Monday, August 31, 2009

Children's writers (a quote)

I was catching up on a older version of a WOW! newsletter, and came across this great quote that Esther Hershenhorn attributes to a friend in her interview there:

“Children’s book creators are actually long-ago friends from another time and place who have simply and suddenly reconnected.”

I made a few of those connections last weekend, and I must say that they are always eminently satisfying. Although in one case, it was not a person. It was a book. A delightful and instant long-lost friend sitting on a library shelf.

Where do you plan to connect with some "long-ago friends" this year?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Another unlikely writing tool

I've been rather silent here because I've been preparing for a 2-day community fair in my area that began today. Teamed up with a friend that's written a fabulous book for teachers and parents that have a struggling reader at home (find her here).

But in the meantime, I came across another unlikely writing tool the other day. I was paying my credit card bill and the opening flash ad looked suspiciously like a writing prompt. See what you think and have at it:

"Your rental car got stolen.

In the French Riviera ..."

Now begin while I finish up with a full (9-9) day tomorrow. Then I'll be back. And if you finish early, check the ads around you for some other likely looking prompts.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A fish out of water?

It's summer. I'm preoccupied with weather. (You may have noticed.) There have been a couple days where I just want to crawl right inside my water bottle and stay there. Which led to this sketch:

Stay cool!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Love the library hum

We dropped into our local library and what a pleasant trip it was. We have a beautiful new library downtown and it's not the sort of place where you'll see "Shhhh" on the walls. It's had it struggles in the past few years but today it looks to be a vibrant and much-loved place.

Today, if fact, it made me think of a market. There was a pleasant hum as people talked about different titles or browsed the fresh selections and well-loved standbys on the shelves. At the self-serve check out stations people arranged their assortments of topics, ideas, information and entertainment preparing to take them home to savor. At the staffed check out counter, staff shared insights and tidbits about various titles people were sampling for the first time, or sharing from timeless favorites.

And in a delightful display, a woman of somewhat Reubenesque proportions reclined on a bench in the lobby, in no hurry to leave the novel she was devouring with a rather voracious appetite. I would have liked to have painted her.

Today was also a "wrap up summer" party, and a live xylophone performer in the courtyard played a pleasant counterpart to the planned children's activities. Open doors and sunshine made an inviting atmosphere where even the children negotiating "just one more book?" with their parents added to the flavor of the afternoon.

Mmmm ...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fancy words & fanciful words

I came across something today that might develop into a real writing tool for me.

I was posting a comment to a friend's blog today and it was one of those that requires you to enter a password before posting. The "word" that came up was REMIDDLE.

I like that non-word. It seems delightfully familiar but of course I don't have a clue what it means. And as I let my mind wander to try to find a meaning, I found a sentence, then a paragraph forming about the process of "remiddling." It had a fantasy flavor to it and I may take time to play with it some more.

Yesterday, it was VADAL. Sounds adjectival, don't you think? Now it turns out that Vadal is actually the name of a community in India. I hadn't know that. So I could do some research and choose to write a short story set in Vadal, or I could work on a setting where the appropriate - the only - descriptive word for some noun would be that it was "vadal."

Keep your eyes open. Those passwords might just open the door to some truly vadal writing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Turn up the heat

I mentioned in my last blog the temperatures that are jumping around above the 100 degree mark in my area. It's summer and probably soon the sky will start to haze over with forest fires or thunderstorms (or both, or in sequence).

But I got thinking about this today - the impact of something is always notched up when we turn up the heat. For example:

Molten lava vs. solid rock
A sheen of sweat vs. a cool facade
Melted chocolate vs. solid chocolate with a dusty haze
A roaring fire vs. a drizzling rain
Burning desert sands vs. murky ocean floor
The heat of an argument vs. rational discussion
A sizzling steak vs. raw meat
"hot-headed" vs. "icy, null and void"

So it begs the question - how can I ramp up the temperature to give my writing more sizzle?