Monday, December 14, 2009
Now, technically writing for children isn't my "job" because I haven't connected with just the right agent and editor...but all in due time...all in due time. But I do write for moms, so in a '6 degrees of Kevin Bacon' sort of way, I am writing for kids...through their moms! ha!
People ask me how I don't get discouraged by working for over 4 years and not having anything between the covers of a kids book to stake my claim.
Well, last night I pulled out some of my very first manuscripts as I was in search for stories to rejuvenate. That was an eye-opener!! I hadn't realized how far I had come in these past 4 years. And I have those rejections to thank for that learning curve! That's exactly why I am not discouraged!
I have also had some AMAZING authors and illustrators as my counsel over these past few years. There is nothing comparable to the world of a writer when it comes to the generosity of strangers. When you read someone's book over and over, you don't feel like THEY are strangers but they don't know you from Adam...and yet, when I shyly asked for help or an opinion, they pulled out all the stops and lengthy conversations and some good friendships formed!
It is awesome to have talents like Peter H. Reynolds, Verla Kay, Margot Finke, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Laurie Halse Anderson and Jane Yolen in my back packet. Some I have spoken to once or twice and a few I can honestly call, "friend."
I am in HEAVEN! My hope is that one day, children will be inspired by my words and images on a page. And I believe Hope is in Heaven!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I try to jot down everything that I like enough to spend a lot of time on...sometimes it is in a journal/notebook/sketchbook, sometimes it's in the driveway in sidewalk chalk. Sometimes it's on slips of paper or napkins that I stuff in my purse and then tape into my journal/notebook/sketchbook.
I had a writer professor who would say, "One could NEVER write every story that came to mind...no one lives that long!" This struck me as it made me realize how "in tune" we need to be with our creative side. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING can become a story...but only the author can select JUST THE RIGHT ONE and make that story her own!
So, no more procrastinating! I have 500 words to cut out of my newest manuscript and a book dummy to create! Back to the drawing board...LITERALLY!
While I write - you can peek at what keeps my muse happy...
Painted baby fingers.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This was my 3rd year at the conference and my 1st year as a volunteer. The conference is held on a Saturday in the fall at a country club within 30 minutes from my house.
Scott Treimel/agent STNY
Alexandra Penfold/editor Paula Wiseman Books
Noa Wheeler/editor Henry Holt
Timothy Travaglini/editor GP Putnam Sons
Wendy Mays & Janice Onken/art reps WendyLynn & Co
David Wiesner/ Author/Illustrator
Debbie Dadey/ Author
Lee Harper/ Author/Illustrator
Catherine Gilbert Murdock/ Author
The weekend was amazing!
I had sent my newest project BENNY KEPT BOUNCING to a faculty member prior to the conference along with the other manuscripts I received from many amazing authors. We met @ 10am and and chatted about revisions. I will be sending my revised manuscript in the form of a book dummy within the next month.
Later in the day I had a wonderful meeting with Wendy Mays and Janice Onken. We sat overlooking a sunny day on the golf course and pages through my portfolio. They had a special love for one of my characters. The funny thing is, this particular character is the one I doodle ALL THE TIME.
Being trained as an art teacher has one major draw back; in my training I did not have the course time to focus on a specific style, therefore I have never been sure of what my "style" is. In speaking to Wendy and Janice I had one of those "forest for the trees" moments. We were talking about the Macy-Sue character that they were so enamoured by and I commented that I love that character, too but I almost felt like it was cheating because that "style" (hmmm, did I actually HAVE a distinct style?) comes so naturally to me. I described it as, "Those kinds of characters just seem to slow out of me and onto the paper."
Wendy looked at me and said with a grin, something along the lines of, Well, then you do, in fact have a style!
I caught up with the faculty member who critqued my manuscript and we quickly chatted about the book dummy. I revealed the style that Wendy and Janice preferred. So, it looks like I will be sending the new and improved BENNY in the book dummy. That new Benny flowed from my hand and onto a lined piece of paper yesterday during my daughter's gymnastic class.
So, nose to the grindstone. Lots of refining. Even more cutting and polishing. That much closer to touching a child's life through my gifts!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Something I read that makes me laugh.
Something I see that makes me cry.
A story I hear that won't leave my brain.
A child sitting on a swing alone.
A mom kissing the head of her baby at the doctor's office.
Sidewalk chalk...yes, sidewalk chalk! I LOVE IT!
This little gal was born on my driveway today...my 4 year old calls her "Emma-yee."
And this is her evolution...
The curly-headed girlie in the bottom left and the wrapped-up-squirrel were things I drew BEFORE the sidewalk chalk, then "Emma-yee" came. I had to beg my little guy NOT to hose her off the driveway before I oculd grab the camera. I knew I would ache to draw her later.
And I did. She's not done...none of these are.
Oh, and the "GIRLFRIENDS" design was something I did for a magazine that needed a frame for an article I was writing about the 'gift of girlfriends.' But I thought "Curly" and "Emma-yee" would be good friends so that's why my portfolio is opened to that page.
The squirrel is a character I am working on for a new book project.
Thanks for looking!
Whether you are a writer or an artist, where does your inspiration come from?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.
A TIMELESS TREASURE!
IN THEATERS OCTOBER 16TH!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Please find out how you can support a cause with not a lot of medical funding behind it. Donate to causes like CUREsearch where you know ALL of the funding goes to childhood cancers. Most people are surprised to know that only 0.03 of every dollar donated to the American Cancer Society goes toward Childhood Cancers.
Monday, September 14, 2009
This is a great story of a boy who is faced with a live-in babysitter that he does NOT like. As some/MOST boys will, he devises a plan to control the situation and get Stella to leave. When he realizes his plan went too far and in addition to trying to get her to leave, he puts her health in jeopardy, he has to make it up to her. But how?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
If you have not yet read Tess's Tree, I encourage you to go grab yourself about 10 copies. This will be one of those gifts that you will give over and over again.
As explained by the author, Jess M. Brallier, Tess's Tree is a story of loss, celebration of life and the beginning of healing.
No matter the loss, this book will have your heart smiling. Healing takes time and Tess's Tree will hold your hand for the test of time.
Hear about this amazing book from Jess M. Brallier and Peter H. Reynolds:
Watch the resplendent talents of Peter H. Reynolds:
It is an honor to share the same passion for children with these amazing men!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I am a former art teacher turned stay-at-home mom whose love for children's books got the best of her. During my Master's of Education program at Binghamton University, students were given SCHOLASTIC book order like the ones elementary school kids get. I would carefully tuck mine, uncrumpled, into my backpack and head home for a date with an order form.
THE SALAMANDER ROOM by Anne Mazer was my first purchase from one of those order forms. That was just the beginning! I was hooked. My unborn children had a full library before they set foot on the planet! I still have those books. Now I have 3 children.
I write because I love children. My passion for kids goes far beyond what I can put into words. I have no doubt in my mind that writing for children is what I am supposed to do.
Peter H. Reynolds once asked me to write down why I write.
This was my heart's response:
"Inspiring children to be all that they can be is my purpose in this life! It is my passion. It’s why I volunteer to work with children. It’s why I write. I am certain it is why I breathe."
So, whether you are a parent, a teacher, a librarian or just a lover of children's books, you have a new home here. Stop in often. Everything from book reviews to author interviews to original coloring pages to sneak peaks at my works-in-progress will welcome you each time. Add yourself to the followers list so you will be sure to keep in touch.
Have a beautifully creative day!