Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Live Journal

I have started a second blog over at live journal. I can already tell that I will not be able to keep up with both so I will be posting over there for the near future. Please come check it out. Creative Chaos II

There are things I can tell that I will miss. The easy tool bar for links and photos, the clear templates, and no ads. However, the Live Journal system supports numerous writer friends and really feels more like a community. (This also makes it take more time as I have a lot more comments over there.) We'll see. If the whole "friending" business could cross blogs, and I would stop being "anonymous," I'd probably stay put. Come visit me at live journal!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fabulous Weekend

I just got back from a fabulous weekend with my writing buddies. Our "Fall Schmooze" was a recipe for success. Take 9 seasoned writers, 1 spicy editor from Walter Lorraine Books at Houghton, Add too much modesty, Stir over two days adding your choice beverage from time to time, Simmer with laughter and honest critique. Tastes delicious.

The weekend, as always, gave me a kick in the pants. I am going to complete my dummy by October 21st with the Fall Folio Feast in mind. I also hope to have some images with my poetry. My goal is to show how my words and images work together. Must get to work!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Poster contest sob story

Okay. So if any of you have elementary aged children you know that it has been a busy week. Getting kids to bed on time, up on time, to the bus on time. We were busy getting used to school, the bus, and a host of extracurricular activities that all started this week. If I had a piece of chocolate for every time I told a kid to put on their shoes, I'd be fat. So it is no wonder that 1) My husband has been away for two weeks and I've been doing this all on my own. 2) The deadline for the National Cherry Blossom Festival poster contest is tomorrow.

I entered the contest last year and didn't win, but was able to see all the entries in an exhibit this past March. I was also able to talk to the judges and get a little insight into the process. I knew I wanted to enter it again, and have been sketching and gathering references and supplies. I created a block print using high density sign foam and a dremmel tool. This made the carving very easy although a little messy. I probably should have worn a mask as the dust goes everywhere. I carved at the beginning of the week, inked in the middle and finally did the coloring yesterday.

I ran to the UPS store and had them ship it overnight to make the 5pm, September 15th deadline, which cost me....Drum roll please......
$100 smackeroos!

I paid. Crazy, maybe, especially because we are in the midst of some serious money issues, but what else could I do. I wasn't going to let all that work go to waste. Anyway, it is a business expense that will show up on the 2006 taxes. The thing that gets me is that it is a digital file that I easily could have emailed them but that was against the guidelines.

Wish me luck.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11th: Five years later

I'm not feeling very stable anyway but September 11th is hitting me like a ton of bricks. I told myself I wouldn't watch tv today and I won't but there has still been plenty of coverage in the days leading up to today. The front of the Portland Press Herald has a huge picture of the lights that memorialize the twin towers. I read the whole front page and the list of those from Maine who died five years ago. It's not a huge list but its enough. Enough to make me shiver, to make my stomach turn to lead. To make my brain foggy, a lump build in my throat, my eyes sting. Enough to make me so sad that I snap at my children because I can not, will not share with them what they are too young to hear. That there are hateful people who wish us dead. That there are people so mean that they are killers.

I am pissed that I do not feel safer, after the Patriot laws or TSA or seeing our troops die for our freedoms. Pissed that our government is barking up the wrong terrorists, and ineffectively at that. Pissed that I have had to become easy-going about a certain amount of risk in daily life that did not exist five years ago.

That's it for now. I might need to write more later.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Studio Streamlining

With the kids back to school, I have been amazingly organized and on-task in my studio. I started out Tuesday developing a typed "to do" list that has all my magazine articles, poems, picture books, non-fiction, agents to query and novels. (I have quite a bit.) I jotted down two or three places each piece needed to go, and interesting quotes from specific editors/agents. This was relatively easy after a summer of reading Children's Writer, SCBWI market notes, and the new CWIMarket. (Yay again! to Cindy Lord for her article in the Market Guide.) The list has made my days more streamlined. I wave good-bye to my lovely, genius children and run home to my studio. I have a good two hours straight now on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. (Some of you may be laughing at how little time I have to work, but this is like heaven compared to the writing-in-the-cracks-of-life method I've been using.) Anyway, Tuesday I sent out a picture book manuscript. Today I sent out a poem with a sketch to Spider and a picture book manuscript to Kar-Ben. Perhaps by the time I get through the list I will be receiving the rejections that require me to start from the beginning again. That's okay. The next envelopes are ready to go!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Anything can spark an idea

It's amazing what will give you an idea for writing and illustrating. I just thought I'd share two from today. This morning, as I took my shower, I spied a spider or two on the ceiling above the tub and created a humorous poem about them sliding down the water spout into the hair of the person showering. Later, I was waiting for my kiddo when he was in a school bathroom and saw this. I thought it was pretty precious. Doesn't everyone take off their red rubber boots when they go to the potty?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sick, ick.

After a beautiful morning with the kids, (walking up Bradbury mountain and having a picnic under the pine trees) my cold is catching up with me. I feel, you'll excuse me, that my nose and ears are cemented shut. Ugh. Not good for working. Maybe I'll write about someone who feels sick.