped and insisted that he change a word into another word. "It just sounds better that way," The voices told him.
Edward wrote and wrote and wrote.
Finally he was done writing the book.
- - - -
"Now, type it into the computer," a clear voice told him.
So Edward began typing on the desktop he used for his homework.
Edward typed and typed.
He learned that when the computer put squiggly lines underneath the text, this meant he had a spelling error to fix.
Edward learned that a dictionary would help him find the best spelling, although the computer would often give him hints.
Edward didn't get the book all typed right away.
He typed when he got home from school every day. He typed on the weekends when he could be out playing.
As long as he was smiling, his Mother was fine with him writing a book. It made her smile, too.
Finally, Edward finished typing his book.
"Now, you have to put it online," another clear voice said.
But Edward told that voice, "But isn't going online bad, something I have wait to be an adult to do?"
The voice answered, "Edward, as long as you only do good, nothing online can hurt you."
So Edward found a place to put his book online. The voices helped him find a site which would take his book and publish it.
The site he used had nice people who wanted to help him publish. The nice people gave him hints and tips and ideas on how to improve his book. Edward learned about titles and chapters. He learned about how to make the ideas flow through the words like a stream flowing to the river, and then to the sea.
The voices in his head helped him when he needed to change the words and make them better.
Edward had to spend a lot of time making the words say what they were supposed to.
Edward still went to school on schedule, and did his school homework. He still went on trips to visit relatives when his parents wanted him to. He even watched sports on TV when his Uncle came over.
He would have rather been working on the book. But the voices understood. And they helped him do all these other things, too. They waited until he had some free time before they started giving him advice about the book.
Chapter by chapter, the book started looking like a real book.
Finally, Edward thought he was done.
- - - -
"No, there's more work to do," said the voices. "You have a cover to make."
Edward got out his sketch pad and started drawing some ideas for a cover based on what the book was about.
The voices would say "No" to that one, or "Try this" to the next one. And this went on and on, until he had the floor covered with sketches of book covers. Every new cover was better than the last.
When he would get stuck, and the voices seemed stuck, too - he went online and looked at other book covers. He found several that he liked, and the voices liked. He saved them to his computer so he could look at them when he needed to.
Finally, he was happy with a cover that looked good on his sketch pad. The voices said, "Yes, that will do."
So he went back into his computer and created the cover as best he could. Then he put the cover online with the book and asked the nice people what they thought of it.
Some thought was good, some didn't. Many people gave him ideas on how to improve it.
Edward thanked them all, and used their ideas to improve the book cover. Then he put the new cover online with the text.
Most people liked it. Some still didn't. But the voices told him, "That's fine. Let's go with that one. Time to publish."
- - - -
The site Edward used to make the book wasn't where he needed to publish it.
Edward found from the helpful people at that site where he needed to upload his book and cover.
"Next, you'll need to write a description," said the voices. "We'll help you with that."
Edward waited for the voice to say something, but everything was quiet.
Since it was night-time anyway, he went to bed.
Edward dreamed of books and covers and libraries and flying through clouds to big shelves full of books in the sky.
And then a though came to him, "Make it sound exciting. Make it sound like an adventure."
Then Edward woke up. It was still early, and his parents weren't up yet.
He got out of bed and went straight to the computer and started typing.
What he typed was only a few paragraphs long.
He used what he had learned from the nice people and wrote his best. Once he was done, he looked it over and changed a few things here and there to make it sound just right. He even read it aloud to see if it would make him feel excited to read his book.
And it did.
- - - -
Then it was time for breakfast, and school. So he got dressed and went downstairs.
All day long at school it was hard to keep his attention on what he was supposed to be doing.
He kept thinking about the book.
The voices would interrupt him and tell him to pay attention - they said that the time for school was now, that the book would still be there when he got home.
Somehow he got through that day.
When he got off the school bus, he flew upstairs and tossed his backpack on the bed as he dropped into the chair in front of the computer.
He had to make an account at the book publisher like he had learned.
And the book publisher site suggested what price he should charge. "That sounds fair, I guess," Edward though to himself. The voices agreed.
Finally he was done. He hit the "publish" button.
The voices cheered and were happy.
Now the book was in review. Edward had to wait.
It was still in review that night.
Edward went to sleep and dreamed of flying again, but there were storms in the air and he had a hard time reaching the bookshelves like before. Finally he did.
And Edward saw there were many other people there, they all had a book in their hands. Edward looked down and found that he, too, was holding a book.
His book had the cover he had created. When he looked inside, it said everything he had written down on that yellow pad. And the back cover had the exciting description.
All this made Edward smile.
Just then he woke up, still smiling.
Edward jumped out of bed and rushed to the computer.
His book was accepted!
Edward danced around the room and hugged himself.
The voices were happy. Edward's parents were happy when he told them.
Edward's parents read the book and thought it was good. They told their friends and they got their copies. Their friends told their friends. All of this helped the book sell more copies.
Edward had published his book.
- - - -
1432 words - way too long for a picture book, too short for young adult.
Like I said - first draft.
What do you think? (Please leave your comments below...)