©the enchanted easel 2013
©the enchanted easel 2013
|eli in slumberland|
©the enchanted easel 2013
|©the enchanted easel 2013|
|©the enchanted easel 2013|
I was watching the clouds one rainy afternoon. And as they sailed swiftly across the sky in an ever-changing variety of shapes and squiggles I remembered a quote from Thomas Browne. In 1635 he wrote, “Nature is the art of God.” I thought, I believe it because right now, the entire sky looks like His own personal Etch a Sketch. I mean, first there was a hole in the clouds that morphed into a five-pointed star before it got sucked into a shrunken pinpoint that was suddenly the eye of an alligator that chased a hump-backed snake. Highly entertaining. Almost started singing, “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly . . .”
Can’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. The alligator made me wonder briefly if animals ever marvel at God’s Etch a Sketch? After all, my two pooches are pretty smart and I do catch them scanning the sky every so often. Speaking of pooches, who cannot see God’s hand in all of creation: from the perfection of a playful puppy’s soft, furry paw to the swiftness of a hungry cat’s claw . . . to the flawless symmetry of a daisy or black-eyed Susan. Happenstance? Occurring by chance? I think not. After all, according to Genesis 1:24, “. . . and God said, let the earth bring forth every kind of animal — livestock, small animals, and wildlife. And so it was . . . and God said it was good.
Seen my books? “The SEED” a Novel of suspense that placed as a top ten finalist and was nominated to be put on a college required reading list. And the Johnny Vic historical adventure series (mixing treasure hunting, adventure and American history!). Go to http://www.annrichduncan.com.
It seems I haven't tired of clouds yet, so they continue to roll out.
There are very important factors when it comes to being any kind of writer. It covers a whole range of books. As everyone know putting together a children's book has many people involved. It is a team effort that takes many years to master and complete. For the next three days I will take you all on a journey into this event. It is a huge gathering of people in the children book industry and covers a very important idea that every author has to do. This is called networking and creating a platform. The post will be updated daily from 1-27-2012 to 1-29-2012. Each day I will give you guys an inside into this business. So get ready for a wild ride. I blog my experience on this journey enjoy.
Day 1 Writer's Intensive
Today started just like an ordinary gray day, the rain tapped the roads and my journey had began. Strong winds and heavy rains very strange weather for New York State especially in the middle of winter. Only two snow storms so far and that it.
I took the train in from my home town. New York was wonderful like usual. The rains were strong at first but as the day went on it all changed. I started the day psyched to finally have the SCBWI conference, I could not believe it came so fast. Where does this path called time really go? Does it just vanish in a puff of smoke or where does it end up?
So back to business the day started with registration and breakfast not much of a filling one but it was good enough Coffee and Bagels the real New York local food. My nerves shaking and my hands gasping the 500 hundred words we were supposed to bring here. Hundreds of questions inside my hands? Who will I meet? What will the professional say? Is my manuscript good enough? At registration our tables were given to us? I got Table 17 and 18.
When I was getting my food a strange thing happened the hot water was gone. I am usually a tea drinker, but I needed that jolt, I needed that caffeine. I wanted something hot but it was the bitter black stuff we call coffee. I guess many tea drinkers came here? Oh well I guess I had no choice.
I found my table, my mind moving and my body shaking, it was it, the moment I have been waiting for, another year had passed. The session started by a panel on voice. Three editors spoke. What is voice? Each of them had there own view. What I can tell you guys is it needs to be fresh. It needs to be authentic. It has to stand out from the crowd.
The editor panel spoke about the kind of books they buy. Here is just a very quick summary: Characters have to have personality, you have to get into your character's mind, and the story has to stand out for the individual editor and always make sure to do you research. You have to be in the moment and write the best story you can.
Then the time began my table had eight writers at it and one professional. We each were given 12 minutes for our 500 words. The critique process is very important and it is great to have a group of your own. The setting here was much more family like. Every manuscript was discussed by everyone. I have to say I got a lot out of it and had many wonderful suggestions and commends from both critiques. There is no need for
World Meteorology Day marks a highly successful collaboration under the World Meteorological Organization, involving every country, large or small, rich or poor. Weather affects every single person (every living being) on the planet, but why do people feel meteorology is not for them? Why do they even find it so difficult to identify different types of cloud? Or at least they claim that it is difficult. The average person, it would seem, looks at the sky and simply thinks ‘clouds’. (Just as they look at the night sky and think nothing more than ‘stars’).
Is it because they think there are so many — too many to remember? Yet there are just ten major types, and most people can recognize ten different makes of cars, ten different dogs, or ten different flowers. Can’t they? Perhaps not. Some people do have poor visual discrimination: my father for one. Show him a piece of oak and a piece of pine, and he would not know, by sight, which was which. To him, it was ‘wood’. Then some people apparently suffer from a difficulty in transferring what they see in a photograph or illustration to the real world. I can think of an experienced amateur astronomer who cannot match a photograph of the night sky that he has taken to the actual constellations above his head.
There is the old philosophical argument about whether one can even think about an object or concept, without having a name for it in one’s head. Surely, however, one can have a mental image of a physical object, such as (say) a sea-cucumber, without knowing that it is called a sea-cucumber or even a holothurian? As an author, my brain functions with words, not images. I suppose that conversely, perhaps if people are unable to hold a mental image of a cumulonimbus cloud, they cannot assimilate its name.
Or is it the words themselves that put them off? Luke Howard in his seminal work On the Modification of Clouds (1802) introduced Latin terms, following the tradition set by Linnaeus. Scientifically, that was (and remains) perfectly sensible. But is that the root of the problem? It seems to be a modern myth that all Latin is ‘difficult’, and the hoi polloi — sorry, that’s Greek! — (‘the masses’) avoid it in all forms. Perhaps this fear arises because it is no longer taught widely, no longer a requirement for university entrance, and no longer (for Catholics) heard in the Latin mass. But it is at the root of so many languages and so many scientific terms that this phobia is deeply regrettable.
The words for clouds themselves are hardly difficult: terms such as nimbostratus are hardly pronounceable mouthfuls. Do people worry that, like Silas Wegg in Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend, who turned the Greek historian Polybius into the Roman virgin Polly Beeious, they will get even these wrong? I suppose I am fortunate, because I did learn Latin at school, and I speak and read various languages, so words, from whatever source, don’t frighten me. And I like to get any pronunciation right. I also have to admit that if I know a word, I tend to use it. That may be why people look at me a bit oddly wAdd a Comment
Lots coming together. It took a couple days to detail the sky. Last time, I had used a combo of Cerulean and white for the clouds (see photo in last post). But, the clouds were too "blue." Afterwards, I went in with a fairly dry brush and added white on it's own to poof the clouds.