The Neverending Donut

My dad loves to cook, but he doesn’t know how.
He often fries up the wrong parts of the cow.

I’m back to work on Donut Run, my attempt at a rhyming picture book. I’ve been working on this manuscript on and off for the past decade.

I often dig into Donut Run when I’m between projects. As I ponder what to do next, I’ll hear myself say, “Maybe it’s time to finish Donut Run. It should be almost done by now.”

I say this with such conviction that I completely believe it.

At first glance, the manuscript does look almost done. The verses are all there. It has a beginning, middle, and an end. My eyes fall upon a joke or two—and the jokes are still funny!

Yes, I think, this is almost done.

Then I start working. And, no, Donut Run is not almost done. Donut Run is never almost done. Oh, the tortured rhymes! Oh, the pacing! Oh, the…the…the everything!

I grumble and grump. I rethink every plot point. I suddenly hate everything.

I pull out my rhyming dictionary and craft a new stanza that describes the allure of the titular donut:

Be-sprinkled, be-gummied, be-chocolately chipped!
Be-powdery sugary! Strawberry whipped!
On top of all that was white goo and thick glaze
That shimmered and glowed in a tooth-achy haze!

Ha! Perfect!

I marvel at my rhyme-y brilliance…Until I realize that my new stanza doesn’t quite work with all of my other stanzas.

I consider throwing out the entire manuscript and starting over. I try to convince myself to get rid of the rhymes. But I can’t. I looove the rhymes. The rhymes drive me crazy, but I love them. They’re not quite right, but I love them. They may never be quite right, but…

This manuscript is my white whale. I no longer work on Donut Run to get the story published. I work on Donut Run to see if I can pull it off.

And I will pull it off.

I will definitely pull it off.