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2576. 2015 Looney Tunes Calendar Is One For The Ages

Some people say Bugs and gang ain't kewl no more, but Warner Bros. got its bizness figured with this hella wicked 2015 Looney Tunes wall calendar.

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2577. Highlights from the 2014 SCBWI Summer Conference

Guest post by Lianna McSwain

Hi All! SCBWI-LA was a massive event. There were over 1,200 attendees and close to 100 professionals from the field. The conference took place over three days and included so much information I filled a notebook almost completely with notes, which I am happy to share with you. These notes cover only those events I was able to go to. It’s like a cupful of information that I collected from the fire hose.

I wish I could have been everywhere!

2014-Summer-banner-2

Friday

Meg Rosoff:

Meg Rosoff

After Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser kicked off the conference by charming everyone with their wit and loveliness, we sat back and had our minds blown by Meg Rosoff.

Her talk dissected several academic complaints that fairy tales are harmful because they give children unrealistic perceptions of the world. The academics charged that stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears are dangerous because they fail to teach that bears live in dens not cottages, that they eat ant pupae not porridge and that they are more inclined to disembowel and eat small children than they are to be suitable playmates for them.

Meg Rosoff responded that fairy tales are dangerous, but not in the ways the academics say. She reminded us that fairy tales are subversive. They upend cultural norms and allow us access to our most repressed thoughts and fears.

Fairy Tales take the dark matter of our unconscious minds and put them into our hands.

She assigned us the task of going out into the world and writing those stories we’ve been told we can’t or shouldn’t write. She asked us to write subversive.


Editor’s Panel:

Lin Oliver

There were seven editors on the Friday morning editor’s panel: Alessandra Balzer (Balzer+Bray), Mary Lee Donovan (Candlewick), Allyn Johnston (Beach Lane Books), Wendy Loggia (Delacorte), Lucia Monfried (Dial), Dinah Stevenson (Clarion), and Julie Strauss-Gabel (Dutton).

Lin Oliver moderated the panel and asked the editors to begin by naming things they’d like to see more of.

Nearly everyone called for more work with voice.

The editors also called for work that was authentic, original and that surprised them.

Julie Strauss-Gabel asked that the writers take the time to get to know the editors, so that when submitting a work, the writer would know whether the work would be a good fit for that editor. Julie stated that she only publishes 9 or 10 works per year, and she needs to fall in love with them.

The other editors agreed that they too were hoping for works that the writers or agents saw as being a good fit for them. Wendy Loggia said that when an agent says to her, “you’re the best editor for this book” she feels a need to put that manuscript on the top of the pile.

Lin Oliver jumped in and recommended that writers consult the fabulous SCBWI resource called “Edited By.” This is a list of current editors and the ten books that they believe best represent the kind of work they like to publish. This list is included as a chapter in the Market Section of The Book. If you are not familiar with The Book, it is a pdf compilation of the most current information about the state of children’s book publishing available to all members of SCBWI for free, download here.

The editors agreed that while they understand that multiple submissions are the norm these days, they really all frown on submitting a manuscript to multiple editors within the same house.

Finally, Mary Lee Donovan looked for writing competence. Dinah Stevenson wanted a story with a definite beginning, middle and end and nothing over 100K words. Wendy Loggia requested that manuscripts have page numbers. Julie Straus Gable wanted stories that weren’t boring. Allyn Johnston requested stories that were readable out loud.

The editors also agreed that respectful communication goes a long way.

Judy Schachner:

Skippy

Judy let us into her mental art studio, and confirmed what I suspected all along—Ms. Schachner is a wellspring of genius! She showed us photos of her collage books. When she is creating a character and a story, she spends weeks and weeks pulling photos and compiling them into a workbook in a non-logical jumbled up way. She collages photos on top of drawings, loosely, with her editor’s eye turned off. When she has finished the book, she goes through and looks for juxtapositions that catch her eye. From this rich source material, she makes her story. I was very impressed by the amount of work she put into the generative stage, the stage before she began writing the story. Also, Judy is amazing at accents. She can slip into from a Tennessee drawl, to an Irish brogue, and then to Antonio Banderas. I’m in awe!

Saturday

Aaron Becker:

Aaron led us in a two part sing a long of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Imagine half the auditorium singing the bass line, and the other half singing the tenor line while Aaron Becker sang the melody on stage. He said we sang better than the editors and agents did at his last presentation. We all sat down feeling very smug. They don’t call us writers ‘the talent’ for nothing. ;)

I didn’t realize how much I liked Aaron’s wordless picture book Journey, until I saw it projected onto a large screen, and I could immerse myself into his gorgeous artwork. Journey was the only book I bought at this conference. Aaron’s story was very inspiring, as his first book was published later in life. His story exemplifies a quote I heard earlier from Erin Murphy:

“The path to success is filled with many waiting periods that feel like failure.”

Aaron Becker


Maggie Stiefvater:

Maggie

Maggie Steifvater stomped on stage looking like a punk rock cheerleader—all tight pants, boots, and leather bracelets covering up a shock wave of energy and enthusiasm.

Maggie talked about being a thief. She steals people’s souls. She freely admits to meeting people and finding their essence. Then she puts that essence into her characters. It’s easy, she said, “just find that one thing that makes them uniquely who they are.” If someone is wearing a plaid shirt, Maggie says, that detail is useless until you know why they are wearing a plaid shirt. When you know why, you can change the details, you can know how they will act in the future. Steal their soul, she said.

Sunday

Deborah Halverson:

Deborah Halverson

Deborah started the Market Report by reminding us that the watchword for 2013 had been ‘dip’. She meant that 2012 had been higher than normal because of the Hunger Games, Divergent and the new Wimpy Kid book, so the sales of 2013 were a return to sales slightly higher than 2011, but not as high as the blockbuster 2012.

She stated that for 2014, the dip is gone. All trade publications are up. Sales of print and ebooks are up 31%.

Picture books in the last two years have been the best ever, specifically those aimed at the youngest markets. Because older kids are moving to chapter books sooner, there is a demand for heavily illustrated chapter books. There is not a lot of demand for digital picture books.

Non-fiction picture books are on the rise, though Deborah stated that they should be considered an extra opportunity rather than a driving force behind higher sales numbers. Writers should be aware that there seems to be a backlash against the common core, so non-fiction picture books need to have entertainment value apart from their ability to fill the common core niche. (A text’s compliance with Common Core requirements should be that extra hook that pleases the editor who would have bought the book anyway.) Non-fiction books that have a strong character driven narrative still sell well, and longer texts are still acceptable.

Chapter Book sales continue to grow because of titles such as The Magic Tree House, Geronimo Stilton, and Dragonbreath. These highly illustrated hybrid books help readers find their footing. Single title Chapter Books struggle for shelf space in the midst of many series which dominate the market niche.

Middle Grade is finally on the upswing. There seems to be a lot of excitement surrounding recent middle grade titles, both series and stand alone titles. Editors are eager to find the right the combination of voice and humor, which have to be spot on. There is a call for more adventure fantasy, and light humor. There is also a place for historical fiction as long as it sounds contemporary.

Young Adult sales are starting to slow down a little, except for within the field of realistic contemporary fiction. Editors are excited about stories that focus on normal kids within normal school settings. Editors are also eager to see YA thrillers and mystery stories including some speculative fiction with a thriller twist. Historical YA is still a hard sell, and paranormal titles are tricky.

Overall, the field is looking up and editors are optimistic that the market will continue to be strong.

linda sue parkLinda Sue Park:

Linda is gracious and calm but she writes like a ninja. Here is her advice for writing lean, clean prose. She says:

Take each block of text and treat it as if it were a prose poem.

Give each clause its own line so you can see which words are working and which ones are cluttering up the flow. Eliminate all clutter.

bruce_covilleBruce Coville:

Bruce advised creating a Bible for each series with detailed character studies, historical background, and the rules of the world. The more detailed the Bible, the more potential a story has for becoming a series.

At this point we were all exhausted, staggering around under the weight of our books, looking bleary-eyed for the exit.

It was a great conference.
Lianna McSwainLianna McSwain lives in Northern California with her husband and her two extraordinarily charming children. After a career in economic development and fundraising, she finally returned to her true love, writing. Lianna is completing an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, specializing in YA and Middle Grade. When she is not writing, she is reading and eating chocolate. Or playing music and taking improv classes. Or hiking with friends.  She rarely does housework willingly. Sometimes she just sits there, thinking.


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2578. Highlights from the 2014 SCBWI Summer Conference

Guest post by Lianna McSwain

Hi All! SCBWI-LA was a massive event. There were over 1,200 attendees and close to 100 professionals from the field. The conference took place over three days and included so much information I filled a notebook almost completely with notes, which I am happy to share with you. These notes cover only those events I was able to go to. It’s like a cupful of information that I collected from the fire hose.

I wish I could have been everywhere!

2014-Summer-banner-2

Friday

Meg Rosoff:

Meg Rosoff

After Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser kicked off the conference by charming everyone with their wit and loveliness, we sat back and had our minds blown by Meg Rosoff.

Her talk dissected several academic complaints that fairy tales are harmful because they give children unrealistic perceptions of the world. The academics charged that stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears are dangerous because they fail to teach that bears live in dens not cottages, that they eat ant pupae not porridge and that they are more inclined to disembowel and eat small children than they are to be suitable playmates for them.

Meg Rosoff responded that fairy tales are dangerous, but not in the ways the academics say. She reminded us that fairy tales are subversive. They upend cultural norms and allow us access to our most repressed thoughts and fears.

Fairy Tales take the dark matter of our unconscious minds and put them into our hands.

She assigned us the task of going out into the world and writing those stories we’ve been told we can’t or shouldn’t write. She asked us to write subversive.


Editor’s Panel:

Lin Oliver

There were seven editors on the Friday morning editor’s panel: Alessandra Balzer (Balzer+Bray), Mary Lee Donovan (Candlewick), Allyn Johnston (Beach Lane Books), Wendy Loggia (Delacorte), Lucia Monfried (Dial), Dinah Stevenson (Clarion), and Julie Strauss-Gabel (Dutton).

Lin Oliver moderated the panel and asked the editors to begin by naming things they’d like to see more of.

Nearly everyone called for more work with voice.

The editors also called for work that was authentic, original and that surprised them.

Julie Strauss-Gabel asked that the writers take the time to get to know the editors, so that when submitting a work, the writer would know whether the work would be a good fit for that editor. Julie stated that she only publishes 9 or 10 works per year, and she needs to fall in love with them.

The other editors agreed that they too were hoping for works that the writers or agents saw as being a good fit for them. Wendy Loggia said that when an agent says to her, “you’re the best editor for this book” she feels a need to put that manuscript on the top of the pile.

Lin Oliver jumped in and recommended that writers consult the fabulous SCBWI resource called “Edited By.” This is a list of current editors and the ten books that they believe best represent the kind of work they like to publish. This list is included as a chapter in the Market Section of The Book. If you are not familiar with The Book, it is a pdf compilation of the most current information about the state of children’s book publishing available to all members of SCBWI for free, download here.

The editors agreed that while they understand that multiple submissions are the norm these days, they really all frown on submitting a manuscript to multiple editors within the same house.

Finally, Mary Lee Donovan looked for writing competence. Dinah Stevenson wanted a story with a definite beginning, middle and end and nothing over 100K words. Wendy Loggia requested that manuscripts have page numbers. Julie Straus Gable wanted stories that weren’t boring. Allyn Johnston requested stories that were readable out loud.

The editors also agreed that respectful communication goes a long way.

Judy Schachner:

Skippy

Judy let us into her mental art studio, and confirmed what I suspected all along—Ms. Schachner is a wellspring of genius! She showed us photos of her collage books. When she is creating a character and a story, she spends weeks and weeks pulling photos and compiling them into a workbook in a non-logical jumbled up way. She collages photos on top of drawings, loosely, with her editor’s eye turned off. When she has finished the book, she goes through and looks for juxtapositions that catch her eye. From this rich source material, she makes her story. I was very impressed by the amount of work she put into the generative stage, the stage before she began writing the story. Also, Judy is amazing at accents. She can slip into from a Tennessee drawl, to an Irish brogue, and then to Antonio Banderas. I’m in awe!

Saturday

Aaron Becker:

Aaron led us in a two part sing a long of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Imagine half the auditorium singing the bass line, and the other half singing the tenor line while Aaron Becker sang the melody on stage. He said we sang better than the editors and agents did at his last presentation. We all sat down feeling very smug. They don’t call us writers ‘the talent’ for nothing. ;)

I didn’t realize how much I liked Aaron’s wordless picture book Journey, until I saw it projected onto a large screen, and I could immerse myself into his gorgeous artwork. Journey was the only book I bought at this conference. Aaron’s story was very inspiring, as his first book was published later in life. His story exemplifies a quote I heard earlier from Erin Murphy:

“The path to success is filled with many waiting periods that feel like failure.”

Aaron Becker


Maggie Stiefvater:

Maggie

Maggie Steifvater stomped on stage looking like a punk rock cheerleader—all tight pants, boots, and leather bracelets covering up a shock wave of energy and enthusiasm.

Maggie talked about being a thief. She steals people’s souls. She freely admits to meeting people and finding their essence. Then she puts that essence into her characters. It’s easy, she said, “just find that one thing that makes them uniquely who they are.” If someone is wearing a plaid shirt, Maggie says, that detail is useless until you know why they are wearing a plaid shirt. When you know why, you can change the details, you can know how they will act in the future. Steal their soul, she said.

Sunday

Deborah Halverson:

Deborah Halverson

Deborah started the Market Report by reminding us that the watchword for 2013 had been ‘dip’. She meant that 2012 had been higher than normal because of the Hunger Games, Divergent and the new Wimpy Kid book, so the sales of 2013 were a return to sales slightly higher than 2011, but not as high as the blockbuster 2012.

She stated that for 2014, the dip is gone. All trade publications are up. Sales of print and ebooks are up 31%.

Picture books in the last two years have been the best ever, specifically those aimed at the youngest markets. Because older kids are moving to chapter books sooner, there is a demand for heavily illustrated chapter books. There is not a lot of demand for digital picture books.

Non-fiction picture books are on the rise, though Deborah stated that they should be considered an extra opportunity rather than a driving force behind higher sales numbers. Writers should be aware that there seems to be a backlash against the common core, so non-fiction picture books need to have entertainment value apart from their ability to fill the common core niche. (A text’s compliance with Common Core requirements should be that extra hook that pleases the editor who would have bought the book anyway.) Non-fiction books that have a strong character driven narrative still sell well, and longer texts are still acceptable.

Chapter Book sales continue to grow because of titles such as The Magic Tree House, Geronimo Stilton, and Dragonbreath. These highly illustrated hybrid books help readers find their footing. Single title Chapter Books struggle for shelf space in the midst of many series which dominate the market niche.

Middle Grade is finally on the upswing. There seems to be a lot of excitement surrounding recent middle grade titles, both series and stand alone titles. Editors are eager to find the right the combination of voice and humor, which have to be spot on. There is a call for more adventure fantasy, and light humor. There is also a place for historical fiction as long as it sounds contemporary.

Young Adult sales are starting to slow down a little, except for within the field of realistic contemporary fiction. Editors are excited about stories that focus on normal kids within normal school settings. Editors are also eager to see YA thrillers and mystery stories including some speculative fiction with a thriller twist. Historical YA is still a hard sell, and paranormal titles are tricky.

Overall, the field is looking up and editors are optimistic that the market will continue to be strong.

linda sue parkLinda Sue Park:

Linda is gracious and calm but she writes like a ninja. Here is her advice for writing lean, clean prose. She says:

Take each block of text and treat it as if it were a prose poem.

Give each clause its own line so you can see which words are working and which ones are cluttering up the flow. Eliminate all clutter.

bruce_covilleBruce Coville:

Bruce advised creating a Bible for each series with detailed character studies, historical background, and the rules of the world. The more detailed the Bible, the more potential a story has for becoming a series.

At this point we were all exhausted, staggering around under the weight of our books, looking bleary-eyed for the exit.

It was a great conference.
Lianna McSwainLianna McSwain lives in Northern California with her husband and her two extraordinarily charming children. After a career in economic development and fundraising, she finally returned to her true love, writing. Lianna is completing an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, specializing in YA and Middle Grade. When she is not writing, she is reading and eating chocolate. Or playing music and taking improv classes. Or hiking with friends.  She rarely does housework willingly. Sometimes she just sits there, thinking.


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2579. Music Monday - The Wedding Song

One of my very good friend's daughter (who is best friends with *my* daughter) is getting married tomorrow. My daughter and I have been doing what we can to help out with reception details.

With all this wedding-on-the-brain, I thought I'd share my favorite wedding song. This version by Gordon Lightfoot:

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2580. How do we move when we breathe?


(Direct link to YouTube video)

How does your body move when you breathe? Well, of course the rib cage expands and contracts, but surprisingly the movement is more up and down than it is in and out, says Michael Black, co-author of a computer graphics study presented at the recent Siggraph.

There are many more small but observable movements going on. The arms push out, the head goes back and forth, and the spine flexes. The movements are slightly different for "stomach breathing" compared to "chest breathing," something that singers are very conscious of. One possible flaw in the methodology of this study is that subjects were asked to "breathe normally," a sure way to make them breathe unnaturally.

Once you learn to recognize the subtle body changes that accompany breathing, you won't look at a posed model the same way, and you'll notice actors in movies controlling their breathing as part of their performance.

Animators will be able to input this breathing data with simple controls, including a spirometer, which records breathing volume. In the future, when actors record their voice parts for CG animated films, they'll be able to record their breath acting as well. That information will yield a more believable and lifelike performance, whether the character they're playing is a realistic human or a talking turnip.

The authors are: Tsoli, A., Mahmood, N. and Black, M.J.,
The paper is entitled: "Breathing Life into Shape: Capturing, Modeling and Animating 3D Human Breathing"

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2581. Winners!

JTD

Here’s what back to school looks like for me. Send good vibes, please! And a special shout out to Jess Keating for alerting me to dementors in the library. (Have you read her book yet?!)

Speaking of Jess, she was one of ten winners from this giveaway a ways back. Thanks for waiting this one out, friends. And thanks to Once Upon a Time for ordering a slew of goodies for me.

Congrats to the other nine: Kathy Ellen Davis, Mary Ann Scheuer, Suellen Franze, Audrey Snyder, Stacy Jensen, Elizabeth Metz, Gail Buschman, Deb Dudley, and Lauri Fortino.

Thanks for hanging out here, and in the words of Mr. Schu: Happy Reading!

ch

 

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2582.

From the Reader Views :  Review for the Star Giver

THE STAR GIVER

Ginger Nielson
Ginger Nielson Children’s Books (2014)
ISBN 9780991309337
Reviewed by Miles Cassells (age 4) and Mom for Reader Views Kids (07/14)
It’s time for bed and Little Bear looks up into the sky and asks Mother Bear where the stars come from. Little Bear must close his eyes and listen carefully as Mother Bear tells the story of the Star Giver, a man made of stars and branches of pines. 
“The Star Giver” by Ginger Nielson is a beautiful story to read to young children when it’s time for bed. Not only did Miles love reading the book, he loved the illustrations. A few pages in, Miles said that “we need one of those on Earth.” (He has quite the fascination with knowing that we live on planet Earth.) When I asked him what he loves best about the book, Miles replied that he loves the bears and the man with the stars in his coat (cloak). 
 “The Star Giver” is a brilliant take on what to tell children when they ask where the stars come from. The story is told by Mother Bear to Little Bear at bedtime and explains how the Star Giver tosses the stars into the sea and the sea tosses the stars into the sky so that creatures below can sleep peacefully.
Bedtime can be such a hassle with young children and I surely have this issue with Miles almost daily. We like to read a book before bed and I always try to select a book that is calm and that will lead Miles into understanding that we need to rest for the next day. Having such a peaceful story to read to Miles is always at the top of my list. 
“The Star Giver” by Ginger Nielson will be a go-to book for many nights to come, I can already tell as Miles has had me read the story to him more than once. Ginger Nielson is a talented author and illustrator and I hope that she has more books in store. I highly recommend this title to others as “The Star Giver” is surely a fresh new way to look at the stars.

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2583.

A few weeks ago you may have noticed that on my youtube channel I started interviewing other high profile artists about their work and a specific topic. I love getting to know other artists and as my passion for illustration is ever growing I felt this would be a way to help other artists - and fulfill my social needs. Below are my two latest interviews - might be something worth listening to while you work! I have many more planned out throughout the year so check back. Click here to go to my channel.




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2584. Writers: Don't rush your submission. Make sure your writing is polished BEFORE you send it out.

One mistaken assumption that I've noticed some newbie writers making: Sending out their writing too soon, assuming that the editor who buys their short story (or novel, etc.) is going to be helping them polish the piece anyway.

DO NOT DO THIS.

Never, ever send an mss out just after you've finished it. Put it away for a few days (a few weeks at least, for a novel). That way you'll be able to reread more objectively, without the rosy glow of "omigosh this is brilliant just wait until publishers see this."

I'm a foodie, so often think in terms of food analogies. In this case, it would be sort of like a first-time restauranteur opening before they've perfected their dishes. Turn off the restaurant critics early on, and you make it tougher for yourself longterm.

If you're a new picture book writer, this is even MORE vital. Why? Because I've noticed that many non-pb writers assume that writing a picture book is easy because there are fewer words, that it's something they can do on the side for extra money while they work on their "real" books. 

Vaguely related side note:

Others may differ, but I also advise NOT giving it to your critique group to read too soon. Why? Because there is a real value in getting feedback from someone who is reading the piece for the first time. Yes, there's a value in getting feedback for a rough version so you can polish it before sending it out to an editor. Be aware, however, that after the first critique, your crit partners will likely be giving feedback on your revisions rather than an overall first-time impression.

Respect your readers, before and after publication.

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2585. A sunny secret garden...



I discovered the most wonderful walled in garden on my bike ride.  It's been there for years, but I only happened through there this summer.


A burst of morning glory color signals the beginning of the end of summer.



The sun filling the green walled garden makes for a very peaceful place. A gravel walk, an interesting collection of medicinal herbs...  a lovely quiet space on a sunny sunday morning.





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2586. Writing Quote: Writer’s Block

calvin-writers


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2587. Writing Quote: Writer’s Block

calvin-writers


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2588. The 22nd Fall SCBWI Carolinas Conference – Part 3 and Charlie the Intern

Hey Readers,

Two things I wanted to cover this week. First was to introduce my new intern Charlie and the second was to talk a little more about my continuing plans for the SCBWI fall conference. Charlie is joining me from the AOIT (Academy of Information Technology) program at Apex High School. He will be helping me with the day to day tasks here at the studio as well as doing a little illustration work with me. Charlie is no stranger to Bob Ostrom Studio and has helped with several illustration jobs in the past. He is a very talented young artist who is excellent with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as well as having great technical skills. You may have noticed a few changes to this website and also to BobTeachesArt.com thanks to Charlies and his behind the scenes modifications.

Last week I had put together a little check list of items I wanted to get done for the fall SCBWI conference this year.  It seems the conference date is creeping up quickly and things are starting to pick up at Bob Ostrom Studio with fall right around the corner. I’ve been making steady progress with my list but it looks like I’m going to need to pick up the pace a little since I plan to add a few additional tasks this week.

  • Make new business cards… the real kind, not the cheap-out inkjet card stock kind
  • Get shirts printed
  • Begin printing out new pieces for the portfolio 
  • Design a rocking new postcard
  • Think of super cool affordable giveaway item
  • Take a nap
  • Continue working with my co-hosts on the business of art presentation

This weeks mission is to reach out to some of the other presenters and introduce myself. I’ve found it’s always helpful before an event if you can make a few connections ahead of time. That way when you get down there you can always find a few friendly faces and say hello in person. My plan is to see if I can find a few of the other faculty members I don’t know yet and introduce myself on LinkedIn.

So as many of you know I don’t do a lot of traveling for the business and speaking at this conference is a little bit a stretch for me. The way I see it though is if you never stretch you never grow and it’s time to do a little growing. What are you guys doing to stretch yourselves? Do you have any events planned this year to get you out and meeting people? I hope any of you who prefer to hibernate, like I do,  are pushing just a little bit harder to step outside your comfort zones and do a little growing. Well that’s all I have time for today. Lots of deadlines looming and lots of extra work to do for the conference. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape wit the check list and with the help of my new intern Charlie I’ve got things well in hand. 

 

 

 

The post The 22nd Fall SCBWI Carolinas Conference – Part 3 and Charlie the Intern appeared first on Bob Ostrom Studio - 919-809-6178.

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2589. ‘Hopkins & Delaney LLP’ by Sean Buckelew

An important client visits the law offices of Hopkins & Delaney LLP to discuss his copyright infringement suit.

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2590. Cats of Many Colors

I have been dabbling with different watercolor techniques recently. This is a sketch I created, then watercolored and inked. I used 150# watercolor paper,  Koh-i-noor watercolors, and a Micron india ink pen.

 

I really like the Koh-i-noor watercolors, as they gave me many options for color combos. Below is a photo of the finished product. I am still in the processing of completion of the new hard drive software, so I will upload it to my gallery when I am able to scan. I might also offer it for sale in my Etsy shop which you can find here. I will announce when I put some items up for sale, including a few coloring books for printing and downloading.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Cats of Many Colors

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2591.


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2592.



Another review for The Star Giver arrived in my mail today. I would like to share that and another image from the book.  I am pleased to say that the review reflects the gentle tone of the book.

The Children’s Book Review | www.thechildrensbookreview.com
The Star Giver
By Ginger Neilson Paperback: 34 pages Age Range:3-­‐7
Publisher:Virginia Neilson (September 1, 2014)  ISBN: 978-0991309337
What to expect: Folktale, Bears, Stars, Illustrations
Ginger Neilson tells a soothing folktaleset deep in the forest. When Little Bear asks, “Where did the stars come from?” MotherBear leans in closely to share a Native American legend from “the far, far north.” Illustrations rich in deep nighttime colors create a peaceful visualto the comforting story of a man, made of stars and the branches of pines, who forever continues to spread starlight across the night sky. This man is known as the Star Giver.

“His gifts are hiddenunder an enormouscloak. Yet the starlight beneathsparkles through and lights his way wherever he wanders.”
Each night, the Star Giver travels throughthe forest to the sea. When he reaches the shoreline he opens his cloak and allowsthe wind to blow his starsinto the aquaticscenery. The sea tosses them with “toweringwaves until they escape to the sky” where they stay until morning above the slumbering animals. The Star Giver remainsquiet and still until he opens his cloak and calls for the stars to returnto him. Dramatic brush strokes swirlacross double page spreads expressing emotion and providing movementto the illustrations. 
The nature of the story is mystical and therefore sure to open the slumbering doors of dreamtime if chosen as a bedtimeread. Recommended for children ages 3 through 7.
—The Children’s Book Review(www.thechildrensbookreview.com)

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2593. Ramona & Me


What do you say when you are asked to draw one of the great characters of children's literature? YES! And YES, PLEASE!

That's what I answered when the Oregon Children's Theatre approached me to provide a drawing of Ramona to promote their upcoming production of Ramona Quimby. OCT of course had forever endeared themselves to me for their stunning production of The Storm in the Barn two years ago. I leapt at the chance not only to draw Ramona but to work with these great folks again.

As luck would have it, I was reading Ramona the Pest to my daughter when OCT contacted me. But although she was fresh in my mind, capturing Ramona on paper took some work. Here is a sample of the many, many, many sketches I made of Ramona...










Everyone liked those last two, but ultimately we decided the poster needed a bit more of the rambunctious side of Ramona.




One more try, and we settled on the final image.








And that's that! Here's an interview I did with OCT  about the project.

If you are in Ramona's home town of Portland next May, be sure to catch the show!



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2594. Legs to Crush a Runway

I love what Sally Bergesen, founder of Oiselle, recently posted HERE. Fashion is chasing us. Atfter all the original leggings were running tights I’m sure.

running and life fashion

Run. Life. Fashion


I couldn’t be more on-board with this, at last the fashion mavens and my world intersect. Would it too brazen to say that my runnerchick friends and I helped cause this shift with our #SweatsintheCity movement? Possibly, probably, but who cares?

Running clothes are comfortable, if others want to call it fashionable (and I’ve given you GOOD REASON to find them fashionable…Bergesen does too in fact), then that’s awesome.

But outside of comfort, may I tell you that for me, running clothes represent much more than a fashion statement. The love runs much deeper.

Running makes me feel special. It’s not the only thing, but it sure does make me feel special. No matter what happens in a day, if I’ve gotten my run on I feel accomplished. Most ‘regular’ people flee from discomfort, I run towards it, embrace it because it’s a test.

I wear my running shorts in public and they are a token reminder that I worked that day.
ezzere peacock runner tee
Running has introduced me to my best friends, opened me up to an entire community of people that, without even knowing them or needing to say a word to them…we GET each other.

The running shirt I’m wearing feels especially fashionable after a hard workout. I want to eke out every second of the feeling that comes with pushing my body.

Running gives me focus. Creativity. The best ideas always come to me on my run, or the loose thoughts finally connect.

My running shoes are more comfortable than heels.

#SweatsintheCity may have moved to the bona-fide runway, but unlike the thin legged models, fashion moguls, or masses of those donning these duds purely because it’s now ‘cool’ to do so…I, WE, are not posers.

My fashion is legit. Because within these running shirts, tanks, shoes, beat the hearts of real runners. With legs that could crush a runway.

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2595. Robotic hostel


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2596. Agent Looking to Build List

siobhan-mcbride-literary-agentAbout Siobhan McBride at Serendipity Literary Agency:

Siobhan McBride grew up in the New York Hudson Valley and studied painting, drawing, and ceramics before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz.

She began her career in Publishing as an intern for the literary agency Objective Entertainment, and from there went on to work as a writer in the Editorial departments of various magazines including MovieMaker and Chronogram, before joining Serendipity Literary Agency in 2014.

Her passion for music and film led her to becoming the Music Editor of CriticalMob, eventually moving on to do freelance work with their parent company, Company Cue. Recently she has been tutoring young adults as a volunteer with 826NYC.

Siobhan looks forward to creating lasting relationships with her clients and wants to work closely with them to give life to the vision of their work. Holding positions on both sides of the editorial field gives her a strong grasp of what an audience is looking for and the knack to balance that with a writers’ artistic drive.

Siobhan is seeking voice driven narratives for Fiction, Memoir, or Non-Fiction. She has a strong interest in Literary and Gothic Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Adult Dystopian, Mystery/Crime, Historical, daring Young Adult, Thrillers and narratives with philosophical undertones. She say she gives bonus points if your thriller has a psychological bent. 

For Memoir and Nonfiction titles, she seeks Investigative, True Crime, and dark/bizarre History. Siobhan enjoys the dark, macabre aspects of life where paranormal fiction and horror are viewed an under appreciated art forms deeply rooted in psychology, and looks for authors unafraid to delve into these inner workings of the human psyche.

How to submit: Visit the submissions page on Serendipity’s website: serendipitylit.com. You can direct your submission directly to Siobhan by requesting her in the body of the submission form. The average response time is 4-6 weeks.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Agent Looking for Clients, Serendipity Literary Agency, Siobhan McBride

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2597. New Yorker Cartoons...


60 Minutes recently ran a piece that hits pretty close to home. It was a story about New Yorker Magazine cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. He's the decider of which cartoons get run in the magazine. What I found most interesting were the cartoonists who went on camera while Bob went through their submissions. Nope, nope, not a fit, won't work in the magazine, I don't get it.... Ouch. It looked an awful lot like the children's publishing industry. A lot of rejection with just enough wins to keep you in the game. Although as any creator will tell you, you pretty much can't stop creating whether the door is open to you or not. At any rate, it's a very interesting piece... Click the image to go watch on CBS.com.

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2598. Winners!

JTD

Here’s what back to school looks like for me. Send good vibes, please! And a special shout out to Jess Keating for alerting me to dementors in the library. (Have you read her book yet?!)

Speaking of Jess, she was one of ten winners from this giveaway a ways back. Thanks for waiting this one out, friends. And thanks to Once Upon a Time for ordering a slew of goodies for me.

Congrats to the other nine: Kathy Ellen Davis, Mary Ann Scheuer, Suellen Franze, Audrey Snyder, Stacy Jensen, Elizabeth Metz, Gail Buschman, Deb Dudley, and Lauri Fortino.

Thanks for hanging out here, and in the words of Mr. Schu: Happy Reading!

ch

 

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2599. Oliver Jeffers

Excellent advice from author/ilustrator Oliver Jeffers...

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2600. Sunday Sketching -

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


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