This week mostly I have been Butt In Chair

To borrow a phrase from Jane Yolen, mostly I have been 'Butt In Chair' this week. Can it really be October ALREADY? The wind and rain are blowing through Maine this morning and it is pretty wild. Not the cold Nor-Easters though. They are still to come.

Here's a fall photo or two to get us in the mood ....

I have no drawings to show you this week ... I have been scribbling away on the pencils for the BOOK for Freespirit Publishing, have those finished next week. The deadline looks like it will be crunched a bit, but, well I love a challenge.

Struggling to get the 4 picture book math concept dummys out of the computer, stuck together and sent to the AGENT of choice. (The new plan d'jour). But after feedback I decided to make a change to one of them that involved a fair bit of redrawing. I am really fed up of these dummies now and want them OFF MY DESK!!

Then I got sick last week. YUK. Some kind of fevery thing and falling asleep, and no, before you ask it wasn't too much of the hard stuff.

All in all September has flown past ... and now it is only 14 days until Nevada SCBWI conference and mentor meet-up. It's going to be a lot of fun, but it has come around fast ... once again a revamp of the portfolio. Not over thinking it this time. Just the stuff I like. And if it is all different styles, then it is. And it will be. I really hope I will have the 4 PB dummies finished too to take with me .... more Butt In Chair.

A new GLOG is in conception. (Group Blog to the uninitiated.) At the moment it looks like being me, Russ Cox, Sheralyn Barnes, Carrie Clickard and Fred Koehler. A good mix. We are deciding on a name right now ... hopefully it will be up and running soon and we will be posting sketches and artwork. Be fun to have a group of fellow illustrators and writers together in one place. Watch out for it!

That's it folks. Got to get back in my chair. Wait! I never left it. The wind is howling round the attic, and the oak tree outside my window is really whipping.

OH! nearly forgot ... I will be guesting on R Jeffreys 'The Write Step' blogradio show this evening at 9pm EST talking about working on a book of poetry called 'Wee Three' so hope you can tune in, or you can download later and listen. Let me know what you think. I doubt I will be able to listen to it after, as I hate the sound of my own voice. Hey! Come on! Be nice :-)

Cheerio ...

aka The Wacky Brit

PS. Nothing new on the bedside table, but lots on order at the library.

Blogging - a motivational tool?

Since January I have been blogging pretty much on a weekly basis. In the past I have always found it hard to keep up with a journal. I got bored. Somehow I was never comfortable with just writing down my stuff in a little book, and then putting it away in the nightstand drawer. In fact I found it downright embarrassing and oddly uncomfortable.

So why does it seem so much easier to blog? Is it because, on the odd occasion, someone, somewhere on the web reads my drivel and leaves me a comment? Totally narcissistic. But, you know, talking to what may (or may not) be an imaginary listener has really made me focus on what I am chattering on about. In the end of the week round up of news I look back on what I've achieved (or not)and what (if anything) I am looking forward to in the week to come.

When I re-read I have a real sense of what I was thinking about several months ago, and I can also see if what I planned went the way I thought it would or whether the tangents I zoomed off on have led me down a more interesting path.Perhaps this is just the same with a private diary, but blogging, well, you have to mean it somehow!

And therefore, in an odd way, the weekly blog is keeping me motivated. I like to have something to talk about and pictures to show you (and me!). And this blog-writing-time let's me gather my thoughts and gird my loins to get on with the tasks ahead.

When I started the blog I thought it would just be a way of letting people know about my illustrations and drawing. And 'something you have to do' in these technological days to build a so-called 'platform'. I had no idea I would ENJOY it.

I held out on Facebook for a long time too ... and now I love it (probably too much!) I have made some excellent contacts on FB, found new and sincere friends, and learned a great deal. It too is a source of inspiration and motivation.

Unlike a lot of bloggers, and many in the children's lit and illustration world, I am not good at gathering and sharing huge amounts of information and links and what-not. I just hope that my bumbling posts may help in some way other's on the same journey. I hope they make someone smile now and again and perhaps entertain.

But most of all I am thankful that I can make my art better and be a small part of this great tradition.

Right. Enough of the euphorics.

I went sailing this week! (Did you miss last week's blog?? TSK TSK) Here's a pic of the students I taught in an art cruise on Isaac H Evans Windjammer Cruise last week. They came from as far away as CA.

That's me in the middle with Capt Brenda. It was a great time ... we sailed around the Maine islands, but, oh, did the wind give us a good going over! I'll say! Here are few more of my sketches and photos ...

 You can find more on my FaceBook Fan Page.

I am still working on the 4 math PB layouts ... 2 down, 2 to go. I have had some great feedback from a few cool illustrators and writers and I thank them bunches for their help! It never fails to surprise me how nice folks in the children's illustration world are ...

Oh yes, the MANUSCRIPT is here for THE BOOK I will be working on this next couple o' months. So this weekend I will going over it and planning out the spreads. Really looking forward to getting my teeth into it.

Tomorrow off to see an exhibition of Whistler's prints in Waterville, Maine with some other artists, so that will feed the mind.

And before I forget, maybe you will tune in (or download) Red River Radio prog I am on next week chatting about illustration ... here is the link ....Dellanis Tea Time

Cheerio till next time!
aka The Wacky Brit

PS .. nothing new on the bedside table ... oops.