Sometimes I’ll rewrite a story so many times I’ll forget how much it’s changed.
That was certainly the case with my story Harold’s Hat. As I mentioned on this blog, Harold’s Hat was published in the July issue of Highlights for Children. And because the folks at Highlights are lovely, wonderful people, they gave me permission to reprint a PDF of the finished story! Here ya go:
I just adore Harold’s crazy eyes in that last illustration.
This isn’t the only version of Harold’s Hat floating around. An embryonic draft of HH appeared on this blog in June 2013, which I wrote for one of Susanna Leonard Hill’s awesome writing contests. Both versions share many of the same story beats, but otherwise they are two very different animals.
Feel free to compare ’em. It’s fun!
56 Replies to “One Hat. Two Versions.”
It’s so awesome illustrated! Was that how you imagined The Hat? (Though I do see a few of my critiques in there, I still humbly offer my sincerest apologies for not being Harold’s biggest cheerleader!!!!)
Oh, you. I don’t need cheerleaders. I need critiquers!
I sort of imagined the hat that way. The folks at Highlights (understandably) didn’t want the hat to shoot sparks, so that changed the design a bit.
So they put a damper on the sparks? How unpatriotic!
Love seeing the illustrated version. And oh my – Billy no longer says “Do-be-do-be-do” – huh! 😉 It’s really great Mike! Glad they shared the PDF.
Just so you know, I won the Highlights contest with Sinatra’s “do-be-do-be-do”! (And, no, I can’t believe it either.)
“Banky boodle” was a suggested editorial change for the magazine. I’m pretty cool with it.
“Harold’s Hat” was awesome. I read both versions, it’s fun to see the evolution of a story. Congratulations on your publication!
Thanks, Jean James! This was a fun story to tinker with. I really liked writing Harold. He is just so industrious and inventive and, well, spiteful.
Such a wonderful story, Mike. Love seeing the illustrated version. p.s. I know what you mean about rewriting a story so much that you forget how much has changed.
I’m sure you do! It sometimes seems like the process never ends.
I loved it the first time but the final that was printed is so much better. Did you do the edits? Or were they suggested to you? Can one still acquire a copy without having the subscription?
Thanks, Mrs. P! After the Susanna contest, I revised the story quite a bit before submitting it to the Highlights Fiction Contest. After the story won, the fiction editor of the magazine suggested a few changes for publication.
The most significant editorial change was to get rid of the Sinatra stuff and replace it with “banky boodle”. That was Highlights’ idea, but I was fine with it.
Individual copies of Highlights are certainly available on magazine stands — but since this issue has come and gone, one might now need to contact the publisher directly.
I do like the revised version better…and I will put hunting up a copy on my to do list! 😀
Very cool example of the power of revision! I smell an “author visit” segment.
I’m not doing too many author visits this Thanksgiving. But I can certainly do a post about ’em!
I really liked seeing the improved illustrated version. It was fun comparing the two and seeing how you developed the story a little more. Congratulations!
Glad you enjoyed it, Patricia!
I really like writing about Harold. Perhaps I should write a sequel.
Such a fun story. I really like Harold. He reminds me of someone I know… (who’s first name begins with a M). I’m curious as others are, did the Highlight editor suggest changes, or did you do them yourself? I wonder if Highlights would like any of your doodles??? But the illustrations for your story here are great. CONGRATS!!
Most of the changes from the early draft to this one are mine. The Highlights editor did, however, cut the Sinatra stuff and replace it with “banky boodle.” I OKed it before it went to press.
As for Harold being like me… Are you suggesting that I’m inventive or spiteful? 😉
No, I’m suggesting that you/Harold are adorably super-charged, creative, and resilient. Keep on writing Harold’s in your stories!
I’m adorable? Aw!
And Harold will continue to live on. Well, sort of. In one of my PB manuscripts I have a character named Kimmie whose personality is so similar, she and Harold could be twins.
Quite the awesome story in an awesome magazine! I agree with changing the Sinatra stuff, although I think that works well with moldy oldies like me. “Banky boodle” is much more hilarious to a kid.
I always had a feeling the Sinatra stuff would have to go. But I did love it so!
Do bee do bee dooooo. Do do do dobee, do bee do be doooooo….I’m with ya.
I love your writing AND your illustrations. Does this make me a super-fan or merely a stalker?
As long as you don’t unexpectedly end up on my doorstep, you’re safely in fan territory.
Don’t mind the Honda Civic across the street. 😉
Sigh. Well, as long as you’re here, you might as well come in and have some coffee…
LOL….I’ll bring some cupcakes. 🙂
Ooh! Come in! Come in!
Congrats again! Pretty awesome to see your story there. 🙂
Thanks! I am awesomed to the extreme.
How cool is that!! I remember your post back in June when you were published! The illustrations are awesome and it is a great story!! So proud for you Mike…… 😀
I have found working with Highlights to be a wonderful experience. Their editors are very attentive. I thought Sinatra was quirkycute, but Banky Doodle cinched it. BtW, someone donated a stack of Highlights to the free shelf and I got a bonus by finding YOUR July copy. It’s dandy knowing the author of such a fun story.
Whaaa? My story was on the FREE shelf? My writing is worth more than that!
Passing on the love…
It is also groovy.
this is fantastic! I love the illustrations and your story is wonderful. It must be awesome to have your story in Highlights. Highlights is the top goal–in magazines for kidlit short story writers–is it stornot? I always think it is. Congrats Mike! the other version shows how revising a piece is always worthwhile, even when the story is great.
Thanks so much, Sue. And I agree; Highlights is the gold standard in kid mags. This is why I am still giddy about it.
That was so fun. Congratulations, Mike. I feel like I know someone famous, finally! As others have mentioned already, Harold looks oddly familiar. I used to love Highlights and the Overlord is almost old enough for his own subscription. Keep up the excellent work 🙂
If I’m the most famous person you know then you gotta get out more, D. Wallace.
But I thank you for the very kind words. And give the Overlord my regards, won’t you?
This story cracks me up every time I read it. Not to mention that I now automatically reach for Highlights every time I go to the doctor’s office. I was looking at Highlights the other day at the eyeglasses doc, and another patient said, “Um, the grown-up magazines are over there.” “Yeah, I know,” I said, still reading my Highlights. See, that’s proof you are changing the world with your stories!
Yay! A grownup Highlights convert!
It sounds like that other patient in the doctor’s office is a Goofus. You, on the other hand, are a Gallant to the core.
Total Goofus. And Grumpy.
Oh that is funny and clever. I love how it comes full circle.
Highlights? Wowza. I’ll say I knew you when. That’s too cool! 🙂
Hey, Mike! I was catching up a little and just wanted to say I actually READ your story while IN a B&N and couldn’t help but smile 😀
Great story! I am new to your blog. Celebrating the 4th is one of my favorite childhood memories and this story took me back there!
Great story and a wonderful resource for me as I continue to write and develop stories. Thanks for sharing.