Midsummer already??

Where the heck is 2012 going? Already midsummer is about on us. Soon in Maine we'll be chopping wood and thinking of snow. OK, maybe not for a couple of months yet ...

I've been deep into finishing up final spreads for my next book with Kane Miller (spring 2013). I can't tell you what it's about yet, so you will just have to wait! As will I. (To tell you that is, I already know what it's about!) Due date is end of June and I'm going to ALA, Anaheim on June 22 for a couple of days, so right now I am madly colouring.

Haven't even had breath for the warm up sketches ... I do miss them, but the schedule is heavy.To keep myself on track I have a daily schedule with the spreads listed ... that way I can keep track and if I get ahead a little, it feels good! Might even get Saturday off.

Had to have a new head shot for book signing at ALA (more on that in another post!) and so I girded up my loins, got the SLR and with 'im indoors to click the shutter and spent an hour in the garden taking hundreds of horrible shots until I eventually got one that was decent. The pansies look nice. I totally hate having publicity photos done! Argh!

I've been pretty quiet lately, no long posts. I got pretty sick in April with shingles. Gah! I hope I never get it again. I thought I had a pulled shoulder, but no, within a few days the dreaded rash appeared. My right arm was out of action for a couple of weeks. It made me realize how enormous it would be if I couldn't use it again! When you are sick you think you'll never feel better, right? Boy, was I a bear. Still had work to do and managed to get to a couple of booked events on meds, but I NEVER want to have shingles AGAIN. To those of you who think it's just an itchy rash ... oh buddy.

Thankful to be feeling much better and to be able to meet this book deadline. 'In between' I also did black and white illo's for a chapter book for little ones, that I can't tell you about just yet .. but hopefully next month. So many things I can't say!

I also can't say anything about a new book project coming my way this month. Makes you wonder why I am writing this blog post at all! Here is one of the great things I have learned more about since beginning my journey in children's publishing - PATIENCE.

Last week I escaped from the studio for the day and made it down to Boston to Fablevision's art show and the meet and greet that is 'Creative Juices'. From my northerly position here in Maine it's about a 2 hour drive to the train station in Portland, then the DownEaster to Boston 2.5hrs - but a lovely ride and scenery! (Reminder to self, stay in Boston another time ... getting home at 4am was too much. My age is showing). Met up with illustrator Katia Wish for dinner (vodka pizza, lemincello, tiramsu, cappuchino) and then a roam around the North End, then to Fablevision studios for an evening of  kahoots and gossip.

In Fablevision Studio

Fablevision are a great company, headed up by the Reynold's brothers Peter and Paul. (Peter is a many times over best selling children's author and illustrator.) Their multimedia and learning company has a fantastic young team of artists, techies, geeks and goodness knows who else. The offices are fabby ... vibrant, colourful, inspirational. The energy exudes from the walls. Lots of fun things to do ... a greenwall camera, draw a monster, drink weird drinks and chat ofcourse. And everywhere beautiful art and creations created by the Fablevision team ... showing their skills outside of their usual work. So I leave you with a few images from my trip ...

 On the train

 Beautiful Balloon Dress!

With Jennifer Marsh Morris

Zesty fun with Paul Reynolds

Rennee Kurilla's beautiful felt work

With Susannah Richards

The view from the studio!

 With Renne Kurilla, John Lechner, Katia Wish, Me, Gaia Cornwall, Dan Moynihan