Words to Live By

Putting crayons in the dryer is an ineffective way of dying fabrics.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Interview With Michael Blackbourn

I have wanted to interview Michael Blackbourn for some time now. I had to be patient, because it's so much more fun to interview a person after their book is out. Well guess what? Michael's book is now out!

I personally love stories about magical beings. Elves, Mermaids, Unicorns and Seelies are some of my favorites. Michael Blackbourn's new book, "Cindercast: A Tale of Tides" is all about a Seelie on a wonderful adventure. Don't know what a Seelie is? Read on to find out!

Also be sure to pick up Michael's book today (Friday) because the Kindle version is free all day long on Amazon! Missed it free? It's still a great price. And the pictures! Oh goodness the pictures are lovely!


1. Why Fantasy?

Thanks for asking, and thanks for the interest in my book. The answer to that question is a little complicated. It's easy to classify Cindercast: A Tale of Tides as fantasy but I'll let you in on a little secret, it's not. It's actually sci-fi in a tiny bite-sized package. My protagonist is a ten-year-old girl who is the size of a grain of rice. Everything else about her world is pretty much the same as ours. The change of perspective allows for some pretty interesting adventures where you can hide from the rising tide by inside a barnacle, or be blown away by a great gust of wind. Crabs roam the tidepools as giant monsters and the only sign of us (the big people) are bits of technology, waiting to be to be discovered, washed up on the beaches.

2. Are you a Seelie or an Unseelie?

My little people are named Seelies. I struggled for quite a while trying to find the perfect name for them that wasn't 'little people'. Sea imps was something that lived on for too long in the manuscript until a search into faeries found me the terms Seelie and Unseelie. The Seelies were the helpful spirits, and the Unseelies were the mischievous ones that would ruin your day. I grabbed these names and the Seelies became the little people... and the Seelies refer to us, the big people as Unseelies. But my story isn't about a clash of the sizes, that story has been told many times before. In Cindercast: A Tale of Tides the story stays with Ollie, a Seelie, and her struggle to survive on the beach and find her way home.



3. Finish these thoughts:


I wish...

I had really, really long arms. I would hook my toes under a rock or something and reach way, way up and grab the moon to try and slow the earth's rotation speed. It never seems like there is enough hours in the day to accomplish what I want.

I'm hiding...

Nothing. But I could hide if I wanted to. I was a paratrooper before becoming a visual effects artist and now an author/illustrator. I spent years with that green camo makeup on my face. Trust me, if I wanted to disappear I would just need to find a place that sells that green stuff in civilian-land and I'd be good. Don't ask me to hide when the stores are closed.

The ocean...

Is the reason I wrote this book. I spent my childhood camping at a sandstone covered beach on an island. It inspired the world of Cindercast. What if you had to run and hide, sheltering between tides. Instead of worrying about day and night, the receding and rising tide would be your major concern. With two high-tides a day you would always be on the clock to get to the next place of shelter. In my book Ollie comes up with come creative solutions when she gets cornered by the rising water.

4. What makes your work special?

The thing that makes my work special is that really, at it's core, it's about something normal. The scenes that play out in my book are things that anyone can go see. Go to a beach, lie down on your belly and look. There is a whole alien world playing out between the tides. I did exactly that while I was doing research for the book and put a borrowed macro lens to good use, getting tons of images for reference. It's a beautiful place we live in. Our oceans are important, I wanted to communicate that to our kids.

5. What is your ultimate goal in life?

Life is window of opportunity. You only have so long to influence the world and the lives of those you love. My ultimate goal would be to make the most of that time. To not squander the unique ability to have a dream and then act on it, and make it real.

Follow Michael:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday! February 25

I hadn't intended to stop posting after Tuesday of last week, but this is what happened. I am almost done with moving things and am almost done with cleaning. OH, GOD THE CLEANING! I also have a whole boatload of things left to unpack, but should have time Thursday to get some serious drawing done!

Interview Schedule:
February 27th - Michael Blackbourn IT WILL BE EPIC!

WHAT I'M READING
A few pages here and a few pages there of almost every book I unpack. I have to look at every title as I put them on the shelf (a self imposed restriction). I'm noticing a lot of books I forgot I had!

WHAT I'M WRITING/DRAWING
I've got two new ideas for picture books... now if I can remember what they are and get them down on paper before they fade. Also being a bit erratic when it comes to mediums I'm using in my artwork. Tried using colored pencils and I hate it. Why did I use to love it so much? Funny how things change.

Every Day Possible
Drawing all the things!

Wed 02/25 What's Up Wednesday! Post. Done! Getting rid of a couple of big furniture items. 

Thursday 02/26-  DOING ALL THE THINGS. ALL OF THEM  WILL BE DONE!

Friday 02/27- Interview with Michael Blackbourn!

Saturday 02/28- Running away from home.

Sunday  03/01 - Crying tears of joy, because all of the moving will be done this day. Then I will be crying tears of unpacking pain.

Monday  03/02- Maybe I'll be in a sleep coma today? No? I can dream. 

Tuesday  03/03 - Looking for the magic organizing fairy.

Wednesday  03/04 - What's Up Wednesday! If I'm still alive.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME
"Locking" myself in my art room. Even though there are no locks and people come in often. This soon shall change.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW

Toddler Minding 
Anyone want to buy a slightly used 4 year old?

Ect.
If I die from moving will I still get my deposit back?

*What's up Wednesday is part of Jamie Morrow's summer writing intensive: "Ready. Set. WRITE!" There are other host blogs including: Erin L. FunkAlison MillerKaty Upperman, and Elodie Nowodazkij.

Friday, February 20, 2015

No Interview Today

There is no interview today, sorry! I posted the interview early this week here: http://daniduckart.blogspot.ca/2015/02/interview-with-rita-goldner.html I posted it early because I wanted to give Rita Goldner her best chance for her Kickstarter. The more days the post is up the more chance people have to see the Kickstarter! I will be posting a new interview next Friday with Michael Blackbourn!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop! - Day 8 - Last Day!

Today is Day 8 and the last day of The "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop! I just read Teresa's blog post and I'm in tears. I know, I'm a big sap (I blame the birth of my son for that). Teresa is right. The books that we created between Kindergarten and High School were not bad, they were awesome! I hear of so many people say they aren't good at drawing or writing. All of us here weren't great writers or illustrators when we started. It's amazing how far you can go with a lot of passion and practice.

I want to take this moment to thank every single person who donated their time and effort to making this blog hop possible. Becky, Marcie, Mandy, Sylvia, Rachel, Annina and Teresa are such wonderful people and I'm so honored to know them all. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I know we are all destined for great things!

Feb 9  - Dani Duck http://daniduckart.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop-day-1.html
Feb 10- Becky Fyfe http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop-day2.html
Feb 11- Marcie Colleen http://writeroutine.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-seeds-of-my-dream-bad-picture-book.html
Feb 12- Mandy Yates  http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/mondays-with-mandy-or-mira
Feb 13- Sylvia Liu http://www.sylvialiuland.com/2015/02/My-Early-Writings-and-Drawings.html
Feb 16 Rachel Elizabeth Cole http://rachelelizabethcole.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop.html
Feb 17 Annina Wildermuth https://allmycharacters.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop/

You are here -> Feb 18 Teresa MI Schaefer http://www.teresamischaefer.com/#!The-Bad-Picture-Book-Blog-Hop-Beginnings-and-Endings/c1hi3/D425A4D8-3007-436C-B708-8999DFDED75C

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Interview With Rita Goldner

Today I'm having a special interview on a special day. I am interviewing Rita Goldner today Author and Illustrator of the book "Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy". The reason why I moved the post today is that Rita is running a Kickstarter for this very book and she needs your help! She is almost 50% funded and has 14 days left to go!

Rita created this book to help educate about animal extinction and the importance of the rain forest. There are fun facts written throughout the book. Her book is beautifully illustrated as you can see from the paintings at my blog. Check out Rita's Kickstarter here, but not before you read the interview!

Dani: Why did you choose to focus on Orangutans in your story?

Rita: I've been a plein air painter and sketcher for years, and spent a lot of time sketching animals at the zoo. The orangutan family were great subjects, and as I became more interested I started doing research and realized how serious their threatened extinction is.


Dani: What's the silliest thing you've seen (or hear of) an Orangutan do?


Rita: I saw them at the zoo putting pieces of cardboard on their heads like hats. I learned later that it's a natural behavior to put a big leaf on their heads to shelter from rain. The zoo didn't have huge leaves, so they gave them sheets of cardboard from boxes.


Dani: Finish the following thoughts:


I need to express how urgent the plight is. I hope my book engages young readers with the natural world and endangered species. If they learn to love and respect orangutans, maybe they can make a difference in the future.

Animals are not for entertainment, but to be respected and cared for.

If only people would realize that the world's ecosystems are all intertwined, and each species depends on the others.


Dani:  What's special about your work?

Rita: My educational background is Elementary Education with a concentration in Art. So when I started writing and illustrating pictures, I felt a real connection, both with the kids and the illustration. My pictures are colorful and whimsical, and in this particular work, I kept the story upbeat. I don't want to upset kids with a problem they can't help now. I just want them to learn about orangutans and the rainforest, so they'll help when they grow up.



Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Rita: To help change the world for the better through education. That sounds kind of vague, but my specific goal now is to get this book printed and distributed. Toward that end, I've launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing. The kickstarter page has a video with sample pages, and an explanation of the project. It's a community effort from animal-lovers on all levels. Please check it out at this link: http://kck.st/1zsJVWe

The "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop! - Day 7

Today is the Seventh day of the The "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop! I can't believe it's almost over! Imagine if all that bad stuff you did in elementary or high school was up for everyone to see. That's basically what we're doing here. Posting our Picture Books from High School or before! I am the organizer of this blog hop and will keep you up to date each day as to where to go next.

Here is the list of stops. I'll be adding new links throughout the week so you can check out the actual posts.

Feb 9  - Dani Duck http://daniduckart.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop-day-1.html
Feb 10- Becky Fyfe http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop-day2.html
Feb 11- Marcie Colleen http://writeroutine.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-seeds-of-my-dream-bad-picture-book.html

Feb 12- Mandy Yates  http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/mondays-with-mandy-or-mira
Feb 13- Sylvia Liu http://www.sylvialiuland.com/2015/02/My-Early-Writings-and-Drawings.htmlFeb 16 Rachel Elizabeth Cole http://rachelelizabethcole.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop.html
You are here -> Feb 17 Annina Wildermuth https://allmycharacters.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop/

Feb 18 Teresa MI Schaefer 
http://www.teresamischaefer.com/

Monday, February 16, 2015

The "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop! - Day 6

Today is the Sixth day of the The "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop! We took a break for the weekend, but now we are back in business! Imagine if all that bad stuff you did in elementary or high school was up for everyone to see. That's basically what we're doing here. Posting our Picture Books from High School or before! I am the organizer of this blog hop and will keep you up to date each day as to where to go next.

Here is the list of stops. I'll be adding new links throughout the week so you can check out the actual posts.

Feb 9  - Dani Duck http://daniduckart.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop-day-1.html
Feb 10- Becky Fyfe http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop-day2.html
Feb 11- Marcie Colleen http://writeroutine.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-seeds-of-my-dream-bad-picture-book.html

Feb 12- Mandy Yates  http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/mondays-with-mandy-or-mira
Feb 13- Sylvia Liu http://www.sylvialiuland.com/2015/02/My-Early-Writings-and-Drawings.htmlYou are here ->Feb 16 Rachel Elizabeth Cole http://rachelelizabethcole.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-bad-picture-book-blog-hop.html


Feb 17 Annina Wildermuth https://allmycharacters.wordpress.com/
Feb 18 Teresa MI Schaefer 
http://www.teresamischaefer.com/#!The-Bad-Picture-Book-Blog-Hop/c1hi3/5A91D616-0D6C-43A3-AB6D-DC3D6103557E