Friday, August 28, 2009

Children's writers of a certain age...

I just did a statistic gathering survey and found out that most writers of children's books are women between 30 and 39 years old. This puts them smack in the middle of having school age children at home.

The kids are at school from 3 to 6 hours give or take bus time or carpooling. That gives moms time to do all their chores and write for maybe 2 hours a day. Maybe. And they have loads and loads of research material at home the rest of the time. My hat is off to those women. Good luck.

Now I do not fit into that age range. My babies are grown and since they do not as yet have kids of their own I am in that transitory pause between – I can reflect on my children, appreciate other’s children and grandchildren and observe them all from a 'bird’s eye' view.

I can see the parent’s point of view and the children’s point of view because I don’t have to pick sides. It is a golden time to write for children and about children, children of any age from 0 to 18. I’ve been there and now I can see the essence of who children are, what they want, what we they think they want and what really is: from the shining heart to the black hole.

Surprisingly this essence is not what I would have guessed it to be when I was in that 30-39 range. I plan to take advantage of that perspective and I advise all those women writers to enjoy and pay attention because this is time, the moment of the best research they will ever do. Enjoy it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Left Brain/ Right Brain

Scattered Brain!

* Too many ideas. Enthusiasm.

* Long lists of to do's.

* Stories to I want to write. Pictures I want to draw.

* Reading many books on how to get my creative life organized when I should be doing it.

* Sidetracked by beauty, opportunity,'what ifs' and of course the chores of everyday life.

* 6 muses sitting on my laptop, grinning at me.

* A studio full of potential.

And only so much time and coffee.
Welcome to my world...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A RoadKill query

Well, I sent out a query today. To an agent who I am sure is too busy. But I did it. My granddad said, "You can't catch a trout unless you put your fly in the water.” The fly is there; I hope I get a nibble. Nothing is as scary as putting yourself out there to be critiqued and/or rejected. But I’ve been telling myself I’m going to treat this like a business. It’s business, not personal.

The story is a long shot story about road kill. Road Kill… you know dead critters in the middle of the highway. Yep, it's a picture book about dead animals. EEeeewwww but "way cool" says a four year old I know. Oh well, their mom’s may not approve of a dead animal story but I’ll bet their granddads will buy it for them. Who needs another dancing pig or Dracula rabbit?

Now I can go to bed on dream of being rich and famous. Or maybe just famous. Or maybe just published. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No more 'crinkle and shake' – bye bye newspaper!

Since my hubby and I have canceled the Seattle Times, turned off our Netflix (until the dark days of winter) and cut back...way back on more "extended" cable programming – just the bare bones TV news and PBS, we have been filling our spare time with other things after work. We watch ships go by, read, invite friends over, create lots and fight a little. I’m finding that a lot of the stuff on TV is available on the internet…if you really want to see it.

Hey, did you know the most newspapers are free on the internet. I don’t understand why anyone, anymore is actually paying for a newspaper. Hard core, curmudgeonly journalists will argue with me (I am married to one) that the world is not the same without the newspaper.

No, there is no nostalgic 'crinkle and shake' as you turn the page but it's all there; science, local and world news, weather, lifestyle and opinions...lots and lots of opinions. And you don’t have to recycle all those ads…just ignore them.

Wading through all this content however, is an exercise in discretion, adventure and discovery. It’s not like it was before and that is not a bad thing. After all "change" is truly the only constant. I kind of like it. The only thing you have to get used to is limiting your daily time on the net. One: the laptop get warm and two: you can lose yourself in ether. Remember how when you were little you could look-up something in the dictionary or encyclopedia and get lost in the next page and the next page and the next...? Well, this is far worse and more compelling and can lead to losing the whole day or losing job, so beware.

I'm also "connected" through blogs and critique groups to a bunch of people I believe have a great perspective on life, living and our reason for being here. They are artists, illustrators and writers of books for children. Thinking like a kid and creating like a kid – they are constantly seeing the world like the sun just came up and no one has yet walked around on the day leaving messy, dirty footprints. Who needs newspapers?

So have a nice day and don't leave any messy footprints!