Friday, March 12, 2010

Hello Friday!

Image No.1 If you're going with warm Grey 4, I'm loving these together.
No. 3 Is from 13 Threads. Be sure to stop by her etsy shop.
Image No.4 That wonderful Elisita in one of those "I want it Bad" outfits

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Words and Pictures

The relationship of words and pictures have some special magic. Somewhere between them lies the true story for me. I've been tinkering/struggling with 3 childrens books off and on for about 6 years. I've never had any formal education on how to actually write and illustrate a book but this week came across some advice that went right to my heart. Victoria Thorne a new colorgirl follower, has been given some incredible advice to follow by author and illustrator M.B. Goffstein. If you aren't familiar with Goffstein's work, you most likely are and don't know it. Time Magazine has said about her- "Goffstein is a minimalist, but her text and pictures carry the same emotional freight as William Blake's admonishment to see the world in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour" 

Here is her advice- 
How to Write and Illustrate a Picture Book
Copyright © M.B. Goffstein 2009
To Victoria Thorne, with love
To make a 32-page picture book, take your favorite book and count the pages.
Count them over and over.
The pages of a book are divisible by 8, preferably by 16.
If you have a 24-page book, you can use the extra 8 pages as endpapers (2 sides are pasted down).
Make sure the pages of front matter are in order.
You can have more or fewer, but the book must be made right to have energy.
Paging the book, dividing the text into pages, is crucial.
Write something you don't know but long to know.
It is tiresome to read a text that the author hasn't fought for, lost, and by some miracle when all hope is gone, found.
When you have your text, say it over and over until the rough edges are worn smooth.
Recite it to yourself in the mirror.
The book must be separate from you.
You are serving the book.
It has to make its way in the world.
Make sure it can communicate.
Paging a book is difficult.
Do not start to illustrate until you have divided the text among the pages.
The book should speak without pictures.
There is one way for your book to look.
It is your duty to find it.
What do the characters look like?
Their world is on paper before you.
The characters talk to each other.
They mean what they say.
Their hearts are in it.
What makes you think children like childish things?
Don't tell them how to be children.
They want to grow up.
Do them the honor of reaching for something far beyond you.
It won’t be noticeable but it will be felt.
Do the book and forget it.
Do not strive to be known as the author of . . .
Your next book will be harder, and so on.
You cannot grow if you repeat past successes.

Some Illustration in the works from one of my picture books. FlingFlong won't leave me alone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Love Barbara Schweitzer's Words

Barbara Schweitzer is the author of 33 1/3: Soap Opera Sonnets, cited in The Providence Journal as a favorite book for 2008.  She has twice been the recipient of Merit Fellowships from the RI State Council on the Arts for poetry and has won numerous other national prizes including the Galway Kinnell Poetry Prize and Midwest Writer’s Center Prize.  Her work has been featured on Verse Daily and on WRNI’s “This I Believe” program as well as in literary journals and anthologies, print and online.  Her plays have been produced locally in RI and MA and have been finalists or semi-finalists in national competitions including the Louisville Ten Minute Play Contest.  Her play Sub-Zero was  published in The Writer’s Circle Anthology.  She is co-founder of the Origami Poems Project, a Johnny Appleseed approach to distributing free poetry in pocket-size origami books throughout RI.  She lives in northern RI and maintains a private practice in psychotherapy in Providence. 

Can you tell me about your latest body of work? Lately I’ve been engaged in our Origami Poems Project.  Begun as a prompt I gave to the poets in a poetry workshop, the origami books caught fire.  They are a full volume of poetry printed on a single sheet of paper then folded, origami style, into a book perfect to carry around in your pocket and read all day. Forty five volumes are now being distributed in plexiglass boxes and ziplock bags on telephone poles throughout RI. Lynnie Gobeille and Jan Keough orchestrate the distribution, and the books are free for the taking.  Free poetry! For real. And the books surely will win the Guinness Book of World records as The Book With The Smallest Carbon Footprint.

What inspires you the most lately? Lately, I’ve adapted the origami poems style to Cyjoe Barker detective stories.  Cyjoe Barker solves her murder mysteries in five chapters only, a feat only an origami detective can accomplish!

What was your first memory? The smell of a root cellar at my great grandparents’ house in Sugarcreek, Ohio. Earth. Onions. Potatoes. Grass.  I am still dizzy from it as I write these words.

Can you describe the best thing you saw on your last walk? (run)  A pair of cardinals flinging themselves with rapture into the bare arms of forsythia. One bright red male. One tempered female.

What are five things that would happen in the perfect day of work for you? 1. The sound of the keyboard steadily click, click, click. My fingers would feel the command of my thoughts. 2. Fragrant breezes (sweet spring morning) would waft from the open window beside me. 3. The room would sparkle. The air would wave with sunbeams. The tables would be dusted. 4. Birdsong. 5. The sculpture of words on the page would thrill me.

Can you describe the best pair of shoes you've ever owned? Oh, shoes! Why love shoes so much? My favorite pair of shoes must be the red sandals I put on in NYC when I was 25 years old. They had wooden high heels, and I walked the streets day and night that day and night with them on. I still remember the way the city looked and felt under them. The feel of wooden heels.  (But then there have been so many more I’ve loved as well.)

What are you doing this weekend? (March 13-14) My entire weekend is focused on the Towers’ All You Need is Love II Sunday, March 14, 1-5PM, a love fest for poetry and the arts at the historic Narragansett Towers in Narragansett, RI. On the ocean. The Origami Poems Project poets will be there along with featured reader Tom Chandler.  Poets, artists, musicians, actors will gather to celebrate their work.  Wine and chocolate galore, thanks to the generous merchants of the area who believe in LOVE and ART. Is there any difference between the two? 

- Photo of Fresh Origami Poetry Books on the Line, courtesy of Origami Poems

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3.9.10 Color Swatch

W A R M  G R E Y  4 U
A sigh in Maine grey. Gray Maine. The morning dove at the end of the arborvitae hedge. Small throat clearing at a funeral. Grey that will make every other hue sit nice and true to itself. Hummmmmmmmmm grey. My squishy kneaded eraser grey. Absorbing grey.  Gray woods. Dorian Gray seeing his black soul. Grey's Anatomy, yes thank you. Grey hair, no thank you. Uniform grey. Yellow + Purple = Grey. Help, Grey Day! Grey Day! Gray for the Brits. Grey for the Yanks. Smartypants grey matter. Grey Gardens. Grey area. NY Times, the grey lady. Words becoming rivers of grey.

Grey in Glass

Some lovely grey glass. Top nesting glass set found on Remodilista.
Second Murano glass pendent found at
Third sweet little etsy find by Pollyfusia.
Fourth mid-century martini set found here.
And one more thanks to Remodilista.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Poem for Monday

no. 92
-Barbara Schweitzer
Have you seen how colors boast distinctions?
Greens shout themselves into gay petals.
Tulips bend over backwards, bleeding tinctures
into desiccated snowdrops, metal-
toned like the earth itself. Past tense flowers
will bloom to death, and here, spring erupts, not
kind, but bossy in that way of empowered
voices just finding air, or –  love –  wobbly
as peonies at first, but then outstretching.
But, oh, let’s not compare love to spring again.
Fertility must have other more fetching
images to hold. Layers of rock, sane
thoughts, beach sand, gray horizons, purple, pink?
There is solidness to love, too, I think.
Photo of Providence Parking Lot Wall by Paul Clancy