THE BIG ZERO PARTY took place yesterday. Two had celebrated birthdays with zeros in them earlier this year. And two have those big-zero birthdays coming up. But the four of us and our friends had one big pool-side picnic party—and it was one crazy, laughing, singing, splashing, eating, drinking, being silly...BIG ZERO PARTY!!!
Good morning, all. The illustrator to be featured in today’s post (E. H. Shepard is just filling in) needed a bit more time to get her work and thoughts together, and I said, hey, I’m a busy lady myself these days, so take your time. And so the post is delayed, but I can tell you that when I do post the art of this talented illustrator, you’re in for a treat.
I’m not without content, though, because as I’ve already mentioned a couple times here at 7-Imp, over at a new site (called Wild Things!), my co-author and I are sharing stories that were cut from our upcoming book, Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature — stories, that is, that didn’t make it to publication, on account of length.
And I have to say: It’s been a lot of fun to share the stories. Yesterday (here), we had some stories related to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and today we have some stories related to the Winnie-the-Pooh books. The story, in fact, about the real Christopher Robin, a.k.a. Billy Moon, always breaks my heart, especially the ending and his ability to come to terms with his fame. (“[T]o my surprise and pleasure, I found myself standing beside them in the sunshine able to look them both in the eye.” Oof. Gets me every time.)
Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.
1) The abiding generosity of Jama (and Mr. Jama).
2) I get to meet Jama in person (for the first time ever) in a few weeks! I’m inordinately excited about this.
3) This profile of Dahlov Ipcar was neat to read.
4) I’ve been prepping for this presentation, which I enjoy doing every July in Knoxville.
5) As a ginormous SNL fan, words cannot possibly express how happy this made me to see this week:
6) I already said this, but it’s been really fun to share cut stories from our book at the new site.
7) Showing Planet of the Apes (the original film, that is) to the girls. (I’m a big fan — of those original movies and my girls.)
What are YOUR kicks this week?
|Photo from TED@NYC Talent Search, July 8, 2014, Joe's Pub, New York, NY. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED https://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconfere|
ON SATURDAY JULY 12th 2008, I had just got back from my Maine vacation. I posted these four "vacation diary" images (from previous vacations) and not a single word. The comments came from about ten of Live-Journal friends who "knew" exactly what these images meant.
I guess the adage is true about the picture and the thousand words.
Thank link is here.
FPO (FOR POSITION ONLY) That's what that boxed green illustration is and was intended to be when I placed it there at my "work/lunch" this week.
I didn't have this illustration available at the time. And not that it would matter—it's only correct in its concept.
Yes, I wanted an image of "Peter, Paul and Mary," where Paul was A Hard Day's Night Paul in his beard disguise (I forgot that he wasn't wearing glasses—that's those silly RUBBER SOUL session pictures).
But once I decided the image was only to be the width of the headline box above, it then required complete recomposition.
And here it is...
Writers spend a lot of time writing rules of fantasy, and then even more time figuring out a way around those same rules.
Is this just perversity?
I don’t think so. I think that we all know instinctively that this is the way that mastery of any discipline works. First, you learn all the rules. Then you go about systematically figuring out how to break them.
It’s one of the reasons that it can be confusing to writers who are being taught “the rules” to see so many more advanced writers breaking all those rules.
The “rules” are invented to explain certain forms and processes on a simplistic level. Once you understand that level, you see how you can manipulate those forms and processes on another level entirely. That’s why they say that once you understand the rules, you don’t need to follow them anymore. Although that makes it sound like the rules aren’t really true.
And they aren’t. But they are. At the same time.
Rules are useful ways of describing things in thumbnail form.
But if you’re a pianist and you always follow the rules, you are likely to be boring. If you are a composer and you follow the rules, you may sound a little derivative. Not inventive. Not mind-blowing.
And yet, when you know the rules, you instinctively see the difference between people who break the rules because they have no idea they exist and people who break the rules because they’re messing with your head and your expectations. And how you appreciate the latter!
Wreck the rules! Destroy them! Build them up again!
ONCE UPON A TIME my THURSDAY posts opened with the line, "Last Night at BAND CAMP..." I'd report on what my band—no matter what band it was—was doing at rehearsal on Wednesday night.
I recently posted about the band, SLIPPERY MOON. After this hard-working cover band—that taught me everything I know about being a "bar band"—split up, I joined an all-original band in Northampton. That band went through many iterations and eventually became known as SWEET MILITIA. We tried to balance the originals with enough covers to get us gigs and keep us busy with a little (very little) money in our pockets.
But eventually that band split up, too.
It was then I decided that I decided "I needed to be the boss" and start MY OWN band.
That process took some work. First of which was to step up to the microphone and start singing. I hadn't done much of that in my previous bands—I was just the bass player.
Anyhow, "my bands" saw their share of players come and go but two players have been with me for the long haul.
Jim Reilly and Sonia Barrera.
Both have brought their multi-instrument and their lead- and harmony-vocal skills to the sound. And their eclectic choice of songs and the musical styles in which to perform them. But most importantly, the friendship and partnership and the stick-to-it-ness that is so important to a band's success.
So, my "Last Night at BAND CAMP..." blog today reads: A good session last night with our newest "Mitty," Rick King, our drummer, Tony Fyden and his guest, Joe, and long-time members, Jim and Sonia!
“I’m never consciously thinking ‘wispy’ when I draw, but my line (and especially my pen line) does have an intentional sketchy quality. I like the term ‘lost and found line’ as a description.”
Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Matt Phelan, pictured here, about his 2014 projects, Burleigh Mutén’s Miss Emily, released back in March, and his own picture book, Druthers, coming in September. Both books are from Candlewick.
Matt’s response to the what’s-next question may or may not have made me squeal. (I think the Snow White project sounds pretty great.)
That Q&A is here.
Next week, I’ll have some art from each book, as well as some sketches and such from Matt.
Until tomorrow …
Photo of Matt Phelan used with his permission.
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