Friday, February 26, 2010

February Picture Book Round Up

A couple of weeks ago, my friend called and said, "Congrats! You got a shout out on the Verla Kay Blue Boards! Someone asked for recommendations of picture book blogs. And a responder listed Thing 1 and Thing 2 as one of their favorites."

"Really?" I asked in surprise.

I was all smiles.

Until I realized, I am not one of the best picture books blogs in the blogosphere. I am one of the ONLY picture book blogs.

So, I have decided to do a Picture Book Round Up. Kind of like Shelli's Marketing Round Up, but for picture books (and not as frequent).

Here are the best posts I found for February:

If You Want to Be a Picture Book Writer - Pam Calvert, author of Princess Peepers, talks about her struggle to learn the art of the picture book. In this fabulous post, Pam shares what she learned from Anastasia Suen's PB Intensive.

Saying a Lot with a Little: - Anyone who knows anything about picture books knows that less is more. But Tara Lazar doesn't just tell us this. She shows us using Kathi Applet's PB as an example to demonstrate economy of words. Take a look and see what Kathi leaves unsaid.

Okay, that's all I've got! (Told you there weren't many blogs focusing on the PB genre)

If you've got any good links that I missed, please let me know and I'll add them!

Friday, February 19, 2010

No Fair!

Okay, if my son ever grows up and decides to read his mom's old blog posts, he is going to get a complex. My precious girl has had more than her fair share of mentions. And, we all know how siblings keep track. So, here is a little round up of Thing 2 quotes on the subject of sibling feelings:

After Jordan flawlessly read a picture book to all of us at bedtime, "Terrible, Jordan. Terrible."

DAVID: (kidding around) Joshy, who do you like better, Mommy or Daddy?
JOSHY: Well, first of all, of course, I like myself best. Second, I pick... Jawden.

Josh's teacher overheard him in the hall saying to one of his buddies, "Sometimes, I need a bweak from my sister. I wish I had a bwother."

After Jordan cracked an egg for French Toast, "Terrible, Jordan. You're terrible at cracking eggs. " (Getting the picture here? :)

In bed one night, out of the blue, "Sometimes I hate Jordan and her stupid mustache."
ME: Where did Jordan get a mustache?
JOSH: From Sophie's dad.

Boy, you can't make this stuff up!

Becky and I are struggling to capture these conflicting emotions of sibling love/worship/hate/envy in our picture book, Rescuing Mae. Tomorrow I meet her to work on draft #37. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This Post is Cancelled (AGAIN!)

Okay, it's another one of those weeks where I keep writing a post. And then deleting it. Then writing another. And deleting it. Does anyone else do this?

I write something and then I feel that it just isn't entertaining enough. It's too serious. Too unfunny. I guess everyone has their fears. Fear that people will perceive them as overweight. Or as unintelligent. Mine is that people will think I am BORNG.

What adjective are you afraid of?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vote with Your Hope

I should be in a better mood. The long, cold, bleak month of January is over. And February with its light, frivolous holidays is half done. Despite the fact that Punxsatawney Phil saw his shadow, spring is still around the corner.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 came home from school on February 1st talking about groundhogs and predictions. "We had to vote on whether or not we think he'll see his shadow," Thing 1 explained.

"What was your vote?" I asked her.

"Well, I think he is going to see his shadow, but I hope he doesn't" she said. "So, I voted with my hope."

So, why do I feel so melancholy? Is it because I thought by now I would have made more strides with my current WIP? Is it because I think it will never be as funny or as clever as NINJA PIGS?

Why can't I be more like Jordan and vote with my hope?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who Are Thing 1 and Thing 2?

Whenever I check Recent Keyword Activity on StatCounter, I find that most people stumble onto my blog by searching for Thing 1 and Thing 2. Who are they? What story do they come from? What are some Thing 1 and Thing 2 quotes?

This post is for them.

Thing 1 and Thing 2
You ask, "Who is that?"
They're a Seussical pair
From the Cat in the Hat

They come out of a box,
Thing 1 and Thing 2.
They do not say much,
Just "How do you do?"

They make mischief & mayhem
with "bumps, jumps, and kicks"
They like to fly kites
and do lots of bad tricks.

They destroy the whole house
while running about
as the fish in the dish yells
"You must get them out!"

Till at last, mom is seen
at the end of the day.
And the Cat packs them up
and takes them away.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Life in the Fast Lane

Wow! I unplugged for a week and a half. Never thought I'd do that. But I realized I've become too much of a recluse. I used to be extremely social. Now, I just like to hole up at home all day. The Internet is like an IV attached to my arm, a chemical drip seeping into my blood and sustaining my existence. One day, I just woke up and yanked it from my vein. And it felt great.

Things I discovered while I was away from my computer:

1) If you want people to buy the sequel, don't properly end the first book

Stieg Larsson trapped me into buying The Girl Who Played with Fire because he abruptly shut down The Girl with the DragonTattoo leaving several things unresolved. I had no choice but to pick up the follow up book so I could see how the first story ended. He might as well have cut things off mid-sentence. (By the way, that sneaky bastard does it again in book 2, so it's pretty obvious what I'll be ordering in May)

2) Life is very full without Boggle.

Friends, family, snow, wine, books, and an occasional movie can keep a person adequately entertained without Facebook Scramble.

3) If you want to bet on a football game, just ask my son who is routing for and put your money on the other team.

Poor little guy. He was a Giants fan, but switched over to Jets for the play offs. When they lost, he picked the Vikings, a sure favorite. When they lost, he chose the record-setting Colts. When they lost, he lost it. How much can a four year old take?

Anyway, I am back online and will visit all your blogs soon! But I'm going to try to strike a better balance in my life. I need to venture out more. I need to live life in the fast lane.