Yay! I did it- It was a great book launch! I was so happy to see lots of friendly faces and so grateful to Another Story Bookshop for helping make it happen!
This is exiting- My book was reviewed favourably (a key to my good mood, some reviews have been mixed) in the Canadian Children's Book News. It's neat because I only JUST joined this organization and have my profile up there in case anyone wants me to go visit a school and do a presentation. I didn't know I'd also get the quarterly magazine as part of my membership, and then, la di da, I'm flipping casually through the pages and VOILA! My review! Excitement! Then, a week later my kind wonderful publisher sent me a copy too, with a handwritten note! I love them so much. Extra cool is that I am on the same page as superstar Melanie Watt's new book and the book on the cover too! Chuff. I needed a little pick me up to counter balance my ingrained panic at feeling like I am not "WORKING" right this second as there is not a paying project on my table. Deep breaths.
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Hello! It has been a nicely busy few weeks. I was asked to present my book at two events. Here are Finch and I horsing around in front of the end paper image of Starring Shapes. It was all up on a big screen! Technology! This was for Corus Friends and Family Day. Corus is the parent company of my publisher, Kids Can Press.
It was a fab day! Finch got to meet Toopy and Binoo ( I won't link to them! Too much cutesy noise) and we had a free BBQ lunch. The best part, I finally got to visit Kids Can's new offices and it was such a treat.
Yesterday was the Toronto Word on the Street Festival. It was a glorious sunny day down at Toronto's waterfront. Finch got to see Island airport planes taking off, Paul got a tee shirt and my presentation was smooth going, despite a wicked cold I had picked up. Yay! I did it. I am always nervous to do presentations and usually the kids dictate how deeply I go into discussing my process. These last two, I only read the book and did a drawing demo. The kids were exited and little and I'm sure would not be able to listen to me ramble on about thumbnails and final drafts! Kids Can created some lovely colouring pages for the craft activity following my talk. It was also so so nice to see one of my favorite people Krissy and she made me this!
I must make an effort to do more promotion and school visits!
Here is a bit of teensy shot of the spring catalog for Kids Can Press and I am beyond chuffed to have a page of my own!! Who knew I would one day have 5 kids books to my name!! It's beyond a thrill and I am so grateful.
You can see the next Willow book will be "Willow's Smile" and is out in March. It is about picture day!
Please follow me on Instagram if you can, I seem to post there much more often these days!
Hello friends! School's on and Starring Shapes was released on September 1st! I am beyond thrilled to have been invited to present at this years Word on the Street Festival here at Toronto's Harbourfront.
I am going to be a tad nervous! It would be so nice to see some familiar, friendly faces, so do try and pop in to say hello! I'd be overjoyed! It's free and fabulous- wall to wall books and great kids activities!
I have 2.5 days left of freedom before summer vacation! I am proud of my kid, making it through Junior Kindergarten. Every day he says he wants to stay home but I'm pretty sure he has loved it.
So in between projects here, I have managed to finally update my portfolio with all the new books etc. It was really easy thanks to this platform, juicebox, which is the newer more snazzy relative of the simpleviewer site I had originally built years ago. I am proud of myself for getting to this! It's needed doing for over 5 years so, ta da! I like how my expectations and goals shrink due to the lack of time and space for them, due to the kid. Now that he is five, its way, way easier, but I still can't get to a lot of stuff, and I don't really mind. Oh, also, I turned 40!!!! Finch turned five and I turned 40. Holy Crow. Its kind of a mind bender for me, who perpetually feels like an awkward 15 year old.
I also updated my about page using good old HTML. I feel so analog. I have files on my old computer, that's now in the kitchen and used mainly for ITUNES while I cook ( yes I have heard of IPODS and wireless speakers) and I have to run up and down the stairs , shouting "Let's see if it worked!", to my new computer to test it as I upload it to my server via an FTP and edit it with appleworks on the old computer. Very silly, I am sure I could find a way to do it all on the new ( now possibly old already ) MAC in the studio. ANYWAY, I AM 40 after all. It takes me a while to get the old brain chugging.
I am so super exited to show you my new book! Starring Shapes! It comes out in the fall of 2015 and is amazingly already up on Amazon for pre-order. They even let you have a good look through the first number of pages. This is the first book I wrote and illustrated, so I am feeling really lucky, grateful and chuffed.
It has been such great timing- I was busy with this book and then the third Willow book all through Finch's first year of school, and my first block of childfree time since he was born, apart from a few mornings at preschool of course.
Willow is going to look something like this:
It's about picture day! Lana Button has done it again- such a lovely story! Willow is worried she won't be able to smile. I know the feeling!! I think Willow is actually me.... Please stay tuned, I will post the cover as soon as I am able!
Rectangle started out as a gruff, wisened older and possibly a bit snobby, actor type, in my original shapes book idea. All the characters have sinced morphed, quite appealingly, into school children! I brought back a bit of the grumpy older man version of rectangle here for the small title page image. I picture him clearing his throat loudly and ruffling the newspaper indignantly. I was trying to get the angle right, so I drew a whole bunch. I think I went with the one on the far right. We'll see if he makes it into the book! My final deadline is Friday and I am quite exited to be close to the finish line! I think I first came up with this idea over 5 years ago, so it is a thrill to have it come to fruition!
Here is a screen shot of my desk top right this minute! I am at the bottom end of my afternoon cuppa and I am so happy to be working. I really have no clue how I got Willow Finds a Way done with Finch around. He did nap then, but not every day...this is so much easier! Yay for JK!! As you can see, that's Oval. He is a busy guy but you will just have to wait and see!
Grateful today. Grateful for health (praying for an ill neighbor and her kids), grateful for home ( in a tidying up mood) , grateful for dinner ( a chicken soup in the slow cooker and homemeade bread!), grateful for my neighborhood ( a playdate after school and tommorow morning and friends all around), grateful for the quiet (right now) and grateful for the noise (some new music from itunes!). Grateful for the weekend!
Playing around with end paper pattern ideas! This will be my first "all mine" book! Written and illustrated by little me. I can't believe it! I feel very grateful and lucky.
See? Shapes! It's crunch time, in a way- got to get this book done now by the end of November! Eek! Can't wait to show you more!
Doodle doodle, playing with shapes- square as origami paper...playing with patterns from my Repro depot pattern book.
A little break from finishing the second round of roughs on my current project, following notes from my excellent editor, and tightening up the images.
We've all got colds here, the whole kindergarten class seems to be coughing (all over everything -yuck) and sharing the germs. Ah kids! I think my kid is liking school, despite saying he is scared to go every day. The teachers are fantastic- I feel so lucky. Couldn't be better for my nervous boy!