Friday, May 20, 2016

Changes - as the wind blows...

The winds of change often blow you away (see what I did there), creating high strung emotions until you sort out the details.  As it happens, my second illustrator quit just weeks before the production date for publication... sounds oh so familiar.  But this time, I'm so ok with the situation.

I was concerned when the illustrator sent me the first drafts of what he thought Baxter should look like.  I said so many times that Baxter needs to look just like Baxter from the first book. He sent me a second version - closer, still no cigar.

The date for publication came closer and closer, and I hadn't seen all of the illustrations. When he sent them to me, I was disappointed. When I looked closer at each illustration along side the text it was supposed to illustrate, I was dumbfounded at how off the pictures were from the text.  In case I was falling into snotty author mode (I second guess myself all the time), I showed the pictures to my writing group and to my writing students. I also showed it to the language arts administrator in my school district, who has a very young child and is an expert in child literacy.  Consistently, the verdict was that these pictures were not consistent with the branding already created in book 1 or up to professional publication standards.

So next step - I WILL ILLUSTRATE the next two books! I'm very excited about it because I can do the work I need to do since we have an existing set of characters and a set artistic style.  In my past, I've done graphic manipulation work and taught Adobe software products. So now, I'm delighted that I will be able to create amazing books that are just what I want them to be.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On scripts and children's books...

I've discovered a critical disconnect that has caused resistance on my part. I can't seem to get myself back into my original full-length script.  The reason is that my  original concept, poem, and the MFA course requirements for movie trailers and posters do not match with the current version of the script. The original ideas were more sci-fi, but the reality is all action/spies/intrigue. The technology ideas I started with only become the catalyst for my conflict, but not the driving theme.  A-ha!

Back to the drawing board - and that's a good thing.

The short I wrote with Brandon is now headed for contests. The funding isn't available to get it produced with the director we talked with. That's ok becuase we both like the original script in original form rather than the cut version the director wanted.  It's all good--either way is good. I like that we continue to move forward with it rather than let it sit and get stale.

My illustrator is reworking his illustrations to really fine-tune the tone from the first book, so we are moving forward there as well.

One of the challenges writers face is the speed bump or the stop sign in a project's life. We have to be flexible and adjust - a lot. The challenges each of these writing projects have brought me have been good for me.  At least I can say that I've met them each with an open mind and willingness to do what it takes to get them to production.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Well HELLO springtime!!!

I've been busy with my language arts and creative writing classes.  The kids have had a great time with our units in creative writing: fan fiction, movie scripts, humor and comedy, NaNoWriMo, and more.  We are starting our last unit, children's books.

My writing buddy,Brandon, and I wrote a short in record time. We already have a director interested.  He had changes he wanted to see, and I took it as a personal challenge to give him something even more amazing than the first script. (We really think the first script still has incredible merit and potential; it's going on its own to other realms: contests.)  I like being in the seat of a script writer. I understand how directors and producers have visions and constraints, so it's real teamwork to bring my ideas in line with what they want and what they can do.

My second children's book is currently titled Rainbow Tracks.   My new illustrator is making revisions and final touches to the illustrations, and I hope it will be out the end of May or in June. Yay!

I have a wonderful love in my life.  His name is Locksley. I adopted him as a rescue in February.

My mom has decided that I should be writing books about Locksley now. I've got a few ideas brewing, so we'll have to see. Life with Locksley is a BLAST!!!