I’m so happy to be here, under my own name, with my mostly reconstructed website, taking part in a blog tour! This is my very first post under these new constructs, and I’m hoping for great things to come up, which is easy to do because I love what I do. I will be reviewing and interviewing (and sharing some of my other blog entries from past blogs) talking about my process and my friend’s processes. I hope to take part in a few blog tours as well as having some of my wonderfully talented friends Guest blog. Anyhow, before anyone goes to sleep, even if I’m squealing with delight, to get to it!
SO, I was tagged by the Marvelous Margot Finke! I’ve done covers and some formatting for her in the past so was ecstatic when she thought of me (THANK YOU MARGOT!). You can read her entry at her blog and check out her fun, character building books!
I will be announcing and linking to the next merry band of authors within the next couple of days!
WHAT AM I WORKING ON? Currently I’m creating a coloring book to strengthen my line work and Photoshop skills, and in anticipation of some future projects. I write and illustrate, and recently finished a book called Duke Day for Annie, a loose retelling of many conversations I had with my friend Ann Searcy about her growing up in Old Orchard Beach, Maine in the 30s and 40s and her friendship with Duke Ellington. I have a couple of co-projects in the works that I’ll be illustrating with friends (they’re in the process of writing). My next writing bits will be finishing my midgrade novel, Sara LeClere, and working on a couple of picture books concerned with environment and cohabitation. A retelling of country mouse/ city mouse, but with sea slugs and land slugs. No really… it’ll be great! And a book about recycling, reusing and dealing with encroachment (a little bit anyhow) called Second Story.
HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS WORK OF ITS GENRE? I think all work is personal, so it’s not different that way. I think most people love their work, at least if they are artists about their work, so it’s no different there either. I think the way my work is different is I’m a little different. I’ve been lucky enough to know a LOT of people from all walks of life and experiences. I feel a great affinity for the differences between needs and wants, between peoples, as well as their similarities. I love our humanity while striving for the best we can be. And being gratefully happy. I hope to bring that to my work: the joy and music of language, the power of learning and the love of connections, especially new connections, as well as thinking and feeling. I hope all that good stuff is in my work. If it is, it may not be different from other genres (and I work in many genres and media) but it most certainly will be mine.
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO? First I think writing we all need to write about what touches us, what matters. So there’s that. Duh, right? I know, but you’d be surprised. And truthfully, I grew up hearing about how “weird” I was. Am. But a funny thing happened along the way to the weird camp. I started not only noticing what I had in common with others but shared it, and new connections were made. I think all people, but children especially can feel “out of it”, so writing and drawing what excites me, makes me laugh, weep, laugh, care, laugh, think- and did I mention laugh? not only gives me new connections, but I think other people as well. Even the rather short and age challenged ones.
HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK? I try to write something every day. That being said though, I admit I’m all over the place. Often it comes to me. Walking, in the shower, especially when I’m sleeping. The way I work in general is to set goals. Often impossible ones, but goals nonetheless. I’m even getting better at achieving them. I don’t want the “fire” to die in me, so making sure there’s always something to do, even on the days I don’t feel much like it actually keeps me motivated and happy. It’s sometimes difficult to illustrate and write in the same period, and some days one will call more than the other to me, but the important thing for me is to keep at it. I like listening to music when I draw, not as much and very selectively, quietly when I write. My favorite is New Age, partially because it transports me, but also it’s hard to hum along, though it still feels visceral to me. Finally, I really believe in embracing your fears and weaknesses. In that spirit I will do better at editing, one of my weaknesses. And in the end, many of my writing friends tell me that is what actual writing is, rewriting.