Sunday, 24 June 2012

Working on...

Besides my rewriting one novel, I'm working on illustrating a fun picture book of mine. I'd like to have a full dummy before I head to our SCBWI Canada east Ottawa Conference in October, of course contracted novel edits, contracted picture book edits and illustrations for that picture book may get in the way of the October Conference dummy deadline because books I'm being paid for come first.
For the dummy I'm putting what I learned at the SCBWI Niagara conference into use. I've done thumbnails of a full storyboard so I can see it all at once. (Some things are going to change). And then did a rough of one of the spreads. After figuring out placement, I finished the spread (below). This is a small file so some of the details don't show up as well but it's enough to give you an idea.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

To those people who say "I will never."

My daily sketch might need a little explaining. I use a caterpillar to represent who we are (whether you've flown or not - deep down inside you will always remain a caterpillar).
I had a difficult time in school due to my dyslexia. I went into grade one, excited. Ready to learn to be a doctor, teacher, writer or most likely at the time A Princess.

On a day, after my second grade teacher told me I'd never graduate if I didn't take my time writing, a few kids cornered me in the playground. They pushed me around, saying things like "You're never going to be anything." Until I finally pushed back - or kicked actually. And when I kicked Barry - he went down hard. I ran across the playground and sat by the stream running along the property.

There was this caterpillar munching along the grass in front of me.  When you're a caterpillar finding yourself right in front of a fuming second grader is not a good chance.

I lifted my hand and smashed it down on that poor caterpillar smooshing it into YUCK and as I smashed that caterpillar I said, "YOU WILL NEVER BE A BUTTERFLY." From that day on, I smooshed  every caterpillar I saw.

Flash forward to grade four where I had this FANTASTIC teacher, named Mrs. Monds who realised I had dyslexia. On the day she found out, and told me she was going to help me learn to read, I was walking home and saw...
A caterpillar crawling along a tree branch. I brought my hand up to smash it but before my hand came down, it plummeted to the ground - ready to take it's own life into it's hand.
But it didn't die. I knelt down to watch it crawl away. It was like that caterpillar was saying, "FUCK YOU. You have no right to tell me what I can or cannot be."
That's when I decided to do the same thing. I changed my attitude and didn't let people tell me what I can and cannot do. And you should too. When someone says, YOU will never be - tell them to fuck off and BECOME that writer, illustrator, doctor - or Princess.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Just so you KNOW

We all feel like posers at times. I was talking to some attendees at the SCBWI Canada East Niagara Conference this past weekend and they were saying how they sometimes feel like posers. Someone pretending to be a writer and chasing a dream that will never come true. 

I think no matter where you are in your career, published, mega award winner, or just starting out, we all feel like Posers at times and it's such an important and normal feeling.

 If you feel like the best and think there's no room for improvement your books will become, same old same old - just plain boring. If you close yourself up to learning, you will become outdated.

You are a writer if you are writing. A poser would be someone who says they're a writer too but someone who has never actually written anything. So don't give up, because if you do, you will never grasp that dream.