Archive for January, 2011

The New York SCBWI Conference

January 28, 2011

The New York SCBWI Conference 2011 starts today!  You can keep track of all the goings on through Twitter or here, The Official SCBWI Conference Blog, that is… unless you’re already there. What fun!


Children’s Art Recreated

January 26, 2011

Taking children’s art and turning it into current art? Love the idea and it just goes to show how sophisticated artists kids really are. 🙂 Here are two artists that are taking a slightly different angle on this idea.

 Dave DeVries, working out of New Jersey, uses kids doodles and drawings, and recreates them with a grown up flavor. His site The Monster Engine has been around for quite some time and has become quite a hit since is was first created in 2005. I love that he truly retains the essence and feel of the original doodles.

Yeondoo Jung, from Korea, takes the same idea but executes it in a completely different way. His “Wonderland” series explores simplistic shape focused children’s sketches which he interprets into striking photography.

Happy drawing to all.


Mila’s Day Dream

January 25, 2011





How creative is this? Adele Enersen, while her daughter is soundly asleep, creates a completely different world … from whatever she can find around her! How inspiring is this and how visually wonderful! I’d love to see her come out with a picture book using this vey unique medium.

Her is her blog:

Her facebook fan page is:!/MilasDaydreams?v=wall



Great School Visit Resources

January 24, 2011

My school visit brochure

School Visits. Authors do them; illustrators do them, should you? I would say, most definitely yes! Not only are they a wonderful way to let your audience know about you, your craft and your books, they are a great opportunity to learn about your audience and they are a great way to supplement your income. However, my favorite reason for doing school visits is to see how excited the kids and teachers get when you shown them your books and tell them about what you do. I come away from a school visit excited and inspired about what I do and eager to get back to work. That to me is worth more than anything.

So what is involved with school visits? Well, I won’t sugar coat it, they are a lot of work and take quite a lot of preparation. How do you book a visit? What do you include in your presentation? How much should you charge? How do you tie into the school curriculum? There are countless questions that come to mind, especially if you have never prepared and presented a school visit before.

Instead of writing up a huge long blog entry, I thought it best to provide some web resources from what I would call school visit experts. There is a lot of information on the web but I have found the following to be the upmost best on the subject. If you stumble across additional resource please send me the links as I am working on updating my website, where I am adding a section on school visit resources.

A couple of months ago, my AZ Chapter of the SCBWI offered a workshop with Alexis O’Neill on “Creating School Visits That Wow”. It was a very helpful presentation and offered some great resources. Alexis O’Neill a successful author, Regional Advisor for the SCBWI and the founder of both The Children’s Authors Network and School Visit You can read more about this incredible lady at: This workshop sent me on a path to find out more about school visits seeing that I am not doing them much more frequently. Following are some incredible resources to get you started. Here we go:

 School Visit (

This site is a great place if you have specific questions about school visits. The resource page has a long list of articles ranging from Nine Business Basics for School Visits, Promoting Your AvailabilityShaping Your Presentation, and The Reluctant Presenter just to name a few.

Children’s Authors Network (

CAN! was formed to provide meaningful programs promoting literacy and the creative process. This site is incredible when it comes to understanding what is involved with school visits. Check out these to get just a little taste of what you can find on this site: Author Visit’s Guide and Freebies

Verla Kay,

The award winning author Verla Kay, offers a wealth of information when it comes to writing in general and her website, which even has a message board, has twice been named one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest. On Verla Kay’s Blog, she wrote an entire series of articles about school visits that are all a must read. There is a search feature on her blog. Just type in school visits and you’ll get a list of articles about the topic.

Elizabeth Dulemba,

If you are not familiar with “E” you have to check out both her website and blog. I would say that she is the one to follow when it comes to self-promotion and thinking outside the box. Check out her page on school visits, for great pointers and even a way on how to help your school get funding for the visits. “E” even presents her visits via Skype. She has a wonderful Media section, featuring posters, brochures, and other things that are great for school visits. Her links page, features some great articles that she has written.

 I hope this helps a little.

Happy drawing.


Shiny, Happy People

January 20, 2011

Merry Christmas to me! I just look at them and get all giddy–almost as much as when I smell crayons or sniff freshly-sharpened pencils!

I have been reading and re-reading HOOKED by Les Edgerton. A must-read, indeed! The subtitle is “write fiction that grabs readers at page one and never lets them go”…He teaches about the inciting incident and how to make it WORK. This has been an issue for me for quite some time on a couple of my manuscripts, and I am excited to finally have this valuable information such as: being able to better differentiate between an inciting incident and a situation, using inciting incident as a trigger, recognizing the character’s awareness of his/her story-worthy problem to name just a few of the points he illuminates ever-so-poignantly.

Incidentally, (pardon the segue pun) Jim Henson’s Doodle Dreams: Inspiration for Living Life Outside the Lines features the simple phrase “Beginning is the hardest thing.” This little book was a special find. An exchange of 50 cents at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and it was all mine for the taking and the sharing. It also says: “An artist gives people back a part of themselves-the stories and sounds, the feeling of what it’s like to be alive. That’s a pretty powerful gift.”


“If you find a place where

people look happy, stick around…

and invite some friends.”

Hey! The Doodle Diner is FULL of happy, happy doodlers! So, stick around…

Lastly, The 2011 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market is just begging to have its shiny new spine cracked. And cracking it is a good idea. According to Henson’s book “We’re all like eggs-fragile and full of possibilities. But unless we come out of our shells, we just stay eggs.”

The 2011 Caldecott winner is!!!

January 10, 2011

A Sick Day for Amos McGee…..Just in case you missed it!!

Amos McGee, an elderly man who works at the zoo, finds time each day for five special friends. With empathy and understanding he gives the elephant, tortoise, penguin, rhinoceros, and owl the attention they need. One morning, Amos wakes up with a bad cold and stays home in bed. His friends wait patiently and then leave the zoo to visit him. Their trip mirrors his daily bus ride to the zoo and spans three nearly wordless spreads. Amos, sitting up in bed, clasps his hands in delight when his friends arrive.

Tomie dePaola Award Announced

January 8, 2011

The 2011 Tomie dePaola award was announced. Check out the winner and three other entries that Tomie dePaola found noteworthy here.

My Book is on Sale!

January 7, 2011

Hi y’all.  Here’s a book I illustrated that is now for sale on Amazon!  Just thought I’d spread the happy news!

My New Book

January 5, 2011

I’m so excited to show you a sneak peak of my first illustrated book!
The book is a bedtime story full of sleepy, cuddly creatures of all kinds.

Look for it in early spring of 2011!

Post-Holiday Doldrumoids

January 3, 2011

Post-holiday Doldrumoid (as seen through a microscope.)

We’ve always known of their existence, but for the first time ever, caught in mid listless, despondency, is what experts commonly refer to as the Post-holiday Doldrumoid…in the flesh……or rather, in the doodle.

No matter. It’s official. We have a Doldrumoid pandemic on our hands. They are here and we have got to deal with them. It’s suggested that you move this matter to the top of  your list of resolutions.

Some effective methods for coping with these ubiquitous yet unwelcome creatures are as follows:

1. Ignore them. Doldrumoids have been known to eventually lose interest in their host and reluctantly disappear after a week or two.

2. Keep that crunchy Christmas tree up for another month, along with the exterior icicle lights and the inflatable snow globe on your lawn. Do this while ignoring the fact that the holidays are over. This method seems to keep the Doldrumoids at bay, but leaves the door wide open for Lackus Deselfrespectus spors to take hold.

There are no easy answers, but…

3. For those of us who need to get back to business… pronto, there are some drastic measures that can be implemented. Take tree and exterior lights down, box up Christmas decorations, shove said boxes up in garage rafters, eat salad, go to the gym and then actually make that deadline for your employer/client as opposed to staring blankly at the computer monitor (close mouth, wipe drool off chin, mind don’t get any on the keyboard.)

In the event none of the above methods prove effective, one can always hold on until February 14 when a virulent strain of Guiltus Cupidus overcomes the weakened Doldrumoids, offering minimal relief to some sufferers.

This has been an important public service announcement for all of our Doodle Diner friends. Thank you.