Ahhh, progress

I am posting at 11pm because I’m getting pretty close to completing the spread that is the climax of my story. So here is the tally. Cover complete, first page complete and 3 middle spreads complete. The rest of the story I will only render in pencil. All these need to be scanned and printed to create my dummy. Fall Folio Feast is in eight days. My goal is to have the smaller dummy with my portfolio and the full size images in the portfolio pages.

Mmmm, donut.

If you ever get to Brunswick, ME go to Frosty’s Donuts. Better than Krispy Kremes even. Call the night before to reserve a dozen ’cause they open at 5:30am and most of the glazed ones are gone before 7am. The shop is run by a very religious Seventh Day Adventist family so you’ll get a dose of Jesus with your donut. But these donuts are blessed. They are light and sweet and satisfyingly worth the calories.I just ate one (after teaching aerobics, ha!) and it was a piece of heaven.

Play date

Today E. has a playdate which means I have all day (until 2:30) to myself after I teach aerobics and maybe fold the mountain of clean clothes that are on my bed…then back in the basket…then on my bed…then back in the basket…then on my bed… you get the idea.

Today

Today, I received the news that I did not win the Cherry Blossom poster contest. I received a very kind rejection with a note from Random House. (I’ll send them something else.) I painted a spread of my book Roar! (not complete) and tackled a lot of problem solving around color and character. I also worked on my grant letter for the Kimberly Colen SCBWI award. (Which I also will probably not win.) However, if nothing else, I am tenecious, and since that is what everyone who has achieved in this field says is necessary, I figure I have half the battle won. (How is that for positive thinking.) You’d think that as a picture book author a 250 word limit would not bother, or irk me. WRONG. Count me irked. I have tried this darn letter a bunch of ways and can’t say everything I need without having my word count ring it between 280 and 300 words. Argh! What do I cut. The intro? The quick pitch of the book? What I’ll do with the money? The quick bio? I don’t know. Every damn word has a purpose and yet there are too many. Any thoughts.

End of my independent rope?

My fingers just want to type and type. I wish I was writing on one of my novels, what’s stopping me. The picture books, the non-fiction work? I just want to get something sold this year. And then what about the illustration? The portfolio showcase is just two weeks from today and I had hopes of having a whole new body of work. That was six months ago, and now, nothing. That’s not entirely true. I have some new pieces. I’ve done a lot on the Roar! dummy. All good. But I feel as though I’m constantly racing to get my unique idea before the right publisher before someone with a similar unique idea gets their work before the publisher. I have such a large body of writing that hasn’t been sent around that I wish I had someone to send out these stories and worry about them while I write and draw. Ahhh… that’s called an agent. Finding one of those is just as hard, and many say you don’t need one. I think I’m reaching the end of my independent rope though. Need help.

Yom Kippur

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the day of atonement for Jews world wide. I fasted and went to synagogue, the kids stayed home from school. To me, Yom Kippur is about making each of us a better person individually so that the world becomes a better place for all. If we all work a little bit on becoming more kind, respectful, and peaceful to the earth and fellow human beings then the world will become a more kind, respectful, and peaceful place to live.

The cantor, during his sermon, mentioned fasting as a way to jolt us, wake us up from the sleepy way we go about life and to make us ready for change. It was amazingly similar to the “current of life” metaphor I used in my last posting. Coincidence? I think not.

change

I wonder how it is that we get to the places in our lives that we call “crossroads.” We are living, moving along in our canoe of life, stuck infact, in a current that sweeps us on from one predictable event to the other. Then, before we know it, the current speeds up, there are rocks in our path. It’s not that we weren’t paying attention but all of a sudden things are happening to us. And unless we were we totally prepared for the white water, with our paddles at the ready and life jackets cinched tightly, our canoe bobs and dips and twirls a bit. Sometimes it takes on water or we tip and find ourselves grabbing for the painter rope and making sure that everyone is okay. Then we pull ourselves onto the shore, dripping and cold. Small children shivering, lips blue and grown-ups wondering why they were not grown-up enough to stop the canoe from tipping. But there it is. The tipping happened so what do you do? Dry everyone off ofcourse. Get back in the boat and start paddling. But where to? Was that current the right one? If you had gone a different way would you have tipped in the first place? Do you need a new current? And how will you keep the boat from tipping again?

I know this is all very criptic. An extended metaphor that goes too far. Sorry. It’s all I have today.