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Results 51 - 75 of 142,701
51. An interview with Deborah Kalb


Hello Everyone! Lots going on here and there. I won the Jane Addams Peace Awardand went to NYC to receive the beautiful award. Debbie Levy and I received the award for our book, "We Shall Over Come"published by Disney -Hyperion and Jump At The Sun Press. We had an awesome beautiful day. I also got the pleasure and joy of seeing Ludwigs Bemelmens's Madeline and that was awesome! It's on it's way to Eric Carle Museum. If you are in the area please check it out! It was beautiful.

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52. work, work, work.


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53. Frankenstein

#Frankenstein for day 22 of #inktober and #sketch_dailies

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54. Mastering Kid-Speak – Erika Wassall

erikaphoto-45Jersey Farm Scribe here on…

A Dialogue Tune-up: Mastering Kid-Speak

Dialogue is one of the most important pieces of any manuscript, and this often goes double for children’s works. Dialogue moves the story along, develops the connection between your readers and the characters and keeps things tangible and realistic.

That means that mastering Kid-Speak is unequivocally important.

There is a rhyme and rhythm to the way that kids communicate, where they pause to think, how they choose their words, the direction their stream of conscious takes them in. I’ve often wondered if there are linguists who study children specifically.  I bet we could learn a lot about the development of the brain and human instincts by looking at how and why kids pick their words.

As writers, if our characters don’t sound realistic, we’ve already lost the battle.  It’s something a child will instantly and instinctively pick up on.  The character will seem fake and they won’t bond with them.  Even in a plot-driven story, if the readers don’t connect with the characters, the story won’t resonate.

Here are a few things you can do to work on the dialogue in your stories: 

Eavesdrop!

Listening to children talk is one of my favorite things to do. This can be a bit trickier to do with older kids.  Teenagers aren’t big on you overhearing their devastatingly important and secret information.  But there’s a great trick to overcome that.  Stick two or more kids in the back of a car and drive around a while.  Even teenagers will fairly quickly forget that you can probably hear them and get swept up in the excitement of their chatter.  When hushed whispers are completely ignored, they often become full-volume conversations within a few minutes.

It’ll be a hit with the other adults in your life too! The fact that I’m quick to volunteer for anything kid and car-pool related is a much-appreciated running joke among my friends and family.

Listen to yourself:

Most writers understand the value of reading the dialogue sections of a manuscript out-loud. But you can take this even further.  Record yourself reading it.  Play it back.  Have someone else read it to you.  Have multiple someones read it to you.

Better yet, have an age-appropriate child read it to you. See how it sounds coming from them.  Does it sound natural?  Stale?  Funny?  Bland?  Vocabulary that encourages learning and reaching is excellent when carefully placed in children’s books.  But (unless it’s your character’s quirk) you want to keep the dialogue age-appropriate.

Hearing how the lines sound with the natural intonation of a child’s voice can be a simple and surprisingly effective way of polishing up the dialogue.

Give Everyone Their Own Unique Voice

If you ask five kids the same question, you will get five different responses, even if they all have the same general answer. You have a voice as a writer.  Be sure each of your characters has a voice of their own as well.

We all have our little verbal tics, especially kids. Some are simple speakers, short, two to three word sentences.  Some seem to look for any opportunity to use flowery, descriptive words.  They know different words based on who and what occupies the majority of their time.

A friend’s five year old used the word “bonemeal” when he was commenting on my conversation with his mother about my garden next year. Turns out, it’s basically a type of fertilizer in Minecraft.  I was amazed that he made the connection to a real-life garden, but it was just his natural Kid-Speak.

A great test for this is to pull out all the dialogue in your manuscript and see if you can tell who said what without even looking at the character name. 

It’s not an easy test. But for me, it’s given me great perspective on places I need to have the opportunity to personalize and develop that critical bond between my readers, and the characters they’re going to take the journey with.

Dialogue does so much in our manuscripts. It allows us to remove unnecessary words, breaks up long, difficult to read paragraphs, advances the story, gives us relatable realism and lets us see how a character thinks.  Take these opportunities to really let the uniqueness of your characters shine, and capture your readers.

Kid-Speak varies for different ages, backgrounds and situations, making it a versatile and powerful tool to make your story, and your character jump off the page and into the reader’s heart.

Your character’s personalities, and your manuscripts, are worth it.

Erika Wassall is a writer, a farmer and a liver of life. She is a member of SCBWI and a proud Mad Scientist, bringing science experiments right into children’s classrooms, and hearts. She has a small farm in New Jersey with sheep, chickens, pigs and vegetables. Check out her new website at www.TheJerseyFarmScribe.com where as a first generation farmer, she often takes the long way, learning the tricks of the trade on The Farm. On her website is also The Shop page with tips and a free Q/A from her husband’s mechanic shop, and The Writer page where she shares stories, experiences and characters from the heart. Follow her on Twitter at @NJFarmScribe. She’d love to hear from you!

Thank you Erika for another great post. I always enjoy them.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, How to, inspiration, Writing Tips Tagged: A Dialogue Tune Up, Erika Walssal, Guest Blogger Post, Mastering Kid-Speak

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55. My Neighbor Japsang




Once upon a long ago, I traveled to Seoul, Korea, and visited Changdeokgung Palace.  What a marvel, a historical site rich in history and culture nestled within a bustling and modern city.  I was enchanted by the architecture and blossoming gardens and the beautiful, hungry koi.  But I also spied with my little eye something that would capture my imagination most of all.  On the corners of the rooftop of the main palace building stood little figures, all lined up as if scanning the horizon.  These, I later learned, are called Japsang.  Each figure has its own name.  Delightful!  They are meant to be decorative but also serve to chase away evil spirits.  

I snapped a picture, blew it up, and it has hung on my living room wall ever since.  

Below is a picture inspired by the Japsang and Totoro.  Maybe sitting on the roof while thunderous-looking clouds loom overhead is not the best idea, but I'd like to think the squishy blue guys will keep the kids safe.


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56. Tyler Perry and Bento Box Produce Direct-to-Video ‘Madea’ Feature

Actor Tyler Perry, whose drag performances as an elderly African-American woman named Madea have resulted in explicable live-action success, has transferred his Madea act to animation with the dreadful-looking "Tyler Perry's Madea's Tough Love."

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57. Do You Mask Merry?


 
We like to masquerade in these parts.
Especially when learning our Pacific Northwest animals.
Especially when all fuzzed up about pumpkins and costumes.
I started with a few sketches, 
the kids made their own beautiful batches, 
and Voila!
Wildebeests, unite!


Need a quick costume this week?


I'm offering a few freebies for your personal or classroom use.

 



  {Please note that these images are my original art.
    They're not to be sold or passed off as anyone else's work.
    Thanks!}

To use, just drag the image to your desktop,
print on card stock,
color at will!
Crayon, colored pencils or watercolor work just fine.
We also tried gouache and acrylic gel medium, for hoots.

Birdie asked if she could change her name to Owly-Whoo.

When you finish all that lovely color,
cut out and fix for wearing! 

Our salmon puppet has a popsicle stick taped to his back.
Did you know sockeye salmon turn red when they spawn? I did not. 
The wildebeests told me. 
I guess this means they are learning something in the midst 
of my art diversions.
Yarn or ribbon is an easy tie for the masks.
Hey, anything for a party, right?
Anything for a printable, coloring, educational, masquerade party!
That's right. We mask merry around these parts.  

Happy hoots!

Books!

S is for Salmon - Hannah Viore
123 Moose! by Art Wolfe, ill. by Andrea Helman
Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? by Rita Gray, ill. by Kenard Pak
North - The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration, by Nick Dowson, ill. by Patrick Benson
A House in the Woods by Inga Moore
Leaves  by David Ezra Stein
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, ill. by Jane Chapman
Once Upon a Memory by Nina Laden, ill. by Renata Liwska
Kiss Goodnight by Amy Hest, ill. by Anita Jeram

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd








 
 


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58. Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Time-lapse

I’m pleased to announce that our wildebeest time-lapse video has been commended in the new time-lapse category of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

I have edited a new version of this footage, which you can view below:

The scenes shown in this footage are among the most awe-inspiring I have ever witnessed! We found that time-lapse was the only medium that allowed us to convey the magnitude of the migration. This footage was shot over five days in Northern Serengeti, Tanzania. It shows the migrating wildebeest crossing the Mara River while moving south into Tanzania from Kenya.

The Serengeti Ecosystem supports 1.5 million wildebeest. These wildebeest are forced to migrate around a 40,000 square kilometre area in order to find fresh grazing pastures. The migration is full of danger and hardship for these resilient creatures. Thirst, hunger, exhaustion, predation and the Mara River are just some of the challenges they must face.

Wildebeest pour down the banks before leaping into the Mara River.

You can read more about this project in my free ebook: My Top Ten Wildlife Experiences.

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59. On the road

Packing up to leave the country, I will be away for almost two weeks holding workshops. Updates might be sporadic...

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60. Oscars 2015: Best Animated Short Film Contenders

Cartoon Brew looks at some of the likely contenders in the Oscar race for this year's best animated short film.

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61. HAPPY #CAPSLOCKDAY (and only 10 days until #PictureBookMonth)

Happy International Caps Lock Day, everyone!

And don't forget, only ten days until Picture Book Month. I'm especially excited beause this year I'm a Picture Book Month Champion!!

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62. NEW - art gallery fabrics pt.1

Art Gallery Fabrics will be at the Quilt Market in Houston this weekend (25th-27th Oct) launching lots of fabulous new design collections. Their previews have already gone online showcasing Art Gallery's releases between November 2014 and April 2015. If you are lucky enough to be attending the show look out for them in  Booth #1660. For those of us who cant attend here are some of my picks with

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63. Hunter

First time in a long time that I've done an airbrush illustration - It's good to be back

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64. Amelia Calavera - Day of the Dead Sugar Skull




Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) is a holiday celebration which is held from October 31 to November 2, not only observed throughout Mexico but also in other cultures around the world, including most Latin American countries. This popular tradition is all about the boundaries between life and death, and how people honour and celebrate their deceased loved ones as a way to reconnect with them.

Amelia Calavera was inspired by this colorful celebration and by the beautiful botanic imagery from early 1900’s. © Sandra Vargas

Prints, Clothing, Throw Pillows and more, available here.

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65. Peter Sohn Named New Director of Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’

Yesterday evening, Pixar quietly revealed on Twitter that the new director of "The Good Dinosaur," scheduled to be released in November 2015, is Peter Sohn.

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66. Is it Middle Grade or Chapter Book?

You've finished that first draft of your middle grade novel. But now taking a long look, maybe not. Maybe it is a Chapter book. Or is it? 
How can you tell? Now it's not as clear as you first thought in your rapid fire, getting it all out on paper and spouting out to everyone, "I'm working on a middle grade story."
Going back to read or reread all the books that seem the slightest bit similar sometimes helps. And sometimes doesn't -
I found a blog by Emma Walton Hamilton with a clear way to compare.
She uses clues about: 
Audience
Age of Protagonist
Length
Illustration
Content
Yes, there are always exceptions!
I'm still researching every chapter and middle grade book I can get my hands on, but each morsel of information helps me on my journey.


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67. Untitled drawing


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68. A Ghostly Presence amongst the Fire Engines..?



On Sunday, we had another Urban Sketchers Yorkshire day out. This time we spent it in a slightly spooky building which was once Sheffield's Victorian Police and Fire Station, although these days it's the National Emergency Services Museum


Apparently it's the largest volunteer-run museum in the UK. Fancy that. I also didn't realise that it has several resident ghosts. 


I'm not surprised, to be honest: those Victorian police cells in particular really looked the part. While I was sitting sketching, I kept waiting for a ghostly tap on the shoulder, but the spirits in question are obviously not art-lovers.


The upstairs rooms of museum are stuffed with all sorts of paraphernalia, big and small, but I found myself mostly drawn to the vintage vehicles downstairs. I don't know why: I am rubbish at drawing cars. I had two cracks at the American fire engine below, but got a bit frustrated with my inability to judge the various wheel ellipses. My problem is that I don't like to do pencil prelims - I just want to go for it. I think it's the challenge of that which excites me.  Except, there are some things which are totally unforgiving of errors - tyres amongst them!


During the first couple of hours at the museum, sketchers arrived from different places in dribs and drabs, until we were about 20. The only drawback to that is that, as each person arrived, they came to say hello, so I ended up doing a lot more talking than sketching before lunch. It was very sociable though. 


I was most pleased with my last sketch of the day: the one at the top. I squeezed it in, right at the end of the afternoon. I went out into the yard and decided that was the cutest of the old fire-engines. I just finished it off in time and had to hold my sketchbook open all the way to the pub, to wait for the paint to dry off.



As usual, it was fun looking through the sketchbooks. Not everyone made it to the pub, but we still had to pull two tables together to fit us all round. Then I stood on a chair to attempt a panorama shot, to fit all the books in. Not 100% successful to coordinate, but the source of much amusement.

Gold star to Andrea Joseph, for being the only person STILL sketching:



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69. shark & unicorn: spooky



Here's my Shark & Unicorn comic strip that ran last weekend in The Funday Times section of The Sunday Times. The film theme for the issue was The Book of Life, but I was asked not to use the word 'ghost' or 'haunted'. (Thus the 'spookies'; I had to be a bit creative.)



Actually, The Book of Life looks interesting, I'll include the trailer:

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70. NEW - art gallery fabrics pt. 2

Also new from Art Gallery Fabrics are two ranges from Bonnie Christine. Hello Bear, named after Bonnie's son and inspired by the wilderness will be released in January 2015. And (below) also from Bonnie Christine in April 2015 will come a gardening inspired range called Cultivate.  Below : In December 2014 Art Gallery will release Gossamer a dreamy floral

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71. Morning Person


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72. CRADLE BEAR


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73. How to Paint Glow

Manelle Oliphant Illustration - Illustrator and Writer

How To Paint GlowMy latest short story Midnight Ghost (it’s being released Oct 24th) required me to draw a glowing ghost. This is something you can struggle with if you don’t know the rules but once you do, drawing and painting glow is very easy.

It’s all about values

Values are the lightness or darkness of a color. I wrote a whole post about them so if you want to understand a little better check it out by clicking here. 

It’s impossible to get anything lighter than the paper or white paint you are using, so how to make something look like its lit up? The secret is in the contrast. If you want something to look like light you need to put dark around it. The contrast between light and dark is what makes it look like it’s glowing.

Here is the image I did of the Ghost in my new story. She needed to look like she was glowing so I added the dark area to the background and ta-daa! Glowing ghost. This image was all done with pencil. Since there is no color you can see the contrast in values easier, but it works with color too.

Here’s video of me doing the same thing with watercolor so you can see it in action.

Color can blind us. Sometimes we try to make something look like light by adding yellow, after all, the sun is yellow so it should work right? Nope. Next time approach the problem as something that needs to be lighter or darker rather than a different color. I bet you’ll be pleased with the results.

Have fun painting glow-y things!

The post How to Paint Glow appeared first on Manelle Oliphant Illustration.

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74. The Business of Art


I've been sharing several different lectures and discussions with the students in the Visualization Department here at Texas A&M as part of my weeklong residency here. Yesterday in Sam Woodfin's figure drawing class I covered sketching with colored pencils and ideas about color, light, and composition.


I also took them through a new talk called "The New Art Economy: Living Off Your Dreams." This illustrated lecture is about the changing business paradigms for independent content creators. We looked at the big trends in media and the effects of digital production, digital distribution, and social media, and what that means for people like me who are learning my way around the new business models as old ones become obsolete or increasingly marginalized.

One of the takeaways was this: If you want to be a self-publisher, you not only need to learn about painting and drawing, but also about writing, photography, video, animation, marketing, publicity, graphics, sales, and shipping.

It's a sobering, but also an inspiring and empowering talk with lots of statistics and practical tips. We finished with a lively discussion about the trends in popular culture media, and I learned a lot from the students.

Today I'll be visiting Felice House's painting class to do a lecture and demo about observational painting.

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75.

Sandyland is NOT #Hawaii but Snap by Carol Snow is a must read. http://buff.ly/1rmteZI #YAlit CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS - SNAP by Carol Snow

from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/1yhoMLU

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