Dummy Progress

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12 / 30

Forty percent! Well, I’m moving along here. I’m hoping to be done by Sunday night. Possible, possible.

As a writer, the most exciting thing about illustrating my own work is that I am able to see how the pictures and the words work together. My manuscript started at 340 words and I’ve cut almost 100 of those. Why? Because the pictures say they same thing as the text. Instead of telling the games that the main character played throughout the day I can show a room full of leftover games and toys with the text, “Mama and Orson played all day long.” This is liberating but also very difficult because it is sometimes hard to decide how much the reader will “get” from the picture and when words have to stay or things need to be explained. As writers, we always try to show and not tell. In picture books, we need to let the illustration do the telling too. Words are also necessary when the pictures and words are in opposition to set up a humorous moment. My text says, “Mama got ready for Orson’s bath. Orson got ready too.” The picture shows Mama getting ready and Orson hiding under a towel. Keep on working!

Haiku class and Passover

I just led a Haiku workshop for second graders, which went really well. We used their research on dinosaurs to create poems using the Haiku model. Here is the one we completed as a group. Hope you enjoy it.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

extinct meat eater
strong long tail swing, swish, slap, slash
running- crash bang boom

By Mrs. Goodman’s class

In other news. Last night was the first Passover Seder. For those of you who don’t know, a seder is a long dinner that celebrates the Jewish exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery and includes four mandatory glasses of wine, boistrous singing and a bunch of not so mandatory prayers. A fun time was had by all but it was almost a catastrophe…

When my guest called me yesterday at 9 am I was deep into an illustration for my picture book. My thinking was, I’ll work on this page and one more, then go food shopping and write an email to my guest about tomorrow night’s seder. I don’t know exactly why I thought that seder was Tuesday night. Maybe it was because I was off one day all weekend. I missed April fool’s day entirely because I thought the first was Monday. Needless to say, when I answered the phone I was shocked to realize that the shopping I’d planned to do for tomorrow’s seder was going to be for that night instead. Let me explain that this is akin to having to create an entire Thanksgiving in a single day. My house was a wreck, no food, kiddo coming home in an hour and a half, ACK! Actually I had some other choice words which I used to convince my husband to leave work to vacuum during his lunch hour. He did, he’s great. Small son also helped by washing windows, making placecards, baking Passover cake with me, and generally being patient with a hysterical mother. This makes up for the fact that he totally lost it during the actual Seder. Anyway, everything turned out great.  We had a wonderful time, the food was delicious (lemon dill salmon), company was fun, house was clean. Score one for spontaneity… or is that called procrastination.