Sunday, September 30, 2012

Surrounded by People Who Love What I Love

KidLitCon at New York Public Library

Another perfect day at KidLitCon surrounded by people who love what I love -- Children's Books.

To add to the thrill, KidLitCon was held in the main New York Public Library! Wow!

I came home inspired, energized, and ready to read. 

To keep in touch, I collected some wonderful children's literature blogs that I'd like to share. 

To check them out for yourself, CLICK on the title:

Enjoy them! 

And, may the near future hold a day where you are surrounded with people who love what you love. It's glorious!

Friday, September 28, 2012

KidLitCon 2012

Kidlitosphere Central
What an amazing day!

Today, I was a participant in the 2012 KidLitCon sponsored by Kidlitosphere Central.

KidLitCon is a conference for bloggers who report on the field of children's literature.

As a book lover myself, I couldn't have imagined a more magical day. My morning was spent in Random House, hearing editors sing the praises of their fall and winter book lists for children, middle grade readers, and young adults. The visit was made all the more thrilling by seeing the extensive collection of books that Random House has published over the years.

Grace Lin
Grace Lin
My afternoon was spent at HarperCollins. Another delightful set of enthusiastic editors spoke about their exciting new children, middle grade, and young adult book lists.

I can't wait to read many of the books I heard about today.

My evening was spent at a dinner with an inspiring guest speaker, author/illustrator, Grace Lin.

The day was completely magical, because my in-between time was spent talking to book lovers.

It doesn't get much better than this.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sometimes a Nap is the Best Solution

Lucky napping in Sofie's bed
For the last 4 days, I have worked non-stop on projects that have immediate deadlines.

When I saw Lucky squeezing himself into Sofie's bed, I thought of all those times when a nap was the best part of my day.

Naps allow me to let go of clear my head and rest. Then I can come back to a challenge with rested eyes and fresh mind.

More than anything, a nap is a luxury. When I take a nap, I feel truly lucky.

Friday, September 21, 2012

100 Mice Almost Painted

Mice in Progress
Over 100 mice are crowding my work area. They are in various stages of being painted.

It's fun to look at them. Mice don't scare me one bit. : )

The first 30+ were painted with my vintage water colors from England. The next set, as seen at the left, are painted with ink and gouache.

This has been a great exercise in letting go and having fun. In this process, I have become more confident in my ink lines and skills with color.

Many times the best way to learn is to just do it. Learn from what happens...mistakes and successes.

My goal is to have all the mice complete by the end of September. Then they can go into the mail for October delivery to all who have reserved one.

There are 19 mice unspoken, send in your top 5 number choices and one of those mice will be yours.

Reserve Your Mouse Today!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mr. Pilcher - 7th Grade Geography Teacher

#89 in the 100 Mouse Project
As soon as I finished drawing this picture, I thought of my 7th grade Geography teacher, Mr. Pilcher.


I was late almost every day in 7th grade. And, I would have to go to him to buy my lunch ticket.

He never got mad at me. Just told me to do better.

He was a great man with a calm, humorous attitude...who in the middle of his geography lessons told us about living in other countries and stories from Greek mythology.

True, I don't know how much geography I learned in his class...I wasn't the best listener back then...but I always heard the personal stories he told about his travels...and the Greek mythology he shared.

When working with people, I understand that what they need or receive from me might not be what I'm officially there to share. They might need the extra things I share.

Just like I needed Mr. Pilcher to share the extras. The things that got me to pay attention. Those extras started my mind thinking of worlds beyond Kansas, and of fantastical stories of Greek gods and the people that believed in them.

Thank you Mr. Pilcher for being so fun and such a good example...and for never getting truly mad at me for being late.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Collie of My Dreams

Timmy and Lassie
From childhood on -- collies have been my favorite dogs.

First, with the TV Lassie who was able to rescue some living thing every week. She was loyal, kind, smart, communicative, and beautiful.

Then, I was impressed as a child when my father, a veterinarian, was boarding a collie. My mom came toward us children, the collie must have thought she was going to hurt us, so he held Mom gently in place so she couldn't reach us. What child wouldn't love that?

Susanna and Lucky

Over the years, I've had 6 different wonderful collies. About 17 years ago the last one passed away. I have dreamed of having another one ever since.

Almost a month ago, my dream came true with a smooth collie named Lucky.

I talk about this again today, because knowing your dreams and not giving up on them ... gives you the possibility of having them come true.

What are your dreams?
May you be as happy as I am when they come true.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Don't Miss Your Chance to Win!!

Enter to win your very own copy of "How to Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon.

To Be Entered to Win: 

Simply Sign Up to be a Follower of this Blog...
see right column on this website.

Already a follower of this blog?
You're already entered to win.

At the end of September,
I will draw a winner from all the Blog Followers.

Don't miss the chance to win this wonderfully inspiring book. Great for people in every field.

Thanks for entering. Best of Luck!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Two Wolves Inside Us All

Photo from Houston Zoo Website
A friend of mine shared the following legend:

"An old Cherokee told his grandson, "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.

The other is Good. It is peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth."

The boy thought about it, and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"

The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed."

The author for this piece is unknown.

The sentiment rings our lives, we make a choice every day of which wolf to feed.

Which wolf do you feed?

Click HERE to link to more Native American Legends.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Try Something New Every Day

My Brave Year of Firsts: Tries, Sighs, and High Fives
Illustrated by Laura Cornell

Today I saw Jamie Lee Curtis promoting her new book, "My Brave Year of Firsts."

She talked about how we expect children to try new things all the time. 

As adults, however, we rarely challenge ourselves to try something new.

Starting today, I'm going to challenge myself to try something new every day....a activity...something.

What new things will you try?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Answer is Always "No," Unless You Ask

Original Cover Art - Ellen Raskin

I've been reminded lately that the answer will always be 'No," unless you challenge yourself to move forward after what you want.

Madeleine L'Engle could have stopped submitting her fantasy novel, "A Wrinkle in Time," after the 1st, 2nd, 10th rejection, but she didn't.

She kept going and eventually after 26 rejections, her agent returned the manuscript to her. She could have stopped then. However, a friend wanted to introduce her to John C. Farrar of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, a company that didn't publish children's books at the time. Ms. L'Engle still said 'yes,' to the meeting.

Mr. Farrar liked her story and published it. "A Wrinkle in Time" has been in print ever since, and won multiple awards, including the prestigious Newberry Award.

Madeleine L'Engle didn't let all the roadblocks stop her. She continued forward toward a "Yes." 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Enter to Win a Free Copy of "How to Steal Like an Artist"

Enter to win your very own copy of "How to Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon.

This is an inspiring book for people in all fields...thus, a perfect choice for my drawing.

Enter to win: 

Simply sign up to be a follower of this blog...see right column on this website.

Already a follower of this blog?
You're already entered to win.

At the end of September, the names of all the blog followers will be placed in a bowl and the winner drawn.

Thanks for entering. Best of Luck!