Daddy’s voice echoed through the yard. “What-did-you-do!”
    Mama heard it in the kitchen. She opened the window and stuck her head out. “What’d they do?”
    My little brother and I stared at each other. What did we do? I thought. I knew Georgie was thinking it too cause his eyes were big and round so you could see the white all around the bright green part. 
    “They must’a knocked over that bucket of tar I got near the barn and then they tromped it all over. That crap is all over my tailgate.” Crap isn’t a nice thing to say but that’s what Daddy says when he’s really angry.
    “Oh, God,” said my Mother. God isn’t a good thing to say either but she did.  “I’ll get the Goo Gone and the paper towels.” She turned from the window and fixed us in her you’re-helpless-and-a-whole-handful stare. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, gentlemen.”
    “But we didn’t…” I started. I knew she hated this answer but it felt true. Mama says honesty is the most important thing.
    “That’s the wrong answer at this juncture, gentlemen.” She was talking as if it was both of us but looking at just me. Seems like, according to my parents, if there’s trouble, it must be me, cause I’m older.  She bent down under the sink and grabbed the Goo Gone and paper towels. “Be honest, take responsibility for your actions, clean up and say your sorry.” I rolled my eyes at Georgie and he giggled. Mama stood up quick “Does someone think this is funny, because it is most certainly not.”
    “No, Mama,” I said. But it did seem a little funny the way that grown-ups are always telling kids to calm down then they go and blow up like a goose pillow their anger raining down feathers everywhere.

Finding my style

Oh my gosh, I’m soooo. Excited! I couldn’t sleep so I started working on the second page of my current dummy book. (which follows the last post)  It came so easily. For the past few years I’ve been struggling to find me. My style. My shelves are lined with markers, pencils, paints, pastels, paper and printing materials. I’ve always gravitated toward flat color and bold line but kept losing the freedom and flow of line when I had to transfer drawings to a new substrate. This year I’ve been building my photoshop skills and wacom tablet skills hoping to use a mixture of scanning and traditional to create finished work. I enjoy that but I really love drawing right on the tablet. I love the line, I love the flat color and I’m having so much fun with this work, that I’d been dreading. I’ve finished two pages in two days. I find that the research and traditional sketching, studies, etc. all comes together when I put it away close my eyes and really focus on the vision in my mind’s eye. Have a great day everyone.

Happy First Day of Spring

The first day of spring moves from March 20th to the 21st depending on the year. This year it is the 21st, so happy spring. Here is an illustration, by me, and a poem, by Prince Redcloud from the Lee Bennet Hopkins anthology, Days to Celebrate. The sentiment is wonderful except I am still freezing. There is always hope, which “springs” eternal.

    Prince Redcloud

How pleasing-
to be

WIP grant

My SCBWI Work In Progress nonfiction grant application is assembled to be copied and sent tomorrow. I’ll have to overnight it. I didn’t realize it had to be received by March 15th. I thought it was postmarked by…  I think doing it the day before actually made me less stressed. There is only so much I can do at this late date. I had a lot of the writing they needed done for my queries and proposals so I was able to cut and paste. This is the third time I’ve applied to an SCBWI grant so my expectations are low. Never- the- less, think good thoughts please.

Here’s what I’m waiting on:
picture book- Walter Lorrain, they’ve had it since September
board book- Atheneum, they’ve had it since the end of November
picture book- Sylvan Dell, they’ve had it since January and have told me they’d like to hold onto it until Summer when they decide their ’09 list. This is my best bet so far.
non-fiction piece- Charlesbridge, DeChiara Agency, and now this WIP grant
poetry collection- PEN New England contest

Here’s what I’m working on:
Two picture book dummies and rewrites.
Complete poetry collection
Complete first draft of middle grades novel #2
Research for non-fiction project
Outlining new non-fiction series idea

Here’s what is on hold:
Preschool Picture Book
Middle Grades Novel #1 Rewrite
Chanukah article
Mystery articles