Monday, January 18, 2016

Freeze Now, inside or out! Shiny Appliances in Mid-January

Helllllllllo, 2016!

My theory of starting a post in stray 15 minute spurts hasn't panned out, nor has the "buck up and get a second wind after baby goes to bed," for lo that does not take into account my usual ughitswinterhidingisbetter exacerbated by the brain-mushifying aspect of babying throughout the day. And so many mundane large and small householdy things pulling at one's sleeve. But really, who hasn't been there? So I haven't settled on a successful plan of attack for bringing creativity reliably back into the picture. Ohhhh, the former wealth of idle musing time~! But, somewhere, there is hope.

And in the kitchen, there is also a hulking, new refrigerator, shinier beneath its protective cling-film than it will ever be again. The 12 degree weather, so unappreciated otherwise, is perfect for storing the entire contents of the prior fridge in my car, though it does make me more likely to type in my study than to retrieve it all again. But! The shiny new fridge is certainly exciting! Bigger! Consistently cold! Makes its own ice!* Shows your food in a better light**! Makes you a more inspired cook***! Desperate for fields of tiny fingerprints!

*once we get a water line hooked up, eh.
**i.e. last light stopped working years ago. silly, what you get used to. lights, so conveeeeeeenient!
***Just agree.

The deliveryman approves: "This is a nice fridge. People pay more for Samsung, they think is better, but no: LG is better. In delivering for many years, I hear a few complaints about LG. But very few." He is removing the fridge doors, which are hinged on the wrong side. The baby has finished her Greek yogurt and apple-pumpkin puree and is alternately peering up at me, eyeing him, and jumping from the automatic drill. I switch to bread and peanut butter. She smacks the high chair tray whenever I pause in bread delivery. I maintain a certain speed, as she currently devolves into chipmunk mode if too much food is immediately available.

"How old is it?"

"She's 10 months old today." SMACK. The baby eyes me. I tear a tiny piece of bread. She frowns at it, stuffs it in her mouth with her entire hand. Gums peanut butter around.

"Oh, 10 months, that's good time. This is a good size fridge, maybe have a little brother or sister. A brother: a boy would be better." LG better, boy, better. I happily buy the first, and don't inquire after the second.

Otherwise, starting to read around for next steps as I progress tortoise-like toward my picture book finish. With all the carving, I have another solid year of work, but at this point, I only have a few pages which completely lack drawings. That said, I'm sad to say I need to revisit storyboarding.  

Interloper detail
But that's ridiculous, you say, that's why you storyboard in the first place, to plot it all out. True. true. And then one gets all focused on individual designs and fully know that some designs make a two page spread, and that others must be facing each other, but somehow a couple individual pages sneak in and throw everything off. The interlopers have pizzazz, they have energy, they can't be eliminated now. How did this happen, who was manning my ship?? WHO IS THE PROJECT MANAGER HERE I WANT TO SPEAK TO THE PROJECT MANAGER. I don't know. May I distract you with a half-gone carton of coconut "ice cream," or a solid brick of orange mystery? No? Well, it's literally back to the drawing board. Last night I scrawled out a large newsprint sheet of picture book thumbnails, to once again confirm that yes, I had indeed
screwed myself up a bit. It's possible that if I divorce myself from the completed woodblock prints, I'll be able to imagine how a particular image could be sliced and diced into a different-but-better Cakeasaurus tale...

Initial googling connected me with templates, but not so much help with the problem solving. Naturally I ran across a handful of promising sites about high caliber picture books:

  • Design of the Picture Book made me want to own Whatever Happened to my Sister?
  • Self-described "entertainment channel" around literacy All the Wonders could help me lose track of time (see the entry for last year's big bang "Leo: A Ghost Story," which has a related craft component, video, behind-the-scenes making-of, and podcast with the illustrator) 
  • Picture Book Makers boosts a great stable, including Vivian Schwarz {check out the
    videos of her reading her books, they're great! More sneak peeks and process shots from the author and illustrator at her blog} and Emily Hughes, author and illustrator of Wild

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