Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween memories

I love Halloween now, and I loved Halloween as a kid. And luckily the one year that I missed it as an expat was not a total loss... as we celebrated Fasching in Munich (kinda like the Februation of Mardi Gras in N'Orleans and Shrove Tuesday in Britain) but not really the same.

The concept of dress up and parading around the neighborhood in the dark on a candy mission is priceless. And scary things falling out of the sky. Tripping over terror. Getting nickels instead of Neccos.

So as tribute to this wonderful day I finished my third doll installment! And I am so very happy with it. And now I get to dummy it. Dummies for mummies.

And I've taken my memories good and bad, happy and sad, and wrote with that. Bittersweet, batty, heartfelt and funny.

Now we will see how it evolves once again.

Hopefully, I'll finish the dummy by Christmas. And then I'll get the inspiration to dummy that story too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

7 Days Until Halloween

I don't have a pumpkin,

have not decked the house

I ain't got no candy

I am such a louse

My son has no costume

it hasn't yet shipped

This mom is unraveled

completing her script

I have just one page left

and then I must dummy

my Halloween story

like a good mummy

And the goal is to get this first draft done by Halloween which is a week from today. It has been a productive weekend but obviously things don't always go according to plan. It is coming along nicely though, and I think it will be done in by the end of the week. I want it finished so I can start laying the dummy which changes things for the rewrite. It is all like a puzzle really.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I am bored and when I get bored I

look at other illustrators sites and get ideas that take me out of my comfort zone.

So last weekend I attended my daughter's Parent's Weekend at UVa (home of Edgar Allen Poe who pretended he was rich but he was really po, Faulkner, Couric... Jefferson?!!) and Grisham's home town. We visited their small yet classy Art Museum. Of course we saw the Jeffersonian architectural drawings of all his campus "Grounds" buildings and quadrangle "Lawns" landscapes which are so beautiful and smart. And freshman here are not freshman. They are 'first year'. And sophomores here are not sophomores. They are 'second year' etc. etc.. And don't you ever forget that... you parents, you! But ooooh, ooooh, ooooh..what's this?

Did I see a coupla Goya? Original Hogarth? Original Odilon? Odilon of Poe(dilon)?
I did.

Yes, some of my favorite illustrators of yore were making appearances that weekend. I have always been a sucker for Goya because his simple illustrations tell stories. Pierrots. Pastiches. Pasquinades.

And Hogarth's while they are far from simple say multitudes about society and politics in yester England. I never imagined his Gin Lane and the Beer Street to be so 'libational.' Water in London and the like was not water back then. It was 'im'potable, impossible, unthinkable, undrinkable. So Hogarth made a caricature about how booze embodied and 'de'souled society.
The downfall of it all. Happiness in a glass. A glass half empty perhaps but nevertheless an underclass with a glass of libation and liberation even if fleeting.

But these illustrations are black and bleak.


I've tried black and white but I can't seem to stick with it. I love color. Lots of color. Color is hope and ...

I must try something new. So I've looked at some of my favorite NEW illustrators and have decided to try these awesome monochromatic techniques. But I adore these artists who stay in one color range and I simply have to try it.

And more white space.

It is like writing for me. I love to try new things that I read that I love. I don't think I am ready to leave the picture book arena altho I would love to attack middle grade illustrations. As long as there is humor, heart, cleverness, structure and sophistication...

So tomorrow I have the day off. The day to finish that rough draft of my Halloween doll story since we are coming up on that Hallowed Day, the day to lay out the colors and ideas for portfolio illustrations and to scrutinize and fine tune my pig dummy. And maybe find a few new Mother Gooses to 'besterdize' my collection of Up in the Air Verses.

Lots of irons in the fire. But that is me...

And I started the art and it is going to be a fun challenge. Working in confines. Like writing picture books. I love challenge. That is creativity!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

When what you write goes where you never thought it would

I never thought I'd be writing a continued character pb book. But here I am on number three. You know that if you are in this situation that you are obsessed and in love with the first book. But what you really know is your character and her actions, and that she is doing something uniquely her own, how the setting and situation can evolve and what the story has to be about.

Why, half a paragraph down on the first page...I know it is right. :)

And how.