A good day to sell a picture book...
Yay! I've signed on the dotted line, so I can shout it out- my fourth picture book!
Builder Goose: It's Construction Rhyme Time
Sterling Children's Books
(Well, tentatively... you know how these things go :)
Sterling has published
some terrific books
I know- I can't WAIT
to work with them!
I love writing in rhyme- don't I???
You know how you can look at a stanza, and know that it is exactly WHAT you want to say, and it's a perfectly capable stanza, but you also know down deep that it isn't HOW you want to say it?
And then you use your thesaurus, and your rhyming dictionary, and your OTHER rhyming dictionary, and then spend ten minutes finding your EXTRA other rhyming dictionary (because you're SURE that one has just what you need if you could only find it), trying to find other words to say the same thing the stanza already says.... but different?
And you move words around, and switch-up the lines, and try this, then try that, then try this again, but with that small change, and then you try all of the same changes again, because none of it is really working but you don't know what else to do?
And then you try to work that thought, that THING the stanza is trying to say into neighboring stanzas, because maybe this thought doesn't merit its OWN stanza and maybe that's why it's being so difficult?
And then you throw your hands up in the air (or curse at your computer- you pick) and you go do other things to clear your mind (iPhone Trism is really good for this, not that this lengthy question is autobiographical or anything and I know about iPhone Trism from experience- because I don't, trust me), and then you call yourself a coward for avoiding that stupid stanza (because that's what you're REALLY doing if you just want to admit it) and you sit back down and stare at it for forty-three minutes, and nothing comes to you but the realization that you have probably thought all of the thoughts there are to think about this idea, and this stanza, and there aren't any other ways to word it or say it or think it?
But THEN, just as you are giving up hope, all of the right words in just the right order appear out of nowhere, in your head, and you write them down, and read them back, and they are just right?
Yeah, I love it when that happens.
A fun evening
We just got back from a library presentation by Wendy Anderson Halperin. She has illustrated tons of books and has a very unique style. The Full Belly Bowl
by Jim Aylesworth is a long-time favorite in our family:
She does a gorgeous signing in her books, but I'm too lazy to scan it in. You'll just have to try to get to an event of hers and get your own :)
Her presentation was very interactive- she showed us how to draw simple objects and use different coloring effects with crayons. It was a lot of fun (I joined in too!) and my kids loved it.
I couldn't help but be struck, however, by how different authors and illustrators are and how they can give such different presentations. Or at least how different I am from an illustrator- ha! She was so, hmm... creative-artsy, I guess, that she made me feel like the exact opposite. Like a lawyer or something! My presentation approach is much more on the practical/informative/specific side, whereas hers was really about finding your inner artist and she didn't even talk about any of her books! I know nothing about her life or work as an illustrator, which was a small disappointment to me.
I can, however, draw a heck of a flower :)
Kids or no kids, that is the question
It is days like today that I realize just how smart Ursula Nordstrom was when she said that children's writers shouldn't have children of their own.
I had today all planned. A Writing Day! And tomorrow was a No School day, so I was gonna make tracks today! I'm finishing up a revision and I had a new idea on a troublesome WIP. Couldn't wait to get started!
Then we got a snowstorm. And a snow day. Urgh. Seriously????
I did manage to unload one child to a friend's house (leaving two still here), but then I inadvertently ended up with three of someone else's kids! So now I have MORE kids than I even HAVE.
No, I don't know how that happened.
"Rock Stars of Reading" indeed...
So, am I the only one who could listen to Lane Smith talk picture books
all day long?
He's a genius. He's funny. And the man KNOWS picture books
I'm not going to declare undying love or anything, but.... Oh, my....
Oh, I have a blog?
When I don't post, it's a good thing. Trust me.
It means I'm actually writing. Or revising. I'm doing both right now!! Four years after embarking on my writing "career", I'm finally starting to understand my own writing rhythms and patterns and processes. I'm still amazed I actually have "writing rhythms", seeing as how I never even imagined I'd be a writer. Self-awareness is a good thing.
Or lack-of-blogging means I'm spending time with my family. Who can begrudge me that, right? Last week was spring break. My kids are still little enough for a children's museum- but barely! They're growing way too fast. One of them has feet bigger than me. Way bigger. Sigh.
Or it means I'm doing Important Things. Like running the Spring Book Fair at the kids' school. Which I am this week. How much do I love books and anything to do with books?? Yeah, more than that.
Usually when I'm blogging more frequently, it means I'm bored, or avoiding writing something that isn't working, or procrastinating on a thousand things I should be doing, or obsessing over w-a-i-t-i-n-g, which I'm doing all the time in this business, but which I really shouldn't obsess over. I'm actually waiting on LOTS of things right now, but I realize (with my new rhythm-awareness and all) that I will most likely find out about all of them all at once. Big News doesn't trickle in when I can deal with it one-on-one. No, it floods me! And then I won't have time to do anything!
Which is why Self-Aware Boni is doing all the "anything" now. Don't worry, though. I'm sure it won't last!
October 6, 2009
It's six months and counting... What are you going to be doing on October 6th?
I know what I'll be doing. I''ll be celebrating the release of THIS book:
Yes, it IS gorgeous!! And I know the text is equally gorgeous, because I've already read it. Many, many times :)
Simple and lyrical and breathtakingly lovely. Introducing the debut picture book by my critique partner, Deanna Caswell- First Ballet
from Hyperion Books For Children.
It's illustrated by the very talented Elizabeth Matthews, whose book Different Like Coco
was a terrific debut.
This won't be the last you hear from me about First Ballet
, but I wanted to let you know that yes, it is available for pre-order now (WOO-HOO!) and would make absolutely the best Christmas present you could give a little girl this year.
Way to go, Deanna- I'm so excited for you!
Question Of The Day
So, if you knew your agent and your editor were at lunch, together, would you be able to concentrate?
Yeah, me neither.