Grad school doth be no joke

7 10 2014

Just kidding. So, I’m in graduate school now and it’s great. I’m a grad assistant so the college has basically decided to pay me to go to school. I think I’ve officially become a professional student. But we all knew that was gonna happen, right? By contract I had to give up all my other jobs, 3 or 4 of them. I think. I stopped counting a very long time ago. I actually don’t get out of bed before 8am now. WHO KNEW SLEEPING IN WAS A THING? And yes, 8am is sleeping in. I’ve also seen more of my family in the last 6 weeks than I have in the last 8 months and it is glorious. It’s amazing the things I now have time for. family, friends, sleeping, writing, HIKING, and thinking. I have certainly missed just being able to sit and ponder things.

I am now also a member of the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. But I may have told you that already. I don’t remember. Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting some of my picture book ideas peer reviewed and hopefully will find an agent for them. There are so many possibilities swimming around and I’m very excited about it all.

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and say hey. If any of you are working on something new, feel free to share in the comments box. I love making new friends and sharing ideas!

~Cheers

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Spending Money to Make Money… Eventually, Hopefully

19 08 2014

Welp, I’m $100 (about 75 Euro for my international readers) lighter. I just forked out some dolla billz to become a part of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators or SCBWI for those who know. My professor has been urging me to join for quite some time and I just now managed to scrap together enough play money to join. Hopefully this will help launch me into my publishing career. I have a least a half dozen children’s books written and awaiting illustration (some I will illustrate myself and some I’m ok with other’s working on.) And at least another 2 dozen bouncing around in my head waiting to be written. My newest story involves Slue-foot Sue and it’s turning out to be quite quirky and awesome. Anyway, they gave me this spiffy little badge for spending my money. So here we go, it’s official.

Member badges

 

 





Dunt Dunt Dunt: another one bites the dust

28 03 2014

Praise the Lord and Hallelujah! I just got done with another drafting of Joshua Burnam and the Killer Cereal. Hopefully it’s one of my lasts. The story is coming dangerously close to completion. This week I will be asking some of my trusted Englishly peoples take a look at it and give me some feedback. The majority of plot holes have been filled during this last run though which was probably the biggest overhaul it’s seen yet. It’s taken over a year’s worth of primping and polishing to get it to it’s present state.  I have people constantly asking me how it’s coming and my answer is always the same, still revising.

I feel like I could revise myself into the ground sometimes, but it is a necessary part of the process. I often remind myself that the difference between a writer and a published writer is revision. Someone seeking publishing should spend about 25% of their time writing the story and 75% of the time revising it. And man alive, I use to hate revision. Revision, to me, use to mean that I hadn’t done things perfectly on the first go around (and who really want’s to be told that their writing is crap?) It use to mean that I could potentially cut a paragraph that was awesome and then it would be gone forever.

But as I have become more established in my writer’s ways I have come to realize that there is a certain freedom in revision. It is admitting that: yes, I didn’t get it right on the first try but I can come back to it. And that takes a lot of pressure off preforming such monumental undertakings. Additionally, it is super productive. Knowing that you can revise later on helps you to get what’s in your head out NOW. Sure, maybe it might not work well with the story as it is but you don’t risk losing that great idea because it’s not yet perfect. In food terms: First you gotta get the icing ON the cake before you can smooth it out.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to share the news with you peoples cause you’re awesome and continue to read these posts. Hope your March went well! here’s to a better April!

 

Cheers!





Happy New Year from your Favorite Nomad

10 02 2014

Hey Guys and Happy New Year! I know this is coming a month late but I’ve been completely out of it. The week after graduation I took my 4-year-degree butt to Hawaii to visit my best friend. That, my friends is a blog worthy experience I will treasure for the rest of my life. I took a ton of pictures which I will share in its own little post but that’s not today’s purpose.

So I’m all graduated now and back from Hawaii. I, of course, returned from paradise on the coldest day that Alabama has seen in the past 10 years. Yay me! For those of you that don’t know, I loathe the cold. I lived for 6 years in Ohio and have had my fill of anything chillier than 55 degrees. That’s not the worst of it though, just this past week the deep south completely froze over.

No one knows how it happened. No one knows why it happened. Our faithful local celebrity/hero/weather man James Spann predicted that there would be just a “light dusting” with no accumulations. But that light dusting turned into 2 inches of snow that quickly glazed the state in ice.
We’re all thawed out now but as I sit here rain is falling and the temperature is dropping. The governor has placed us under another state of emergency. The deep South is locked and loaded for another round of #snowmageddon2014 as we’ve all been calling it.

Now you may be asking me what my post grad self has been up to. And it’s nothing short of the usual business. I may not be in class anymore but I still have just as many projects going on. Last week I wrote another children’s book (200 words) and have begun its illustrations. I’ve started a job as a server at a Japanese steakhouse to pick up a little jingle before grad school starts back in the fall…

oh yeah…

Have I not mentioned that? I’m going back for my master’s degree come August. Just today I took the GRE for which I’ve been studying several months.  At one point during the test (not even gonna lie it was during the math section) I actually wanted to punch the computer screen. It wasn’t fun, but it’s over.

Other than that it’s just the same day to day. I did realize though that I’ve been spending a lot of my time around Japanese people. Twice a week I tutor Japanese families. On Mondays I volunteer at a local church teaching ESL to a lovely group of 15 Japanese ladies (they still don’t believe me that eating cold pizza for breakfast is not unheard of among Americans.) Not to mention my new job which has me rolling silverware rolls right alongside some delightful Japanese, Asian and Polynesian workers. One day it is my hope to teach ESL abroad. And I’ve been leaning towards the Southern Europe  region (shoot I already know Italian so why not use it?) but with how much time I’ve been spending around my Japanese friends learning their cultural norms and traditions (and food. food is important) I’m wondering if God is going to direct my steps towards Japan instead. Who knows? It’s gonna be a burr trying to learn the language though. I have difficulty with it. My Japanese attempts are pretty laughable and the words don’t stick in my head.

Well there you go! That catches you up some on the goings on since graduation. I’m gathering my photos for that Hawaii post so stay tuned for the awesomeness to come! 

Cheers!





Knives and Children’s Books Definitely Belong together.

18 09 2013

Ok, so maybe they are not knives per say… but they are incredibly sharp, pointy objects that have been known to draw blood (speaking from personal experience here.) I have been working on the illustrations for my halfway super secret children’s book I’ve been working on. My Momma has sworn me to general secrecy about this particular project. So I cannot talk about the name or story-line here on this very open, public space. However, if you’re dying to know more we can gossip about it in private later. You’ll just have to take the oath of secrecy too… and don’t forget I have sharp pointy objects so don’t be planning on breaking your very sacred oath.

You may be wondering why I am playing with blades to begin with. Well these particular illustrations are made with linoleum prints. Which means that for your 32 page illustrated book (this is the industry standard for children’s books) I have to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 32 or more carvings. My art professor says that an experienced lino cutter can finish a cut in about an hour…

yeahhhh

image

“and the wind blew”

I’m obviously not that experienced yet. I have anywhere from three to five hours invested in each carving. That’s not including the time I have to take to rest my cramping hands. So far I have three carvings complete and am in the process of carving out my fourth. This ———————->  Is the illustration for wind that occurs during a huge storm in the story. The story has a Japanese feel to it but I didn’t want to go with a Manga theme. I’ve chosen lino print as my medium to help mimic the broad brush strokes of traditional Asian artwork.

Anyway it’s been a lot of fun so far and I look forward to getting to share additional prints along the way with you.

 

Cheers!








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