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51.


I love the colors, sounds, and taste from India! Have a wonderful week People!

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52. Reasons why RAYMAN Legends needs its own art book

Being late to the game (as usual), I just recently decided to pick up an Xbox 360. I downloaded some games, TV show apps, and finally purchased and finished my first game: Southpark – The Stick of Truth.

After binging on some RPG I needed a new fix, a platformer. But this time I wanted to play something that something my kids could also enjoy. Enter Rayman:Legends.

Besides the fun game play, it has beautifully illustrated characters and backgrounds. There’s enough levels to give the Rayman world an enjoyable variety and depth. As an artist, it’s actually very inspiring to play this game, which made me wonder why they don’t have an art book out.

Here’s a small selection of images I found online. You should view these in full size to appreciate them, but you should really play the game to see these wonderful characters come to life.

Instead of giving you reasons, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Get this on multiple gaming platforms: Rayman Legends on Amazon

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53. Mass effect


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54. Pages from my Daily Drawing Journal

It feels kind of weird to be sharing so many self portraits here. But you and I better get used to it, because there are yet a lot of pages to be filled in my current drawing journal and I'm not giving up the habit of drawing a self portrait each day!
Some days I really like the result, some days I don't. I notice that with some drawing tools, I find it easier than with others. It's a fun journney I'm taking.

I will leave it to you to decide if they're getting any better.




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55. April Showers Bring Easter Sketches

My friend Theresa's Easter ducklings

The bunny puts the duckling it his place.
That is the saying isn't it? Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

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56. Here Come the Illustrators...



Oh My!! Life has been crazy, but finally got a chance to look at the line up for this year's Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference....Wow~! Here is INFO from their site, but wow~did I say that?! The faculty includes very knowledgeable writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, a huge amount  of African American , Hispanic American and Asian Americans  this year- kudos! But, no Native Americans that I can see either writers or illustrators, but I am not going to go off on that, because I'm impressed in what SCBWI did accomplish. 
And the illustrators, well start off with Tomie dePaola...



who I always thought  was part Hispanic for the books he has illustrated for the last forty years or so, but, nope, he is Irish/Italian, just loves to study and bring forth other cultures. 
The Saturday Gala is celebrating his 80th birthday. I've been going to the summer SCBWI conference for seven years and this is the first time he will be there. 
Next up is Aaron Becker...


One of this years Caldecott 2014  Honors for his wordless picture book JOURNEY.

SCBWI did "pretty good" this year on the women illustrators I have to say, some years it' an all male review, out of editorial or fine art background for speakers,but.....well, again, I am not going to rant, because this year's line up looks great since a female, cat loving illustrator, Judy Schachner...


 is giving one of the keynote talks and a workshop on animal characters, which I am not good at, can illustrate them in their natural habit but not so well in overalls!

What is really exciting on the illustrator front is Monday's intensive, which started about 3-4 years ago and to be honest, the illustrator side did not sound very appealing to me, the first few years more on watching the "big namers" demo their process. Now don't get me wrong, that would be unbelievable fasninating to watch someone paint, I could do that for days, but don't know how helpful that would be be to me, a collage artist in furthering  my career.

But this year, it is all about  inspiration from the Masters, something every artist no matter what the medium we use or how experience we are can benefit from.  There is a option to send in an illustration inspired by a master.....hum, do I want the likes of dePaola or a 2014 Caldecott Honor commenting on my art, have not decided that and while the SCBWI assignment is probably for younger children's illustrations for picturebooks, I already am working on an illustration as a promo for book covers that is much inspired by Wood's American Gothic...

and the works of photographers during the Great Depression that I have been pouring over as of late, these are gorgeous....


I'll show you when I get done and we shall see if I do one for a younger audience for the SCBWI Intensive. But as an art teacher, I love studying the Master and am excited about this years line up of Illustrators for the LA conference, plus the whole conference  is a really great "mom" escape at the poolside bar with a mojito or two, since I just have to find my room, no driving involved.


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57. Preview: Masaaki Yuasa-Directed ‘Adventure Time’ Episode

The most fascinating bit of news out of WonderCon last weekend? Japanese director Masaaki Yuasa ("Mind Game") has storyboarded and directed an upcoming episode of "Adventure Time."

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58. Dog Lovers: 1000 Dog Portraits

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 11.32.17 AM

I am pleased as punch that three of my dog illustrations have made it into Robynne Raye’s new book, 1000 Dog Portraits, now available on Amazon. Woot! Woot! What a way to honor Emma Lou (office assistant), Sarah (angel dog) and Lilibeth (angel dog)! I just ordered a few contributor copies. I never tire of seeing my work in print. It’s one of those healthy addictions. :) To celebrate, it’s time to draw some more.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 11.32.05 AM


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59. Music Monday - Fame

Grey's Anatomy continues with the stripped down, made-into-ballads 80's covers. This one is a lovely version of Fame by Mree:

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60. spring happenings

 

I feel like a cavewoman every time I sit down to write a blog post these days. A hurried little moment around baby naps and between 3 year old projects. ME LIKE SPRING, I bang out with the my cavewoman fingers. ME LIKE TO MAKE STUFF, BEEN BUSY. Then my brain bounces off to bounce a baby or glue a bunch of stuff with a three year old and the next full thought I have happens late at night, when the house is quiet, and all thoughts are so jumbled together, they're spilling over each other to get outside and into the cool spring air.

But I really like this life. I'm excited about the new art and kid and book things that are swirling around, jockeying for a place in the day. I like how things are changing and transforming, all of the time. Also, ME LIKE YOU. 

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61. Sunday Sketching -

In the teensy purse-Moleskine balanced upon my knee...


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62. Oliver’s Tree

Olivers Tree by Kit Chasewritten and illustrated by Kit Chase

published 2014, by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of PenguinOliver's Tree by Kit ChaseI’ve always had a soft spot for elephants, ever since I had a sweet stuffed one as a kid. He played ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ so of course, Sunshine was his name. And I don’t know who I’m kidding with the kid thing, cause Sunshine still lives with me. He’s a dear.

And lately, I’ve had a tender thing towards trees and how much they give us. Some are big enough to hug, and some snap at the landing of a songbird. All are homes.Oliver's Tree by Kit Chase Oliver's Tree by Kit ChaseAdd a little Beatrix Potter-esque art, and a story that stays endearing without dipping into the saccharine side, and I’m completely charmed. The dust jacket says it best: ‘there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees.’

I love this elephant, Oliver. I love that when all he sees is despair, he takes a nap. Spectacular coping skill, Oliver! Thank goodness that his friends aren’t defeated, and they get to work searching and gathering.Oliver's Tree by Kit Chase Oliver's Tree by Kit ChaseI’m adding the spread below to my inner rolodex of perfect picture book spreads. The words and the illustrations balance each other and don’t compete for attention. It slows down the action, builds suspense, and gives the reader a chance to predict what happens on the other side of the page turn. And the twig frames are just plain lovely. So: pretty perfect.Oliver's Tree by Kit ChaseI hope this isn’t the only story Kit Chase is brewing with Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu. I feel like they have a lot to say and share.

Want to see more of her art? A dash of dear and a pinch of perfect? All of the pieces below are in her Etsy shop, trafalgar’s square. Huge thanks to Kit for sharing these with us!https://www.etsy.com/shop/trafalgarssquare https://www.etsy.com/shop/trafalgarssquare https://www.etsy.com/shop/trafalgarssquare https://www.etsy.com/shop/trafalgarssquare https://www.etsy.com/shop/trafalgarssquare https://www.etsy.com/shop/trafalgarssquare https://www.etsy.com/shop/trafalgarssquare

ch

Review copy provided by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.


Tagged: etsy, kit chase, oliver's tree, penguin

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63. Blog Tour: My Writing Process

I’ve been invited to participate in the fabulous #MyWriting Process blog tour! Today is going to be all about process, process, process.

I was tagged to be a part of this tour by the awesome Ellar Cooper, who shared her writing process last week. Ellar is a heart-stopping writing talent. Seriously, I can’t wait for her books to be on the market! She writes young adult fiction and fantasy, and is a Dystropian from Vermont College. Be sure to read her post and peek into her brilliant mind.

And onto the tour…

MY WRITING PROCESSPeter Pan Book

What are you working on?

I’m working on a YA steampunk re-imagining of Peter Pan. There’s no magic and Peter and Hook are the heads of rival gangs that sell a hallucinogenic drug known as Fairy Dust. Wini Darling, the daughter of a bank mogul, is lured into the whimsical and artistic world of the Nevers, a secret underground artist community, in order to help her drug-addicted brother who’s been captured by Pirates. Only it’s not so easy to find her brother and leave the Nevers as she thinks.

Wini finds herself intoxicated by the no-rules artist culture of the Nevers and simultaneously mixed up in a street war between the Pirates and the Lost Boys. Then there’s that thrill-seeking, drunk-on-life Peter fellow who’s got one hell of a sweet spot for Wini Darling. Sometimes, not growing up can be a dangerous adventure.

How is your work different than others in your genre?

The tricky part about this question is I’m not sure how you might classify this book’s “genre.” It happens to be its own crazy cocktail made up of:

  • 1 part bastardization of Victorian steampunk
  • 2 parts fantasy world building
  • A ton of multi-cultural characters to keep track of (Game of Thrones style)
  • A pinch of Doctor Who influence
  • A smidgen of Robin Hood
  • A timeless gargantuan dose of never-gonna-grow-up Peter Pan
  • Two cups of hot-pink graffitti
  • A dash of Ingrid’s deliciously sensual writing
  • And some esoteric psychobabble on the importance of art…
  • Sprinkle in a little fairy dust, grab the spoon second to your left and stir straight on till morning.

So… yeah, please tell me what genre that is.

Why do you write what you do?

I only write stories that have been simmering in the back of my mind for a long time.  This one’s been cooking for at least 5 years (maybe longer if I’m honest). I write the stories that I can’t seem to forget. I write the ones that have some emotional nugget in them that keeps twirling itself over and over in my brain and whispering: explore me, write me, there’s a truth in here and it’s waiting for you to find it.

I suppose those are the stories worth telling: the ones that haunt you, the ones that demand your heart.

68701d459c1e0ce432536991c6835b8eHow does your writing process work?

My writing process is a daily, hourly, weekly, yearly exploration of the demands and needs of each individual project. And the needs of each novel (like all the relationships in one’s life) are different.

This book demands immersion. She demands focus for hours at a time. And I’m not talking half-assed freewriting or NaNoWriMo first draft word-puke. This novel wants my blood (kind of like Captain Hook). This novel is a jealous and fickle girl too. She hates it when I look at other projects or I divide my attention with puny necessities like food or sleep. This book wants all of me.

I do the best I can to keep myself immersed in this novel as much as I can (because she likes to hole up and shut me out for weeks if I’m not diligent). I keep an extensive Pinterest page for this novel to make sure my imagination is constantly exploring this world visually. I steal words from other books that sound like they might fit the voice of my novel. I try morning writing where I focus on a detail: the view outside Peter’s window, the color of a mermaid’s hair. Sometimes that detail grows into a scene. Sometimes it’s just drivel. The goal is to keep my mind exploring the story every day.

I do the hefty writing on the weekends. I set aside large chunks of hours and get lost. Immersion. I go to Neverland in my mind and I’m there all day. This book is not a vomit-first draft. It can’t be. I have to spend too much time figuring out who these characters are and their motivations. I can’t skim the surface with them. Instead I dig in and write a scene, then re-write the scene, re-position the scene, re-word the scene, re-everything until I find an emotional heartbeat in it. This isn’t a fast process. But it’s a heartfelt one.

The process for writing every novel is different. For this one … slow and steady wins the race.

May the Tour Continue!

If you enjoyed this little glimpse into the writer’s life, please follow the tour as I pass the torch to Amy Sundberg (my sister in last name, but not by blood) who will share her dazzling process next week!

Amy Sundberg is a SF/F and YA writer. Her short fiction has appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, and Buzzy Magazine, among others. She lives in California, and when not writing, she’s either buried in a good book, singing musical theater songs, or trying to add more pins to locations visited on her world map. She is an avid blogger at practicalfreespirit.com and can be found on Twitter as @amysundberg

Please also check out the process of my fellow Dystropians who are also posting today as part of this blog tour!

Happy writing everyone!


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64. RhyPiBoMo End of Week 3

Still plugging away on RhyPiBoMo and learning A LOT! I don't have any poems to post, but I'm almost finished with one that I'm going to enter into the Golden Quill Poetry Contest. In the meantime, here are the books I've read in the last 2 weeks.

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65. Eugène Burnand's World War I Portraits

Ben Cassam

Between 1917 and 1920, Swiss artist Eugène Burnand (1850-1921) drew over a hundred portraits of the various allies in World War I.
Serraghi Cherrif
He drew them with Wolff pencils. The color was added with Hardtmuth hard pastels. Burnand's keen observation was shaped during his training at the École des Beaux-Arts with Jean-Léon Gérôme.
Jean Bellac
Many of his subjects posed for him while they were recuperating between deployments,.

Tirailleur Famory
Burnand was interested in the various ethnicities and facial types of the military men.

Mohamed Ben Binhouan
He drew them all with sympathy but also objectivity.

Lé Naplong
Most are shown with indirect light, and with an upshot angle, increasing the sense of dignity.

Lé Tiep
He often subordinated the edges around the neck and shoulders, and concentrated the attention on the eyes and mouth.

Private Roshan Dean
It's a genuine accomplishment in portraiture to capture the uniqueness of the individual's physiognomy but also their universal emotion.

Auxiliary Chan Mohamed
He got to know each of them first and developed a relationship of trust. Sometimes the sitting became more like a confessional.

Rev. Père Rouillon
He offered to pay them for sitting, but many of them refused to accept the money, as they felt honored to pose.

Serbian infantry private
Resources to learn more:
See the rest of Burnand's WWI portraits online 
Drawings on display Museum of the Legion of Honor (Légion d'honneur) in Paris.
The drawings were published in 1922 a book called Les alliés dans la guerre des nations.
Here's a modern book that includes the work from Les Alliés Dans La Guerre Des Nations.
Review by Gabriel Weisberg of a catalog of a 2004 exhibition of Burnand's work.
Eugène Burnand on Wikipedia

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66. the ladies of the bench

You know when a project takes over your life? Yeah? Well, that's exactly what has happened here.
Here's an update on the Books About Town / Wild In Art book bench project that I am working on. Last time, I posted about it, I had just received this giant open book that has now become part of the furniture in my living room.
Stage 1 was to prime the bench. I wanted a clean white background for my drawing - so a friend came around to help with that. That friend was not Dexter, despite it looking that way from the photo above. We just got over enthusiastic with the dust sheets.
That was the easy bit. Stage 2 is to transfer my drawings, which I originally made on A4 paper (20 x 30cm ish) onto the bench. It's not just enlarging the drawing, to such a scale, that's difficult. No. It's that the bench is not a flat piece of paper. Working the drawing around all the curves is tricky. But, I've started.
And, I did so whilst watching back to back Columbo over this Easter weekend.
Many people have said that this must be a daunting task. People often talk about the fear of drawing in a new sketchbook. The fear of the blank page. And, this is such a large blank page. But, I've never had the issue. In fact, I'm quite the opposite I love starting a new sketchbook with all the possibilities that brings. Procrastination is my issue.
So, I'm pleased that I've got going, whilst being watched over, and inspired by, my ladies over the bench; the Lady of Shalott; my teenage self; and, of course, Sue Townsend whose recent death has made choosing her Adrian Mole book as my theme for the bench even more poignant.
It also fills me with pride to be honoured to pay tribute to her, and Adrian, in this way.
You can read about how I got involved in this project HERE. I'll see you soon with some drawings, I hope. Although this has taken over my life. And my living room.although

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67. Fulda Library Coloring Contest

I recently received an email from the Fulda Library, part of the Plum Creek Library System in Minnesota... they asked permission to use one of my coloring pages for their "Friends of the Library Coloring Contest."
     "Of course!" I said. My images are especially for libraries and librarians to use without worry. And look at the happy results!
Click the images to see them larger in a new window.
Here are some of the colored pictures:

(They used my 2009 Talk Like a Pirate image.)
     And here are the lucky winners!

This makes me HAPPY!!!!

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68. Sketchbooks

I spent Easter Sunday looking through old sketchbooks, dreaming about new ideas from old thoughts. I love sketchbooks – they have the ability to keep ideas and memories alive. I also find when creating them, I'm much braver while on an adventure than in my studio, to try different things. My journal is a place where I explore, and do a little re-inventing. Sometimes things just sit between the pages of a sketchbook forever, but occasionally they leap out a decade later and prompt a new story or direction in my work.

Here's an example of a painting I probably would never create in the studio, but it was just a moment of joy captured within the pages of my Paris journal. I passed this little dog each morning on my walk into the city. I thought he had both panache and whimsy so I played with a brightly colored sketch on the back of a little blue paper bag that held a scarf I had just purchased. It's fun to try new things.

Paris Puppy

The post Sketchbooks appeared first on Lita Judge.

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69. ~HaPpY EaSteR~

©the enchanted easel 2014

just a quick sketch of a cute bunny...with his little pinwheel flower. :)

hope everyone has/had a happy and blessed Easter!

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70. Advice on Manga Adapting, From Manga Adapters

Blue SteelAlice seriesSeiho Boys

Welcome to the final part in my manga project advice series. In case you missed it, it started with letterers, then translators, and then editors. The plan is to hopefully look back at everything later this week, so for now, let’s focus on manga adapters.

“What is a manga adapter,” you ask? Well, if you take a look at some of your Viz (most likely in the back) or Seven Seas manga (should be in the front), you’ll see in the credits the ones who worked on making the manga able to be read in English. You might see “adaptation” there. But ok, what is a manga adapter? They are the ones who take a translated Japanese script from a translator and make it sound like legible, commonplace words.

You can get a bit more information by reading the manga adapter post I worked on.

Anyways, I was able to talk to three manga adapters working in the industry now. Here’s their answers to my questions: 

How did you get the opportunity to start working as a manga adapter?

Lianne Sentar (Alice in the Country of series, Hetalia): In the late 1990s, TOKYOPOP announced that they were going to write a series of kids’ novels based on the Sailor Moon anime, and I wrote a (somewhat confrontational) letter to the company promoting the fanfiction community and how they should “hire one of us.” Maybe because those were different times and Stu Levy loved experimenting, but I was invited to apply and was eventually hired for the job, even though I was still in high school. I loved the gig and constantly pushed for more writing/adaptation work in the company, which eventually led to their rapidly expanding manga department. I was a freelancer, so I started working for other companies as well (DMP and Seven Seas).

Ysabet MacFarlane (A Devil and Her Love Song, Seiho Boys’ High School!, Strobe Edge, Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends): I’d been an anime/manga fan for years before I met Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (then an editor at TOKYOPOP, now an editor and founder at Chromatic Press) online. Getting to know her got me interested in the manga industry beyond the basic “companies produce manga and I give them money”, and eventually I gave her my relevant resume info. Some time after that, TOKYOPOP licensed the first Fruits Basket fan book, and since Lillian both knew that Fruits Basket was my Favorite Manga Ever and was familiar with my writing style and my other qualifications, she arranged for me to do the English adaptation. Paul Morrissey, who edited the fan book, liked my work well enough to put me on Sgt. Frog when he needed a new adapter, and things went from there. That was back in 2006/07, and I’ve been adapting ever since.

Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (Loveless, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Spirit Circle): I worked as an editor at TOKYOPOP for almost seven years—I did some adaptation both officially and unofficially there (i.e I did a pretty heavy re-write on a couple of titles that were being re-released, but didn’t have an official adaptation credit on them, and then did official rewrites for several series as well). After TP shut down, I picked up a variety of adaptation work through various other sources, thanks to my various friends and connections at other publishers. 

If there was one misconception you had about the manga industry before you started working in the industry, what was it?

Lianne: Like a lot of people, when I was young, I thought there was a huge disconnect between industry and fandom–that the industry didn’t “get” us. That’s not true at all. Many, many industry people love fandom and were/are hardcore fans themselves. But there are different things to consider when you’re working on something professionally, and trying to work with fandom is incredibly hard, especially when hateful fans can get really loud. So sometimes editors block out fandom just to stay sane. I hate seeing missed opportunities for industry and fans to work together because of all the animosity.

Ysabet: By the time I started freelancing in the industry, I’d been interested in it for long enough that I was reading any posts or interviews I could find with people who were working in it–mostly editors, but people in other roles, too–so I think I had a reasonably accurate picture of how things worked. The biggest surprise I can think of wasn’t all that big–I’d assumed that there’d be more communication between translators and adapters, but in practice, that turned out to be fairly rare. For the most part, I’ve found that what happens is editors take my questions to the translators (or just take them into account when editing, if they also speak Japanese) and then deal with any resulting changes to the script themselves.

Lillian: I think the biggest misconception that people have is about the relative power of licensors vs. licensees. Publishers here can get a lot of flack for certain decisions that as an insider I know are heavily due to what’s going on in Japan on the licensor side—whether it’s the pace of releases, or creative decisions, there are a lot of things I think fans blame the licensees for that are completely out of the hands of the folks on this side of the Pacific. 

What’s generally the biggest challenge you face when adapting a manga series?

Lianne: Trying to make connections that were vague in the Japanese version. Japanese manga is full of vague references, especially with the way Japanese can be used as a language to dodge specifics. Western comics in English aren’t written like that, so a faithful translation can leave Westerners confused and even frustrated. But “filling in the blanks” in a translation is really hard, even with my background in Japanese and the amount of research I do into a series–you always risk making an assumption that isn’t true. You need to either be a really hardcore fan or have the help of hardcore fans to do this step. The Alice in the Country of… series is so complicated that I’m always emailing the translator (Angela Liu) for help, since she’s also played most of the games, and some stuff in the manga literally makes no sense if you didn’t play the games (which aren’t available in English). I remember an old TOKYOPOP series, Silver Diamond, that employed the help of its fandom and even credited them in the book.

Ysabet: Personally? Sound effects. (Although with some series, writing a script that’s tight enough for the lines to fit reasonably well into small speech balloons runs a close second.) Japanese has sound effects for EVERYTHING. If you’re dealing with something like blushing, you can get away with using “BLUSH”, so that’s not a challenge…but other times you have things like something I came across in A Devil and Her Love Song, which used the paku-paku sound effect for the “sound” of someone silently mouthing words because she had no voice. It’s literally soundless, so there’s no option for using onomatopoeia, and none of the relevant verbs really work well (“mouth” would offer enough possible readings that it risks throwing readers out of the story to figure it out, as well as being clunky)… I imagine you see the problem.

That said, I know some people absolutely love working on sound effects, so mileage definitely varies!

Lillian: I think establishing character voice is one of the hardest things to do for me. There’s a lot of grammatical short-hand for establishing little details about character in Japanese, thanks to the structure of the language, and it’s harder to do so in English without resorting to either slangy vocabulary which can feel really dated really fast, or weird dialects, which are both considered “bad writing” in English, and usually are inappropriate character-wise. My favorite adaptors totally nail this, but it’s something I personally struggle with.

If there is one thing an adapter must keep in mind when looking over a manga, what is it?

Lianne: You have to remember that your adaptation is a single, unique interpretation of the work. In almost all cases, that interpretation should be faithful to the spirit of the original and internally consistent. Once you’ve picked a style (like a character’s speech pattern), and especially if you’ve made some carefully considered changes, you have to stick with them through all volumes, or you’re proving that you’re not thinking about the work as a whole and just making changes when you feel like it. Think long and hard before you finish volume 1. You’re either starting a triumphant trip up a mountain or digging your own grave.

Ysabet: Keeping a constant eye on balancing the flow of the English script with not losing the meaning of the original text. It’s easy to accidentally go too far in one direction or the other. And where that balancing point is varies a bit from adapter to adapter, I imagine. There’s also what I usually explain as a difference between what a character says and what they mean. The most blatant examples of that are probably things like idioms, where what they’re literally saying doesn’t necessarily bear much or any resemblance to what we’re supposed to take away from it, and so the English script will usually substitute in an English idiom that’s roughly equivalent. But there are subtler examples, too. I work on a lot of shoujo manga these days, and it’s not unusual for a male romantic lead to say something that translates fairly literally into English and could easily be rendered into natural-sounding dialogue, but where it’s meant to be appealing or romantic in Japanese, it sounds controlling and off-putting (or outright abusive) in English–which can be a cultural difference, as often as not. So you have to find a balance between what he’s actually saying vs. what he means and/or what the reader/heroine are meant to take from it.

Lillian: Don’t distract the reader, and don’t leave them confused. Your choices should enhance the material, but never get in the way of a smooth, and most importantly FUN reading experience. Don’t let your ego as a writer get in the way of what the original author is trying to say.

If there is one reason why adapters have been used less by manga publishers than in the past, what would it be?

Lianne: Shrinking budgets in a struggling industry, I’m pretty sure. Translators and editors can work harder to cover the rewriter’s job, especially if they’re not trying to do anything ambitious with the script. We can be cut and the book can still go to print. Them’s the breaks.

Ysabet: In some cases I assume it’s editorial/company preference, but I figure it’s generally a financial decision. If a corner has to be cut, we’re the one link in the chain that can be done without, practically speaking. A good adapter will usually make a significant difference in the quality of the final product–the exception being if the translator or editor write as well as an adapter should be able to–but a separate person doing the adaptation isn’t absolutely required the way the translator, letterer, and editor are.

TL;DR: The product can exist without us. It just probably won’t be as good.

As a reader, I can nearly always tell before checking the credits whether an adapter has been involved in a script. There have only been a few times where I assumed an adapter was involved and turned out to be wrong*. That doesn’t mean I think scripts where the translator does the adaptation are necessarily weak; most of them are just fine. But I do see a difference.

*Offhand, the two examples that come to mind are Mai Ihara’s work on Kaze Hikaru and Jonathan Tarbox’s work on Claymore.

Lillian: Hah! That’s easy. MONEY. Most of the freelance work I do these days is for the digital space, where the market has yet to be really established, and so any way to keep costs low is welcome. That said, we’ve got a generation of young people who have grown up on manga and anime even more than I did, so I find the overall quality of your average translation to be a little better than it used to be. There was a general belief at TP that adaptations were compensating for blah translations, and I feel like that is somewhat less the case in the series I’ve been working on lately.

Is becoming a manga adapter a viable career to get into? If so, what would be the best way for one to break into the manga industry?

Lianne: It’s tricky these days, but I think it’s possible. You should have some solid writing or editorial experience in your background, even if it’s for something like a well-maintained review site. Be REALLY familiar with manga. Knowing some Japanese is a plus. Do your research on the companies you want to apply for and politely send them a resume, referencing some stuff they’ve done in the past, why you like it, and why you think you could be an asset to the company, if they’re hiring. Try to meet someone in the industry in a polite, RESPECTFUL way, like asking them questions at a panel at a con or something and then introducing yourself at the end. I think this is true for most industries, but basically–research, build your resume, flatter you desired superiors in a professional way (“I loved the adaptation on [insert manga series] because of [insert quick reason]“), follow up. Be assertive and a little aggressive, but still polite and flattering. DO NOT harass or nag. If you’re trying to break in, these people will need to do you a favor and take a risk on you to give you a job. Make them think you’ll do a good job, be easy to work with, and be fun to have coffee with at the end of the day.

Ysabet: Career? No, I wouldn’t say so. Like Lianne said in your “Do You Know What a Manga Adapter Is?” post, it’s a dying art. (I’d be thrilled if it sticks around, obviously, because I love doing it and because I genuinely feel it results in a better book, but I’m trying for realism here.) I’d be surprised if anyone’s actually making a living at it–maybe it was possible once upon a time, but these days there’s less work going around and it doesn’t pay nearly as well as it apparently used to. I’ve adapted for four publishers over the last seven or eight years (two of which, TOKYOPOP and Del Rey Manga, are no longer with us) and I still work fairly steadily, and I don’t even come close to making a living on adaptation work alone.

If you want to break in as an adapter? Get familiar with the industry. Try to meet people who’re involved in it. Read a lot, and listen to how people talk, since dialogue is the vast majority of what we work on.

Lillian: Full-time? Hell no, it’s not a viable career. The pay is low, the market is fairly small and kind of unstable, and the flow of work is unpredictable. As a sideline that’s fun and nets you some bonus cash? Sure! 

As for breaking in…I dunno. Networking with people already in the industry is the obvious one, but at least my experience lately is that companies are looking for people who can really hit the ground running, so any way you can get editorial experience, and specifically comics-related experience, is going to serve you well. And whatever the industry overall may say about scanlations (and believe me, I could totally rant about aggregator sites all day), that’s not a bad thing to have on your resume, as far as I’m concerned. 

What type of advice would you give to someone who might be interested in this venture?

Lianne: This is a hard industry where you won’t make a lot of money, critics can (rightly) tear you apart, and fans on the Internet may attack you for years because of one line of dialogue you changed, whether it was a mistake or not. Only do it if you love manga. If you love manga, it’s all worth it.

Ysabet: Do it out of love, basically. I consider myself extremely fortunate to still be getting work in the industry, and I hope to keep adapting as long as the work is there and editors want me to do it, but I love manga as a medium, and I love playing with words, and I love the satisfaction when it all comes together. Be prepared for no one to have a clue what you do, both because no one outside of the industry has any idea what the job entails, and because if an adapter–or a translator or editor, if they’re doing the final script–is doing a good job, the work will be invisible. Sure, it’s great if someone reads it and afterwards realizes that they enjoyed the writing, but ultimately my goal is to make readers forget that they’re reading a translated work. The manga should read as if it was originally written in English.

Lillian: While your job shouldn’t be to translate, it never hurts to have some Japanese language skills. That’s been invaluable to my career. Read a lot. Find writers/adaptors whose work you like, and think about what they do that makes their work appealing to you. It’s kind of the same advice I give to anyone interested in a creative career—find work that inspires you, think critically about why, and then apply that to your own work.

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71.

someone is thirsty....

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72. Blog Tour: My Writing Process

I’ve been invited to participate in the fabulous #MyWriting Process blog tour! Today is going to be all about process, process, process.

I was tagged to be a part of this tour by the awesome Ellar Cooper, who shared her writing process last week. Ellar is a heart-stopping writing talent. Seriously, I can’t wait for her books to be on the market! She writes young adult fiction and fantasy, and is a Dystropian from Vermont College. Be sure to read her post and peek into her brilliant mind.

And onto the tour…

MY WRITING PROCESSPeter Pan Book

What are you working on?

I’m working on a YA steampunk re-imagining of Peter Pan. There’s no magic and Peter and Hook are the heads of rival gangs that sell a hallucinogenic drug known as Fairy Dust. Wini Darling, the daughter of a bank mogul, is lured into the whimsical and artistic world of the Nevers, a secret underground artist community, in order to help her drug-addicted brother who’s been captured by Pirates. Only it’s not so easy to find her brother and leave the Nevers as she thinks.

Wini finds herself intoxicated by the no-rules artist culture of the Nevers and simultaneously mixed up in a street war between the Pirates and the Lost Boys. Then there’s that thrill-seeking, drunk-on-life Peter fellow who’s got one hell of a sweet spot for Wini Darling. Sometimes, not growing up can be a dangerous adventure.

How is your work different than others in your genre?

The tricky part about this question is I’m not sure how you might classify this book’s “genre.” It happens to be its own crazy cocktail made up of:

  • 1 part bastardization of Victorian steampunk
  • 2 parts fantasy world building
  • A ton of multi-cultural characters to keep track of (Game of Thrones style)
  • A pinch of Doctor Who influence
  • A smidgen of Robin Hood
  • A timeless gargantuan dose of never-gonna-grow-up Peter Pan
  • Two cups of hot-pink graffitti
  • A dash of Ingrid’s deliciously sensual writing
  • And some esoteric psychobabble on the importance of art…
  • Sprinkle in a little fairy dust, grab the spoon second to your left and stir straight on till morning.

So… yeah, please tell me what genre that is.

Why do you write what you do?

I only write stories that have been simmering in the back of my mind for a long time.  This one’s been cooking for at least 5 years (maybe longer if I’m honest). I write the stories that I can’t seem to forget. I write the ones that have some emotional nugget in them that keeps twirling itself over and over in my brain and whispering: explore me, write me, there’s a truth in here and it’s waiting for you to find it.

I suppose those are the stories worth telling: the ones that haunt you, the ones that demand your heart.

68701d459c1e0ce432536991c6835b8eHow does your writing process work?

My writing process is a daily, hourly, weekly, yearly exploration of the demands and needs of each individual project. And the needs of each novel (like all the relationships in one’s life) are different.

This book demands immersion. She demands focus for hours at a time. And I’m not talking half-assed freewriting or NaNoWriMo first draft word-puke. This novel wants my blood (kind of like Captain Hook). This novel is a jealous and fickle girl too. She hates it when I look at other projects or I divide my attention with puny necessities like food or sleep. This book wants all of me.

I do the best I can to keep myself immersed in this novel as much as I can (because she likes to hole up and shut me out for weeks if I’m not diligent). I keep an extensive Pinterest page for this novel to make sure my imagination is constantly exploring this world visually. I steal words from other books that sound like they might fit the voice of my novel. I try morning writing where I focus on a detail: the view outside Peter’s window, the color of a mermaid’s hair. Sometimes that detail grows into a scene. Sometimes it’s just drivel. The goal is to keep my mind exploring the story every day.

I do the hefty writing on the weekends. I set aside large chunks of hours and get lost. Immersion. I go to Neverland in my mind and I’m there all day. This book is not a vomit-first draft. It can’t be. I have to spend too much time figuring out who these characters are and their motivations. I can’t skim the surface with them. Instead I dig in and write a scene, then re-write the scene, re-position the scene, re-word the scene, re-everything until I find an emotional heartbeat in it. This isn’t a fast process. But it’s a heartfelt one.

The process for writing every novel is different. For this one … slow and steady wins the race.

May the Tour Continue!

If you enjoyed this little glimpse into the writer’s life, please follow the tour as I pass the torch to Amy Sundberg (my sister in last name, but not by blood) who will share her dazzling process next week!

Amy Sundberg is a SF/F and YA writer. Her short fiction has appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, and Buzzy Magazine, among others. She lives in California, and when not writing, she’s either buried in a good book, singing musical theater songs, or trying to add more pins to locations visited on her world map. She is an avid blogger at practicalfreespirit.com and can be found on Twitter as @amysundberg

Please also check out the process of my fellow Dystropians who are also posting today as part of this blog tour!

Happy writing everyone!


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73. Writing & Poetry Contest

tightrope

This colorful fun illustration was sent in by Louise Bergeron Lousie was feature on Illustrator Saturday May 26th, 2012. Here is the link:http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/illustrator-saturday-louise-c-bergeron/ Take a look. Her artwork is so much fun.  website:  www.illustrationquebec.com/louisecbergeron

Do you love to play with words, arrange them in artistic ways?  Have you written poetry or a short story?  If the answer is yes, then maybe you will want to consider The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. The people at Dream Quest say if you have an ability to dream, you have an ability to win. Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash prizes. All works must be original.

Guidelines: Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.  And/or write a short story, five pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, creative writing fiction or non-fiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries and screenwriting). Also, must be typed or neatly hand printed. Multiple poetry and short story entries are accepted.

Postmark deadline: July 31, 2014 All contest winners will be published online in the Dare to Dream pages, on September 20, 2014. Entry Form: http://www.dreamquestone.com/entryform.html

Prizes: Writing Contest First Prize is $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $100. Poetry Contest First Prize is $250. Second Prize: $125.  Third Prize: $50. Entry fees: $10 per short story. $5 per poem.

To send entries: Include title(s) with your story (ies) or poem(s), along with your name, address, phone#, email, brief biographical  info. (Tell us a little about yourself), on the coversheet. Add a self-addressed stamped envelope for entry confirmation.

Mail entries/fees payable to: “DREAMQUESTONE.COM” Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest P.O. Box 3141 Chicago, IL  60654

Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details on how to enter!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Contest, opportunity, Places to sumit, poetry, Win Tagged: Dream Quest Contest, Louise Bergeron, Poetry, Short Story contest

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74. Highlights Pewter Plate Award

Earlier this month I received a package that I wasn't expecting.  Inside was a letter from Highlights magazine and an award for illustrator of the month for the April issue!   There is so much great artwork in each issue that I was both honored and surprised to have gotten the award.  The artwork was for the poem, "For Rent: One Moon Snail Shell".  So pick up the April issue and check it out!
Here's my scan of the artwork.
moonsnailshellfinalsmall
 The original, printed form, and Pewter Plate.
snail shell promo

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75. coy, contrived and condescending, and Buzzing as loud as a Bold Brass Band






click to enlarge



Last Tuesday I was a guest on Julie Danielson's blogSeven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Julie's questions are fun and thoughtful, and she takes great care to link to sites about the people and books referenced throughout the Q & A. Some of her links I'd never seen before. 

One link, to an Amazon placeholder  of The B Book, prompted me to photograph and upload pictures of my 1962 edition, written by Phyllis McGinley and illustrated by Robert Jones (above).

Below is a 1968 edition illustrated by  John C. Johnson, that I found on Etsy. (Thank you, Pipi Pompon.)


The B Book was the first book that I read by myself. I loved it. But the premise of the book involves a play on words that troubled my six-year-old brain.

The little protagonist named Bumble is tired of being a bee and wants to be somebody else.  He asks a big bee how to be something "Besides a Bee."  The big bee then takes Bumble on a tour of all the wonderful things (Buttercups, Butterfly, Blackbird, etc.) that begin with the letter B, explaining with each stop that "Everything Best in the world Begins with a Big Bee." By the end of the tour Bumble is happy to be a bee. WHAT?  

If I enjoy the illustration and the characters, can I ignore a big fat non sequitur? Almost.

The B Book is one of several in a beginning reader series called "Modern Masters Books For Children."  The editor of the series was the poet Louis Untermeyer. (My friend, Jennifer Thermes, lives in Untermeyer's old house!)

In looking for information on the "Modern Masters" books, I found a review of The B Book from the 1963 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Reviewer Ruth Viguers found it  “limp, listless, unoriginal, mediocre and humdrum," as well as "coy, contrived, and condescending."  



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