My Books

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

happy birthday haiku baby!

It's finally here! Today is the official release date for my first authored book, Haiku Baby, published by Random House Children's Books. Special thanks to my agent, coach and friend Lori at Painted-Words, who discovered this opportunity for me, to my amazingly talented editor Heidi and art director Tracy, who believed in my vision from the beginning and have helped me feel at home with Random House, and to my enthusiastic publicist Emily, who is the ultimate cheerleader and is always one step ahead of me.

It's been such a special experience to create a book from concept to production...a dream come true really. It was November 2006 when I first submitted concepts to Random House (also the first time I'd EVER sent concepts to a publisher). I was prepared for rejection, but was soooooo excited to find out they liked THREE of my books ideas and trusted me enough to not only illustrate but also write them too! I still remember my agent Lori's e-mail, titled "Get out the champagne!!!" That was a good moment, when I knew this little thumbnail and haiku I sent off to Random House was about to grow into something much bigger.

So this little idea, that I had finally gotten out of my head and onto paper, became this sketch...

...and then this sketch became this "haiku moment."

And right now is a good moment too, to have my book officially out there in the world. My Haiku Baby has been born.

For another sneak peek, check out the newly launched!

Monday, May 19, 2008

7 things.

At last, I am blogging again! It's been a busy month, with an office flood and a quick temporary set-up of operations in our living room (it has truly become our "living room"). But we are getting by alright, despite the tight quarters and lack of storage. And I have a girls' beach trip planned for this weekend, so that will be a nice change of scenery.

So, a while back I was tagged by my friend Jenny to post my "7 things," which apparently can be ANYthings. I've decided to do my seven in the moment moments, though it's so hard to limit it just to seven. It's funny, with things like this, it seems like no matter how many I'm "allowed," it's never enough. Why is that? Here goes:

1. I can't say I remember this exact moment, but it is Jeff's favorite kid pic of me, and look at me, I have to be in the moment here. I'm sitting on the porch of my family's rustic mountain cabin, feet dangling, perfectly content to eat my cracker and ponder life's big questions like, "I wonder how many salamanders I'll catch today." I'm pretty sure I'd do the same thing today.

2. Riding my bike has to be way up there on my list. I like to feel the wind in my hair and hear the sound of the gears clicking. Today, my bike is yellow, but when I was little, I had the best pink banana bike with streamers, a goose horn, and a white plastic basket in the front.

3. Though I hardly get to do this anymore, I LOVE ice skating, especially outside. There's nothing like it.

4. Well, I'm cheating on this one a little....sort of a 3 for 1 deal. But isn't art about pushing boundaries? Artistically, this image is about both printmaking and watercolor. This is a white line woodcut I did in a workshop at American Greetings, where I actually used watercolor paints instead of oil-based inks. Printmaking and watercolor on their own are such different processes, but both are activities where I can really get lost in the act of making. With printmaking, it's the mark-making, the layering of colors, and the sounds and smells of mixing and rolling out the sticky ink for that "orange peel" texture that means it's just right. With watercolor, it's the happy accidents, the bleeding of one color into the next, the letting go that I embrace. And then, artistic processes aside, Jeff and I really enjoy the experience of wine...learning about it, visiting wineries (especially Napa and Sonoma), and yes, tasting it.

5. Sand and water between my toes, and a flowing Hawaiian skirt dancing in the breeze...ahhhhh.

6. Whale watching is one of those incredibly religious experiences for me and I do it whenever I can (which is not too often since we do not have whales in Lake Erie).

7. Walking down the aisle at my wedding...I thought it might be this surreal "spotlight" out-of-body experience that would just go too fast, but I remember being very conscious of taking it all in, that moment with my dad, the faces of loved ones smiling back at me, the stone floor, the rose petals, the spots of sunlight and shade, and looking up to see that man at the end of the aisle, waiting for me. It was so much more comfortable that I had imagined. Photo courtesy of our good friend and talented wedding photographer, Donna Von Bruening (who happens to have a very inspiring blog too).