I-F: Adapt & every day in may

Chameleons would have to be one of nature's most adaptable creatures. But still, even a chamelon has those days where 'ya just gotta be you'. my watercolour and pencil submission for Illustration Friday.

and also the last day of every day in may. I don't think I kept up with EVERY day in May, I am sorry to say, but I had good excuses: computer failure, a funeral, and a wicked sinus cold. I probably did do work on my children's book text almost every day, and I am happy to say, it is ready to be handed in tomorrow as Draft 8. so even if I didn't post about it every day as I had hoped, I'm glad I did it. yay for may :)

every day in may

eek, I'm seriously lagging behind in my every day in may posts. 

This is mostly because my computer fell into a deep depression this weekend, all it would give me was a black screen and a sad slowly rotating graphic. The doctor came and gave it some anti-depressants in the form of a new operating system. It was touch-and-go for a while there, but now it is better than ever! (big phew!)

so what creative things have I been doing every day? Mostly A LOT of editing. I finally got my children's story down to 638 words - wohoo! i put it up for workshopping and got some great feedback. I'm loving this process. So the rewriting and reworking begins.

I guess I should maybe do some ILLUSTRATION soon too! If only I didn't need to sleep...

every day in may & I-F: Parade

a parade of elephants!

Really enjoyed doing this much looser watercolour style. I think I may explore this some more.

in edim news, the editing of my children's story continues.
day 12: 725 words, day 13: 715 words, day 14: so far, 722 words. 
Don't seem to be able to break that 700 mark! 
I'm not sure that I need to, it doesn't feel too wordy to me, but then again I've been looking at it a lot lately. It has to be submitted this weekend for workshopping so I might just tighten up a few bits and see what other people say! But in short, it's going well. :)

every day in may : day ten & eleven

Yesterday was editing. 
Today was more editing. 
I didn't get to do quite as much as I had hoped, but I'm onto my 3rd draft.
Draft 1: 971 words
Draft 2: 814 words
Draft 3: 705 words.

Aiming for about 600, but it's getting harder now, and i still have a few things to add. 

I was thinking how writing and painting are opposites. With painting I really enjoy putting on finishing touches, but with writing I struggle with the details, the honing -  trying to find the right words to say something more succinctly, powerfully. The thesaurus and I share many cups of tea. It's been a fun process though, and I think it's shaping up... I hope!

every day in may : day eight

Well I didn't DO much creative today but I have been THINKING a lot. That counts doesn't it?

I've just found out that we are reaching the workshopping stage of my writing for children course (yay!) so I need to turn my first draft into a 3rd or 4th draft by next Monday. It's okay, I'm on top of it. 

I have been revising in my head, and tomorrow will be Jour D'Editing Majeur. 
(but maybe I'll go do a bit now just so I feel better about today's creativeness...)

every day in may : days four & five

Day four : I started a sketch for Illustration Friday's word this week, "Hierarchy", but I'm not totally happy with it. The girl looks okay but the giraffe is a bit confused. Is it real? or is it a toy. Needs work, but I hope to finish it in time.

Today I have done some preliminary cutting and slashing on the first draft of my children's book. Much work to be done there too! But it feels good...

every day in may : day three

I went to another workshop at the williamstown literary festival today. This one was with Lucia Nardo about making a visual plan for writing, by sourcing images from magazines, etc. to make a 'writing map'. This really appealed to me - a visual outline of words sounds like a great idea.

The workshop was all a bit airy fairy though, without any structure of how to represent your book, so the end product ended up a bit primary school. Perhaps this was just a function of having limited time, but I feel the writing map idea needs to be taken further. Lucia was great though - lots of fun and kept the morning rolling. I also got to meet some lovely people so that was a plus.

anyway, here is my cut and paste job, which is more generally about writing for kids, travel and home:

every day in may : day two

I had the most wonderfully creative day today.
First, I went to the Williamstown Literary Festival and heard Garry Disher speak about generating ideas for stories. Basically he is always on the look out - anecdotes, experiences, overheard conversations, you name it!

Then, I went to the Royal Botanic Gardens, because I got the strangest call the other day. Someone called to tell me they had found my purse. My purse? But it's sitting right next to me. Then it dawned on me. Almost two years ago, my purse was stolen, out of my hand. Without thinking, I gave chase, and the mugger ran across the street into the Botanic Gardens. And now they had found my purse hanging in a tree! Crazy.

I was so curious to see what it looked like. So I retrieved it, and sat in the grass to open this little time capsule. It was so weathered that it almost looked burned, and all my old cards and things were still there, even a salvageable lipstick! Funny experience, peering into the past. Hmmm, now there's an idea for a story....
* edit - I actually blogged about the mugging here, if you are curious!

And then, because I was there, amongst the great gums and the canoodling couples, and it was such a gorgeous autumn day, I sat in the grass and i wrote the first draft of my children's book. Now I haven't reread it yet - it may have to be completely rewritten - but at least it's a first step!

(talking myself into it)

(couldn't resist doing a little sketch)

An illustrator who writes, brought to you by the number 4

For the last 6 weeks I've been taking a course called Writing Picture Books through Victoria University here in Melbourne. It's an online course, which is sort of wacky, but it means you can do it in your pyjamas at 1am which is great for me, because I often do!

So I now keep a notebook of ideas, have a stack of picture books from the library, and visit the bookstore regularly. I am immersing myself in PBs and figuring out how my lil story could fit into the wide world of children's literature. And because it's an accredited course, I even have writing assignments! It feels great to be in a learning environment again, and it's very exciting, I have to say.

So each week I log in to this:

to see what new messages there are, and each week there is a new topic, new tasks, new exercises, etc. Sometimes we have to analyse a PB looking at something specific, or do a short writing exercise and post our results.

Soon we will start writing 'the story' and that's of course what I'm most looking forward to. I've had an idea rolling around in my head for months now, I know once I finally put pen to paper it's going to come out in an irrepressible flood of words and pictures. I can't wait!


And... I totally forgot that Doda tagged me ages ago to "post the 4th picture in the 4th folder on my computer, then tag 4 people to do the same"
so here tis - sorry it's so late Doda...!

I keep a lot of images of inspiration - of art and of things. Loved this colourful desktop - but can't remember who's it is I'm afraid!

So I now tag:
Red dog & Jude
Sweet Pea