Interestingly, I've been experiencing a similar phenomenon in my career of late, even while working on my PhD. Books that I wrote or illustrated years ago have been chugging along. A Bird on Water Street not only came out in Vietnamese, it also recently won a 2018 Parent's Pick award!
Not as momentous, but perhaps equally as important are the dozens of stories that I continue to tweak and work on when I have a free moment. I say they're in my simmer pot. They constantly juggle for attention as I come up with new solutions, or new approaches. My 'to do' list always has at least six or more stories on it that have bumped their way to the top, vying for my time.
My point is, Laura is exactly right. At some point, all your hard work picks up momentum on its own and rolls along without you having to lift a finger. It's lovely when this crazy career does that, although, it's no excuse to slack off!
What do you think? Has your career had 'jewel' moments when all the links of the chain seem to come together at the same time? I'd love to read about it in my comments!