I just posted my first YouTube video! A friend (Scott Gaul) helped me take the video and edit it. Very exciting!
I haven't quite figured out how to load it here. I followed the directions, and nothing happened, so here's the url:
The video is me, reading my first Children's Picture Book, Atom's Monster.
What do you do when you wake up with a monster in your room? When my 4 year old son woke up screaming, "there's a monster in my room!" I told him this story and later made it into a book. He and his little brother modeled for the illustrations! Now the son is a father and has shared the story with his 4 year old son.
When I made the story into a book, I was interested--still am--in ways to overcome fear without violence. We are taught that there are three ways we react to fear: fight, flight, or freeze. I believe there is another way, the hardest way of all: Stand and meet the thing that terrifies you with love, or at least without hatred.
I'm still learning this technique.
I'm working on a new story, The Seagull's Gift, inspired by our many field trips to the beach when I had Suzanna's School. I'm playing with different ways to depict my main character for picture book, Aria. She loves sounds, colors, and feels. She's a bit bossy. Here's my first attempt:
I think, though, that Aria is a bit sassy:
Too sassy? How about this?
What do you think?
Here are some more thoughts on illustrations for the book:
Here are the twins. They may or may not be in this story, but I'm sure we'll see them in a story soon!
It was a typical hot dusty day in the town of Oatman, in about 1978, when I bought these quilt tops from a swap meeter beside the road, Old Route 66. I paid only $25, but to me, they seemed truly precious.
Those hand sewn quilts I got from a swap meeter in Oatman almost 40 years ago--why did I hang on to them for so long?
I've been writing and drawing, trying to get to the bones of their meaning for me, remembering that hot dusty spring day--I think it was spring--when my neighbor was clearing out his grief when his wife died by selling the pieces of her life.
I tried painting the quilts before I sent them home.
That didn't come out well.
I tried drawing them as they might have looked in the old steamer trunk where I found them.
.Still no good.
When I touched them, there was something about the maker in every stitch, something that spoke to me over the years. Something that gave me hope that my chaotic life with young children and a stoner prospector life mate could someday have some order.
I tried to draw that. Twice.
I'm still not satisfied, but I think--I THINK--I like the bottom one best. What do you think? Any suggestions? I'm a big girl; you can tear these apart with ideas about what would make the images work better.
Inspired by the places where land meets water, and by stories.