Afternoon delight: conferences & creative solutions to bland business cards...

Jun 6, 2013 by

If any of you attended a SCBWI conference, and more importantly if it was your first one, you probably stressed out about whether you should take business cards along. I certainly did when I attended the Western Washington chapter‘s conference a few weeks ago here in Seattle. I wasn’t sure if it would seem presumptuous (after all, it wasn’t like being a creator was my actual job to be handing business cards out) or awkward. I finally decided that it might be useful just because you meet so many people and it would be easier to hand cards out without having to fish out bits of paper to scrawl on instead. I was in such a dilemma: how many should I take with me? Will it be a waste to print? What if I decided...

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Change is the only constant. Seriously....

May 29, 2013 by

Something looks different, doesn’t it?  That is also the main reason for my delayed return; sorry! It took me a while to get around to making, and taking, the time to sit down and make some changes to the site. Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it starts out to be. It doesn’t help that I’m a creature of habit and that I was becoming quite attached to my old theme. But there were many things that weren’t working properly. Anyway, in spite of some ongoing tweaking and tinkering, I’m back. As a peace offering, I decided to include a new page on the blog where I’ll be curating news and information about picture books, kids apps and ebooks in the digital space. So for any of you interested in discovering resources...

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It’s National Picture Book Writing Week — the 2013 edition...

May 1, 2013 by

The 5th annual National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) is underway! What better way to make up for my absence than return to dive right into making 7 picture book drafts in 7 days? Sounds like just the challenge and discipline I need right now. Multi-faceted author Paula Yoo came up with the idea for us picture book creators languishing without a writing challenge like the established National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The aim? To work on 7 picture book drafts that you can polish later and try to convert at least one into a submittable manuscript. What she is definitely NOT implying is that picture books are easy to write, and that you can effortlessly create 7 of them in 7 days. Anyone who has tried knows that the very idea is ludicrous. Sometimes it’s hard to believe the...

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Diving right in

Mar 5, 2013 by

I’ve always been critical about my drawing skills. I’ve questioned every perfectly good idea I’ve had. And stopped myself from just trying something out. Panic-stricken and drowning before I even get my feet wet properly. So now, as an exercise, I force myself to draw as soon as I sit down at my table. Before I have time to think, and stress over, what. Run over lines if I have to. Make mistakes. Feel free. Be messy. And not afraid. I didn’t set out to draw these images today. I have no idea which recess of my brain it crawled out of. When the critic isn’t whispering in your head in a thousand voices, your mind, and even  your hand can surprise you. This letting-go takes some getting used to. I still struggle with it.  Much...

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Mapping the creative journey

Feb 27, 2013 by

In the spirit of the TED 2013 conference having begun this week, I thought it would be apt to share some talks. On that note, here is an incredibly emotional and compelling talk by the wonderful children’s book author and illustrator, Jarrett J Krosoczka. I dare you not to cry.   And in case you missed it, the madly talented Oliver Jeffers had a hand in this years brilliant TED conference opening...

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No, picture books are not just for children...

Feb 25, 2013 by

As an adult who avidly collects picture books for myself, it makes me exasperated when people talk about them only in the context of books for young children. Toddlers, even. For some reason there is an assumption that the apparent simplicity of picture books are not demanding enough for older readers. I would argue that they are layered and challenging not only for older children, but also adults. It is the balanced interaction of the visual and written that creates the space for an entirely different and complex way of experiencing a book. Picture book creator, Oliver Jeffers, says in a recent article that he doesn’t write them specifically for children, but for everyone. I completely agree with his point of view. It is all too easy to classify picture books neatly within the children’s...

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What is it about picture books?...

Feb 21, 2013 by

Is it just me? Or have you also read picture books that are far more moving, hilarious and downright brilliant compared to so much ‘literature’ considered worth owning?  So evocative in their simplicity and imaginative in their visual language, my fascination with them is only increasing.  And so we come to the reason behind this blog: a place to pour, distill and share my passion for this form, and my experiments with it. On that note, let’s get this lab open and some work started. Standby!    ...

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