Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Bookcase- An Adventure in Spring Cleaning

Along with my quest to becoming published, I'm embarking on another, and just as difficult, quest. Becoming organized! The spring cleaning bug bit. That nasty little bug jumped right from the house into my studio. It keeps nipping at me. Finding piles over here and stacks over there. Newspaper clippings hidden among photos. Pencils stubs too short to even grasp. Plastic containers with no real purpose. And books! Stacks of books everywhere! It was time for a plan.

Ikea to the rescue! They have a cubicle style bookcase made just for me. I have cubbyholes for my copies and for the copies from each of the libraries I visit. And I can still stack, but hopefully keep things under control. Like all good organizers bitten by the spring cleaning bug, I started out by sorting everything alphabetically!

The new bookcase fits perfectly on top of my old credenza.

It didn't take me long to fill it up. Yet, I still have room for more!

Two of the cubbies are for library books.
The rest of the books are all mine.

These are a few of my picture books.

One cubby is devoted to signed copies only.
I love collecting these!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Arizona Book Festival

A little late, but sure worth sharing! The Arizona Book Festival took place the weekend before last. It was a beautiful, sunny day filled with fun people, conversation, stories, kids, and books! Jane Yolen, the award-winning children’s author of more than 285 books, was there to present. Although I managed to arrive just as she was exiting the stage. (Thanks to our wonderful department of transportation closing down a freeway. I've got to remember to read those giant flashing signs!)

There was also lots of local talent: Conrad Storad, Sheri Sinykin, Angela Fox, Michelle Parker-Rock, Tamara Miller, Isabel Arraiza-Arana, and Kathy Bishop. Plus a great presentation "Five Minutes in the Life of a Children’s Book Author," where five award-winning Arizona children’s book authors, Terri Fields, Juanita Havill, B.G. Hennessy, Janni Simner, and Jennifer J. Stewart, gave a glimpse of what really goes on in the creative mind of a writer.

Carnegie Library

Jane Yolen

Sheri and Jennifer

Janni (standing) Juanita, B.G., Terri, and Jennifer (seated)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wild Rose Reader

This week I was featured on the wildrosereader blog and had a poem dedicated to me. Thanks Elaine! If you haven't been there yet, be sure to visit her blog. Elaine is a former teacher and school librarian who now teaches a children's literature course at a large university. She is passionate about poetry and has a wealth of information to share!

Her poem is a perfect match for my illustration Something Cold and Slippery!

In other good news, Picture-Bookies Showcase received a great plug from fuse#8.

Friday, April 13, 2007

An Evening with Jane Yolen

I had the pleasure of attending the Make Way for Books event featuring guest speaker Jane Yolen this week. It way a lovely evening in a small, intimate setting. I couldn't help but think of how lucky I was to be there, as I stood in the warm evening air, listening the sounds of music playing, leaves rustling, trains howling, while having a conversation with Jane herself. (Thanks Joan for introducing me!)

Fellow author/illustrator Debbi Haun joined me for the trip to Tucson. It was great getting to meet up with other familiar faces from Tucson like Jennifer, Joan , Jennifer J., Janni , as well as our SCBWI regional assistant Michelle Parker-Rock.

For the main event, storyteller Martín Juan Rivera, Sr. got grown adults to buzz like cicadas, croak like frogs and imitate wind, thunder and rain. While Jane shared her intelligence and insight, on folk tales, culture, and history and how discrimination and topics taboo in today’s society, have been represented in children’s literature in the past. It was a great event. Keep it up Make Way for Books!

Z Mansion

Me and Debbi Haun

Debbi and Michelle Parker-Rock

Jennifer Ward and Debbi

Martín Juan Rivera

Joan Sandin and Michelle

Jane Yolen

Ms. Yolen will also be speaking at the Arizona Book Festival this weekend in Phoenix.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Color of the month: Yellow

In an attempt to dispel the myth that the desert is a barren and colorless place, I have written and photo-illustrated a non-fiction children's book that shows otherwise. It's making the rounds, or I should round, since right now, it's at a house that only looks at exclusives. I've decided I'm going to try to post a color of the month to help promote this wonderfully colorful desert. These are digital photos I'm currently taking. They are not the art-photos in my book. They are here simply for your pleasure.

Everywhere I go I see yellow.

Streets are lined in yellow.

Golf courses are dotted with yellow.

Sunny snowflakes dance through the air.

And when the wind blows,
parking lots are carpeted in yellow.

The trees shown in these photos are Palo Verde trees growing in the Phoenix area of the Sonoran desert. Different varieties will bloom at different times from late March to June, depending on rainfall.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Happy Easter

A day late.
And art
from the archives.
But this bunny
will always hold
a special place
in my heart.
Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Welcome to Our House

Here's a great event! If you haven't made it before you're going to love it! You'll be marking it on your calendar every year. If you have gone before you know all about it. But note! It's in May not November this year. Good for me now, it's only been 6 months and I get to go again. But I guess next year might have a longer wait. Hope to see you there!




A Full Day Conference with Industry Professionals

Saturday, May 19, 2007
8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
At the Chaparral Suites Resort and Conference Center
5001 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85250

With Guest Faculty

Alexandra Cooper,
Editor at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pamela Bobowich,
Editorial Assistant at Delacorte Press

Sarah Cloots,
Editorial Assistant at Greenwillow Books-
An imprint of HarperCollins

Sara Gillingham,
Head of the Children's Design Department
at Chronicle Books

Marcia Wernick, Literary Agent,
Sheldon Fogelman Agency in New York

For more information and registration please visit SCBWI-AZ .
On the Events Calendar page scroll down to May.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Just One More Book!!

I find it amazing that I can stumble across things I never knew were out there in the World Wide Web and they immediately become part of my daily life. Here's one I just found, featuring an interview with Alvina Ling, Project Manager...'er I mean Editor at Little Brown & Co. Just One More Book!!

There's also a recent review of Illustrator Sherry Rogers book "If I were a Parrot" written by Katherine Rawson. OK, I'm bookmarking Just One More Book!! and plan on listening to a new interview or review each day. Check it out!