Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Hands Won't Keep Still

I was lucky enough to attend the SCBWI Carolinas conference this weekend-- with some of my fellow Secret Gardeners! (you know who you are)

Of course I drew some of the presenters--
pictured here (roughly sketched):
Alan Gratz, wonderful (local!) author
Liz Waniewski, Senior Editor, Dial Books
-- also awesome and sweet!
Alvina Ling, Senior Editor,
Little, Brown Books
-- so funny and smart (and prettier than my sketch!)

I would have drawn the talented and fun Elizabeth Dulemba or the charming and handsome Laurent Linn, Art Director at Simon & Schuster, BUT they kept showing us these fascinating images, so I had to keep my gaze upward...

BUT during the other presentations, sketching seemed unavoidable. Like crossing and uncrossing my legs. My hands seem to want to keep moving. It's almost annoying. And I worried about being distracting (or annoying) to other attendees.
(at least I stopped rattling my candy wrapper when you told me to, Donna!)

I don't want to be a compulsive person (she says, rolling and unrolling a scrap of paper) but maybe crazy-hands is part of being an artist. (horrors!)

hey, at least I'm not robbing banks.

How do you direct your crazy energy (when you're not at your computer/in your studio) Were you the one with the candy wrapper sitting right behind me? Don't worry; I understand.

apologies for not doing that linking thing w/ everyone's name-- can someone tell me how to? You definitely should check out Alan Gratz's great books!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roald Dahl's Birthday!

was this past Monday. (I believe he would've been 94.)

And a peculiar thing happened, which led to another peculiar thing, which led to the most peculiar thing of all.

The first peculiar thing was our most wonderful indie bookstore, Malaprops, hosted a Roald Dahl event: local authors were invited to read from James and The Giant Peach.

My daughter was in afterschool, and for a second I thought, 'Well, I guess I'm not going, then,' but the next second I realized how much I wanted to hear James and The Giant Peach. So I went.

The next peculiar thing was that while I was greatly enjoying all the local authors' renditions of James and The Giant Peach (and drawing them and sorry I didn't get their names, but that wasn't the point, really) our most wonderful Asheville bookseller, Caroline Green, approached me and whispered something in my ear.

One of the authors hadn't shown up. Would I like to read James and The Giant Peach?

Would I?! And practically become one of those legendary local Asheville authors right then and there?

The next peculiar thing was I overcame my aversion to standing at a podium before even a small and book-loving group of people and got up and read. The final peculiar thing was looking at the audience and registering the dearth of children. And realizing we love Roald Dahl because we love him, not because we know he makes our children happy.

Because we love great books. And that's who we are. That's why we were there, at Malaprops Bookstore, listening to each other read about cabbage-faced aunts, giant snarky centipedes and Cloud Men.

Thanks, Caroline. And thank you, Roald Dahl. And Happy Birthday!