You say you want a resolution!

Here are last year’s resolutions (This is a great idea Tami!)

1) clean and organize studio Did this, but it is ongoing.
2) try to do morning writing pages at least three times a week I have to admit that this is still not my habit. But I can say that I either wrote or drew each day. My sketch book carrying was more habitual and there have been times that people in my family have requested (rather impolitely) that I stop drawing and come back to Earth.
3) send program brochures to schools and libraries This was not very successful. Even though I included a self-address stamped postcard, I did not hear back from folks that I sent the brochures too. I have made some personal connections with teachers who have passed on my information to other educators. The most important thing was designing the programs and the promotional materials. Now I have brochures and the information is on the web.
4) sign up for one course that will help me move me forward on one project this spring I took a children’s illustration class during the summer. The best part of it was breaking through the “I don’t have time” excuse. But it took some doing. My fabulous sister came up from DC to be with my kids while I worked on my art from 9-5 each day. Wow! That time was really amazing.
5) keep on submitting and getting rejected. There’s got to be a contract out there for me. I’m submitting more and more and the rejections are getting more personal. Maybe 2007.

In addition to these things, I’m pleased to say that I got out two illustration mailings, showed my portfolio at the Spring NESCBWI Portfolio  Showcase, and the Fall Folio Feast, joined an on-line picturebook crit group, had a great time at my writing schmoozes, entered two contests (one illo and one writing), switched to Live Journal, applied for a SCBWI grant, and purchased an on-line portfolio with Click here to see it.

The goals haven’t changed much for 2007:
1. Three illustration mailings this year.
2. Continue to draw and write regularly. Update online portfolio monthly.
3. Continue to submit manuscripts. Try to make the turn around time shorter. (Sometimes I sit on manuscripts instead of sending them out the next day.) Is that contract out there?
4. Apply for non-fiction SCBWI grant
5. Play with novel ideas this year.
6. Take painting class.
7. Get a day job.

Merry Christmas

“A ski sled!” yelled E. “A polar flyer, awesome,” said I. We all looked outside. Warm sunshine streamed in the sliding doors. washing out the Christmass tree lights. I squinted at the grass lawn.  “Well,” I said, “we could always jump in the car and go try to find some snow.” But we didn’t. We opened gifts and hugged and ate and hugged some more. The hugging is my favorite part of Christmas. Later in the day the boys went outside with their father to learn to shoot their bow and arrows (from Santa, argh!) and then we went for a wonderful hike in a local state park.

Incidently, when we got to the top of the mountain, there was an older man (60’s?) taking digital photographs. He photographed my kids a few times as they played on the rocks and I asked how he was going to use the photos. “They’re for my personal use,” he responded gruffly. “I didn’t take any of you.”
    “Yes,” I said, “but you took photos of my children.”
    “Do you want me to delete them?” he asked.
    “No,” I said trying to stay light and kind. “But I am an artist who often sketches others and I often ask first. You can’t be too careful these days,” I explained.
    “I guess so,” he said.

Was I overly protective? Should I have had him delete them. Personal use? What is that? I suppose I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t planning on putting them on the web but he didn’t really say he wouldn’t either. Anyway, if parents ask me about my sketching, I always have a card handy, I let them see the sketches (which usually don’t look like their kids anyway) and ask them to take a look at my website. His response didn’t satisfy me.

Back to Christmas. I’m so excited about my gift to my husband. I got him seasons tickets to the Maine State Music Theater our only professional musical theater in town. He was thrilled. Now we have to wait for summer to enjoy the gift.

Wrap when the sprit says wrap!

I’m so impressed by all of you who are able to stay on task with writing and creating art this time of year. My artistic energy has been going into wrapping presents and finishing Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. (Finished today.) Question: Isn’t it odd that Harry has been able to face challenge after challenge by himself  in the past books. He solves problems, figures out magical stuff, and succeeds, just as he should in a MG/YA book. Then in book 6, he needs Dumbledore (an adult, albeit very cool one) to get through the cave challenge. What do you think?

Still hoping to hear about SCBWI grant, board book, and Errand Day picture book. Resending two non-fiction pieces on Tuesday when my kids get a day in Vacation Camp!

I’m back

After reading my “friends page,” I see that I am not the only one who is having trouble finding time to post. I have not fallen off the Earth. In fact, my family and I have been dealing with strep throat. First my son, then me, then my husband. I hope that this week brings some time to complete art to put on my new page.

In publishing news. Nice rejections with notes from Scholastic on my non-fiction project, and Tricycle press on my board book project. Still nothing from Walter Lorraine on one picture book. A form rejection on my Chanukah story and Sabbath story from Kar-Ben. Working on revisions for those, and my poem collection. Sending out my watershed picture book to Sylvan Dell come Jan. 1 when they open up again.

Happy Chanukah to all who join me in celebrating this festival of lights. I was in a couple funny skits at our synagogue party yesterday, and go into E.’s class tomorrow to teach them how to play dreidel.

Happy Birthday to

 here is a birthday breakfast for you!


I., my son in second grade, has been having a heck of a time going to school. The holiday feeling is in the air and he is sure that everyone should have the whole month of December off. He is also getting the idea that this is it forever. Everyday is going to be work of some sort or another.

After I barked at him to get his coat on for the 100th time this morning, my husband (who is not usually here for morning send off) swoops in and puts on his understanding voice. “It’s not a choice, kiddo,” he says, “kids go to school and grown-ups go to work.” “Mom doesn’t go to work,” says my son. “Yes, she works here at home.” “All she does is draw pictures. That’s not work.” “That’s Mom’s work, and she works hard taking care of you and your brother, but we’re not talking about Mom, we’re talking about you. Let’s go put on your coat.”

Hmmm…not work, eh? If you like your job, is it not work. If you don’t get paid, is it not work. If you are learning, and researching, and promoting and marketing, and building a body of art that is self assigned, is it not work? If you write on speculation, is it not work?

If you are home all day and your bathroom is still gross, then it’s work.