Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prepping for a dummy

Finished my first draft of a new manuscript. Cut up the text and taped it onto the outside of the plastic sleeves of the 32 page dummy binder. Wrote out brief descriptions of the art and taped them over each piece of text. Went thru my four page plus list of notes I've gathered over the last few years of prerequisites for writing, asked myself if this book will matter, does it fit the age group with everything, has it been done before??, is it marketable??, will kids love it??? and will they feel involved, and does it move me (us, we), asking myself all kinds of questions. So many things we must satisfy with so little. And do I love it... does it have real heart, humor, hope.... hooks.........

And then I must research everything visually to even think about the sketches. And sketch. This will take months. But I am vested.

And crazy in love.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Forest! The Trees!

I drew one-hundred some odd trees this week. And a few sheep.

Now I can go to sleep (along with my hand) like my sheep.

Under a shady tree.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nothing to do with illustrating but I am purroud

A shout out to my English Nephew Jonny and the song "Starry Eyed" which he wrote for English pop star Ellie Goulding!! Soon to be in the US, we hope. (What a road he walked to get there.)

You ROCK, Jonny. Major congrats!!!!!

(Oh, and congrats on your brand new spankin' baybeh, too!! You know the one that cries and needs to be fed, and nappy changed.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sometimes it is what you don't write and illustrate

A Happy Birthday to Edward Gorey born 2. 22. 1925.

The illustrator of The Utter Zoo, The Wuggle Ump, The Broken Spoke, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, The Doubtful Guest, The Epiplectic Bicycle, The Gashlycrumb Tinies and of course, the classic Mystery Masterpiece Theater.

And thank you Pomegranate Press for printing up all the Gorey paraphernalia and postcards you publish and provide to this pleased purchaser.

It was how he takes you to a high point and leaves you there to finish up. It is what he doesn't write and illustrate that plays in your mind. You can draw your own conclusion.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Looking at today's Google Luge Banner for the Olympics

and it is remarkably similar to a series of illustrations I am preparing. Lots of trees (how many more trees do I have to draw today?) and mountains, while I blast the Who. Who are you... who... who... who... who?

I'm a tree! I'm a tree! See me, tree me.

(Except the color palette and the sledder. And mine is for children not the Olympics.)

I feel complimented in an off-handed way. Very nice banners! Kind of hypnotic.

Done with page one

of my next picture book!

It is adventurous, it is poetic, it is first person (yay), it is a boy book (but I think girls would like it too), it has a cast of interesting characters who all contribute to the denouement, it has audience participation, it is funny and heartfelt, and it goes forward line by line (I hope). I gave it a set up, the character a concern relatable to age group and have the illustrated characters I can work with.

And it can be dummied as I see the characters and scenes. And I think it is original in concept and execution (altho I will have to check out the slew of robot books coming out and make sure). Now I have to do tons of research for the sketches but that comes after the best draft I can muster.

Which means it simply needs a middle and an end (happily I know what the end is going to be) and that the mc has to solve the problem all by himself... even though he has a little help from his friends.

And he should grow and change (this will take some work). The physical and the emotional.

I just have to finish it.

One page took me a week of tweaking.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Local Writers and Editors Support Group announcement today:

The #%#^%&&* is shutting down its building tomorrow because of the snow forecast and so we’re canceling our Master Class on Coping with Rejection. Nothing personal! We swear! We’ll let you know if we’re able to reschedule.

I don't know why this made me chuckle but it really did.

Master Class on Coping with Rejection -- cancelled -- so take that!!!!

(and enjoy shoveling the snow while you are at it.)

Oh, dear.

Hee hee... no work tomorrow...

(so I can write and illustrate to my heart's content or content whatever

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cardinals Rule!

I have an affinity for cardinals. And I am blessed to have a tree in front of my kitchen window/Mac where cardinals flock to in the cold months. As I write, there is one hopping all about that branch. So temporarily I lose sight of my writing, blog browsing, googling etc... And when they sing I am a goner.

My start in the art world began in second grade when I decided to paint every bird I could think of... on my dad's dry cleaning cardboard shirt inserts. I think I did about one-hundred of them.

I have this desire to write and illustrate with collage a picture book entirely about the birds I love because I think I would be in euphoria just conceiving it. Maybe it will be about me painting birds and what it meant to me.

Sounds quiet right now but that is alright.

But the little guy on this blog is ready to star (or co-star) in a book.

Or maybe it will go someplace else entirely...

Monday, February 1, 2010

How Holly Hobbie helps me

I love Holly Hobbie's Toot and Puddle series.

And while I clamber down and write my first draft of my new pb manuscript I stare not only at my samples for this book, but I nestle with Toot and Puddle.

Not only is Ms. Hobbie a funny and dry illustrator with a brave voice, she has a great way with language and word sounds in her sentences. Her sentences roll of the tongue. So I examine them in my own writing... my own way.

(First get your premise down to a few sentences and establish your set-up and have a few hooks. Put in a bad guy who is not so bad intentionally and make your boy mc a hero.)

Erk... Back to Holly... and what is really cool is that she is not young. But she is still going strong....

and she doesn't get talked about that much IMHO. Huh?

Love you Holly. You rock! And you delight your readers.