Monday, 21 November 2011


I do love ducks. In fact, I think they’re becoming something of an obsession. 

These are my top three ‘Things About Ducks That I Love.’

1.  I love the way they appear to glide across the water with very little effort and yet you can see their feet pedalling manically beneath the surface.

2.  I love the way their quacks sound like hilarious laughter. Whenever I hear them I have to smile.

3.  I love their beautiful markings, especially the ones with the petrol green/blue heads.

My favourite cartoon duck is Donald Duck. My son can do an amazing impersonation of him. Quacks me up every time! [Sorry]

And I love writing about ducks too.

Several years ago I had a picture book shortlisted in The Little Tiger Press' Picture Book Competition. The story was called A Day on Duck Park. After the competition was over I submitted my story for publication with more than my usual amount of optimism. It went out to sixteen publishers and was rejected sixteen times. Apparently it’s not ‘strong enough to make it in the present competitive market’. *sigh*

I have now written two new duck picture book stories. The duck characters are lively. I think they’re funny. I’ve done all I can to make the storylines ‘strong enough to make in in the present competitive market’ and they’re about to be submitted. So, with webbed feet crossed, here's hoping they have more luck than my first duck story.


  1. Oh Donald Duck was one of my the "old" days when they showed cartoons before the movie. I also liked Bugs Bunny. Otherwise, I was annoyed because I wanted to get past the Movietone news to the movie!

    And ducks. I love ducks. They are beautiful photographs of them. "Quacks me up." This did me too!

    I'm sorry about the "rejections" of your story. I'll bet it's a good one. Have you thought about self-publishing it? I just self-published two stories, but they don't include images. Not sure how to do one with images.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  2. Quackers! And sending you best of luck for publication.... you'll make it! xx

  3. Ducks are great subjects for pictures and writing.

    Hang in there and enjoy the season, Ros.

  4. I like ducks too :) they always make me smile. I agree with the 'consider self publishing' comment.

  5. I used to have a 'pet' duck when younger. It was this white one that used to come to our dock and eat out of my hands. And even now I love feeding them breadcrumbs. Good luck with your stories!

  6. Hi Ann and D.J., thanks for the suggestion re self-publishing but to produce a children's picture book is a big ask. A lot of the story is told through the pictures. In my manuscripts I describe what is happening in the pictures. This is an accepted method for writers to submit picture book manuscripts, but I'm not an artist. I couldn't produce the illustrations myself and even if I could, I'm not sure that e-books can yet handle that amount of illustrations.

    Thanks Pauline and Robyn, I'm still battling on and I have my two published picture books 'under my belt'.

    Hi Jenny, a pet duck. How cute. I love the way they squabble for bread. They really are hilarious.

  7. I love ducks, too, especially the baby ones, when their feathers still look kinda fuzzy. The cutest thing to me is when they plunge their heads underwater to get something to eat, and leave their butts up wiggling in the air.

    As for your book being rejected sixteen times, I say, you've ONLY been rejected sixteen times. Too soon to give up on it!

  8. I find watching ducks very calming. They do seem to glide, and of course, any time I'm near the water I feel more serene.

    It is so hard to have written a story that you really love and believe in - even after many rejections. I have several such stories. I've finally decided to rewrite one of them to (hopefully) make it less "quiet." Wishing you all the best with your new duck stories.

  9. I don't know how anyone could not like ducks. They rock :-) Good luck with your subs.

  10. I love ducks, too! When we traveled in Germany there were all these ducks with mohawk feathers on top of their heads. My mom called them "punk ducks." Lol. They were so cute.

    Best of luck with your stories! How exciting!


  11. Good luck with your duck stories! I'm sure things will go much better this time around! I can't wait to hear the good news! Julie

  12. Rosalind, I love ducks, too. Good luck with submitting your stories. Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. I've always loved ducks - would happily give them all my sandwiches..... Don't give up on that book and good luck with the others.

    Do you send them in with written ideas for illustrations or do you work with an illustrator to submit the books?

  14. Fingers - or is it webbed feet...crossed for this submission. You have a publishing history this time of course...

  15. I love watching ducks glide across the water, too, and knowing their webs are pedalling like crazy!

  16. Ducks are charming and engaging. I love how they take off from the water, and I love watching Mama ducks swim with a little raft of duckling behind them - so cute - and the Mamas are so careful and protective. Good luck with your new mss - while it's hard to have something rejected 16 times (been there - I know!) sometimes it ends up being a good thing if you can learn from it and make your next stories that much stronger! Let us know when you get that contract :)

  17. Hi Ros .. ducks are just beautiful aren't they - sailing happily along in the water, nestling on the water's edge for a respite .. then those shimmering colours, while the browns and fawns are just beautiful in their striations ..

    I love Donald Duck .. good luck with your webbed feet stories .. I'm crossing normal feets down here ..

    Cheers for now .. Hilary

  18. Good luck with the ducks! I think I ahve a good idea of who you're sending them to! keeping fingers and everything crossed for you!

  19. I adore ducks too. I took a photo of a duck on a frozen pond and I love it so much I have it as my computer's screensaver.

    Good luck with the submissions!

  20. This has got me thinking,you see I've never really given much thought to liking or nor liking ducks and I've decided that it's not very fair on the ducks. I'd rather know if someone liked or disliked me, so I'll have a good think about ducks and let you know.
    Good luck with your book I'm sure you'll be okay.

  21. Have you seen a duck with an afro. Go to my blog and clikc on Happiness tuesday #17 (I'm pretty sure it's 17) there is a duck you will love. I've never seen anything like it.