Friday, July 31, 2009

I Wanna Be

I Wanna Be Busy

I Wanna Be An Indian

No, I Wanna Be A Cowboy

Then I Wanna Be With My Friend Alan at the Zoo

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I've got a new idea for another picture book sparked from two illustrations. This time it is non-fiction (I think) and poetical concept???

I am crazy in love. Crazy. In love.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Early storytelling in art

Yesterday, we spent the day at the Cloisters in New York City. I'd never been in all the time I lived in the city and after I moved to the burbs. My daughter got free passes for us and begged us to go. We were blessed with a gorgeous day and receptive children. And a daughter who knew her stuff (private tour guide).

I must say that the highlight of the day was the viewing of the Merode Altarpiece which I remember studying in college (but as a tiny image in a text book and a distant slide view the impact is not so great.)

The triptych by Robert Campin from the earlyish 1400s is pure genius and an example of early storytelling in art using symbolism. And the precision to detail and craft is superlative.

I could have spent the entire day looking at this painting. There are somethings in this world that are brilliant beyond compare.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Life lessons, parenting and children's books

I wanted to write about something that I feel strongly about that kinda bugs me about certain books I see on the shelves and feel I need to get it out of my system. Something I hope to carry over in my pbs because I feel the great picture books are for the soul hugging of parent and child (of course there are exceptions but they are another topic).

One is dishonesty and the other is negativity.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The big project

Continuing on with the verses. I realize now that I need to create hooks...lots of hooks and one of them is going to be audience participation if I can swing it.

Choices: And it is (at least for now) bold

Can you find this?
What do you think it is?
What comes next?
Turn the page and find out.
Would you do this?
What do you do with this? (Sorry Steve)
Why does...because.
Clever illustration
Mixed Up Verse

What have I got myself into? (No, that is just me thinking out loud.)

This is fun. This is funny. This is going to take a while.

12 down ...4 to go and then REVISE

Friday, July 17, 2009

Departure inspires return

While I wait the long waits I have started a new project inspired by a piece of art that tickles me chartreuse. I've been staring at this piece forever trying to think of what text would suit it. And then it came to me (cliched but true). On vacation while jumping enormous waves and swallowing sea.

I am altering existing old literature that is "gasp" in rhyme. Modernizing.

But I am managing to keep a recurring theme (what am I trying to say), humor, visual necessity, and storytelling and emotion and action/reaction. Oh, and child friendly subject matter and text/art for that age group... and adults... (that is the hard part). I always ask myself if the reader will really appreciate it. Always. And is it interesting and dynamic and smart and clever and universal. I find this to be a problem in a lot of picture books.

Six verses down and ten to go.

This is challenging and unlike anything I've done before and a bit frustrating in a 'I can't put it down way'. (Like crosswords puzzles and my new discovery... code word puzzles. Yes, code word puzzles. Look for them, they are maddeningly great!! And addictive. They may not be new (I don't know) but they are to me...mwah hah...........)

But it is a fun project and if I can manage to come up with a few more art samples, I will finish it , have it critted and send it off. It is real thinking outside of the books :}

I was dry for a while but I am back with the writing bug.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And out those good impressions comes

it wasn't even read. Not with the NJ Conference sticker on it nor the professional letter and submission. He didn't even look at it. No form, no personal, no cover letter taken he never read it. He never looked at it.

20 bucks down the drain...and no help from the conference "sticker."

There goes my theory.

This business can kill your soul. My kids tell me to quit...why do you do this to yourself, they ask.

But I persist. And I won't quit. After all how do others make I any worse than they are .

No. I am not.

But no more conferences in my future. I've been to too many.

Vacation awaits.

And new stories are begging for life and I just can't stop. I refuse to concede to failure.