When I write fiction, including screenplays, I outline. Poetry is a bit more hands-on. With poems, I write in stanzas and focus on the rhythm and flow of the story.
With The Owl and the Mermaid, the idea was sparked by a line from a movie. That idea spawned a sketch, then an illustration, and from there the story was born. The poem came fairly easily aside from working out any bugs in the mechanics. Rhyming words dictated my choices, but my main concern was with the cadence of the whole piece. Once the story was in place, I began storyboarding what was in my head.
The storyboarded version, as luck would have it, consisted of exactly the right number of stanzas for the book. The final book is 12 double-page spreads with spot illustrations on the book’s end papers.