Saturday, October 15, 2011

Starting a new postcard

is like starting a love affair (I haven't had one since I've been married... I promise. But I still get to look at George Clooney).

You want to capture that big moment and be able to keep it in your mind for a long time. You want to see it from far away and be able to read it, and have it grab you and bring you closer.

And you never want to get tired of it. It always looks fresh even when you don't.

Happy postcard making!

(Maybe I'll make a postcard of George Clooney. I wonder what he looked like as a little boy.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Well, I sent it out...

my second dummy ...

so there.

Time to finish up the next one and a new postcard. By the end of the year. I'll still be alive.
It is all about technique, hooks and knowing your audience.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Up the Down Staircase or Deja Voodoo

Yesterday, recovering from a flu of sorts, I lay in bed for a bit and turned on some Turner BS classic movie.

Of course, I started the film about 10 seconds into it and so wondered what the heck I was watching. This looked like a fun, light and edgy movie from about 1967. Featuring pretty teacher. English teacher. Naive, well-intentioned, determined, earnest.

First day in inner city school home-room. And here come the students. All forty of them. All types. Wild, spirited and not. Angry, silly, in-love, beat up, let down, out-there, anxious, eager, bored, day-dreaming, dangerous.

Enter handsome writer/ English teacher Mr. Barringer who meets the lovely Miss Barrett. And asks her out in a roundabout way.

And enter former student stuck on Mr. Barringer, the plain love-struck Alice Blake who when asked by Miss Barrett why we read books replies because books are about love.

And the sweet slow school dance with Alice and Mr.B.... spurred on by Miss Barrett.

and then...

the famous love letter scene....

Okay. Stop. How do I think I know what this movie is (but I can't think of the title)? And I will not cheat and look it up before it is over. I will go to the end. I will finish it. Plus I really like it for the most part. It seemed to take hold of me for some odd reason that I could not figure out.
What is this?

Okay moving forward to another great scene.

It is the in-class, in-action inspection day for the lovely Miss Barrett. And instead of choosing a sports related topic (apparently a sure way to have a quick inspection) for her class to discuss, Miss Barrett chooses to present "A Tale of Two Cities." (Great choice all around)

She has a student read the first page and introduces the word 'antithesis' and how our world is full of this antithesis. And the catatonic class wakes up.

Enter a disgruntled Mr. Barringer who has a tete-a-tete with 'writing what you know'. Did Dickens know anything about the French Revolution? Did Mr. Barringer know how to terrify a classroom into thinking that writing what you know is stagnant writing.

I think, Mr Barringer that writing what you know means writing what you believe to be true.

Okay fast forward.....

Miss Barrett breaks the rules in the final scene by going against traffic on the stairwell.

And now I know what this movie is. Duh.

But in my heart I knew in the scene when Mr. Barringer asked Alice to come closer as he corrected the grammar in her love letter. Because that was me on stage in middle school living that shy, awkward Alice.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Best Moments of the NJ SCBWI Conference 2011

... what I can remember after three days of sporadic sleep

Grace Lin's keynote... write and illustrate to say something important... know yourself and what you want to say that lasts... not to show off

Holly McGhee... cloak out the envy, doubt (negative) and laziness goonies when they hit and HONESTY and TRUTH

Patti Ann Harris and Martha Rago... it is all about confidence in your art (to me that comes with years of learning and showing your work around and having a talent and voice)

Meeting a few agents and editors and consultants and relaxing and having so much fun

Presenting a workshop all about what I do and love... and people asking questions about my craft... and me asking them questions about their craft

Taking a great poetry workshop and verifying that poetry is not meant to be understood... but really is concrete... every word counts... my favorite

not winning any contest because the basis for winning is.... does that get realized when it is just one piece not the finished product.... ?

And meeting some really talented illustrators

and of course a few faculty members asking for more from me

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Werewolf delight

The super full moon is today, tonight, to you! It is going to be 'bigger' than ever! Woo ooh ooh!!

And in honor of you howlers I present:

From Denmark's Oh Land Band with the beautiful songstress Imogen Heap

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Breakthrough and other blather

I am on this high. I just finished a rewrite of a story I came up with years ago. I submitted it to Rutgers-One-on One and it got me in. My first time applying. Not much came of it. Had rejections... too familiar... what are you trying to say.

Then I did some first pages with it and got nice and familiar, nice read aloud. One agent said, "Don't write what you can illustrate," and one editor said, "No I like it the way it is."

But I didn't submit it because I didn't feel it was where I wanted it. And what the heck was I trying to say or where am I going with this. One story Barb, not three. Whose POV?

(Well, I fixed that. It has one story. And it is 3rd person omniscient.)

Still, I knew I had something. I loved the writing (and believe me I don't say that I love my own writing very often). But this one stayed with me. At last, I finished what is I think a very funny, different (but not too weird), focused, child and parent friendly ms, with 5/6 funny sample illustrations and story line. Now I have to either dummy it or storyboard it. It is funny bird/friendship type story in the vein of Holly Hobbie's Toot and James Marshall (two of my favorite writers for humor). This one is funny both with writing and art. I am on this high. I also feel like it is finally my true voice for this book... finally. And I see the images for every scene.

Thank you Rutgers, thank you rejections, thank you first pages. You were right.

And my Nursery Rhyme samples have turned out really well (and I don't say that unless I really feel that way, either). They are funny too, I think.

Now if I can just come up with a new post card idea. heh.