Monday, January 9, 2012


I have a very well worn copy of Alice in Wonderland. It was mine when I was a kid and it was my mom's when she was a kid. I love that book. In addition, I used to have a vinyl recording of Alice in Wonderland. I think I wore the grooves away listening to it so much. I wish I still had it. I can almost hear the masterful narrator and the voices of the characters. (It seems masterful in my head anyway.) The images of the story have swirled around in my brain for as long as I can remember. I've wanted to illustrate it for a while, but it wasn't a priority until last week when I finally began working on my Middle Grade Alice in Wonderland series. I started with a scene of Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Then one morning the phone rang. It was one of those phone calls that turns the world upside down. Now I feel like I'm in the rabbit hole suspended in time while the world spins out of control. I'm working as much as I can to keep myself busy while things are in limbo and I found some other worthwhile distractions to keep my mind occupied. Here are some of them...just in case you need a distraction too:

The winner for the Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award was announced. Click this text to see the winner and runners up. The entries for the Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award are fantastic. You can see some of them at Diandra Mae's Unofficial Gallery. The last time I counted there were 140, but more appear every day. Over 300 illustrators entered and hopefully all of them will end up in the gallery. Click the acorn to go.

This month I've joined the 2012 Comment Challenge and have discovered some great people and blogs. (This has been a phenomenally great distraction. Thanks everyone!) This is a 21 day challenge to build community in the kidlit blogosphere by commenting on other kidlit blogs.

January is also the start of the Picture Book Dummy Challenge - a 25 week picture book challenge with online support from a fantastic community of children's illustrators and writers. I've joined up to create and illustrate the story that intrigued Marla Frazee in my portfolio critique this summer. She saw an illustration I did from an idea I had a couple years ago and challenged me to write the story and submit it. Here I go!

February is PubSubPackMo (Publisher Submission Packet Month). I'm continuing the tradition to increase my submission list for my illustration postcards and future picture book dummies. This is the month that I research publishers to find the ones that are a good fit for me. My goal is to add one new publisher to my list every day, but I like to add an even 30...just because. Join me if you like! I'll be posting along the way.

In March I'm scheduled to do a workshop on children's publishing at Bona Fide Books - our local publisher. Details to come.

And finally, because I love seeing other illustrators in action, I've put together some links of other illustrators doing their thing in a little blog tour. Enjoy these links:

If you have any illustration process links to add, please feel free to put them in a comment.

I'm off to find another worthwhile distraction in Wonderland...