Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Ramble about Reviewing Children's Books

My deadline for the for the Children's Lit reviews are at the end of this week! EEEEEEP! I'll always be plagued by deadlines!

Anyway, if anyone is interested in reviewing for them then just go to their website for more information. They're looking for positive and sometimes negative reviews (if you think a particular book needs to not be recommended.) I've given them a couple of negative reviews before but I try to give my most honest and helpful opinion and this is what I want to ramble about!

In my experience, giving an honest opinion is the best you can do for an author or illustrator or cook or dancer or whatever that person does in life. If that person really wants to improve their craft, they need to face criticism. Sometimes criticism can get out of hand and downright dishonest, but the more they face criticism's rearing ugly head, the more courage they'll get to either take that critique and apply it to the work or even to know what criticism to keep and what to throw out. Besides listing the summary, characters, the books cohesiveness with illustrations, age group, and what setting the book may be appropriate for, honesty is on the top of that list for me when I write my reviews.

Being apart of the 12x12 has been helpful in several different ways and one of them happens to be the Facebook group where people link many helpful blog posts, experiences, books, and various inspirational material. One of the links today just happened to be relevant to what I'm trying to accomplish by the end of this week, which is to write five good reviews. If you are not apart of the 12x12, Facebook group or SCBWI, and are interested in reviewing, here's a link to that helpful and relevant post.

I'll end the rant with another pre NaNoWriMo sketch

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lil Red Contest

The NaNoWriMo novel I'm working on was inspired by the Tomie dePaola contest that's due on the 1st of December. The challenge is to create an illustration based off of the Philip Pullman’s version of “Little Red Riding Hood” from FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM.  With both November challenges, family projects, and this contest it's going to be an overloaded month ahead of me.


Anyway, during the time I was experimenting with acrylic, digital, tea/coffee staining, I realized that the medium that I work best with is and always will be oil paint. That wouldn't be too bad if oil paintings didn't take so long to dry. The more I draw and work on my own projects the more I find that all my work has a sense of realist whimsy and I personally can only achieve that through drawing and oil painting.

Oh well, it is what it is and I should focus on what I'm good at instead of trying to work with something that just doesn't work with me.

Another November countdown image!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Lil' Red

I've been working on a middle grade (?) for about two months now which I've been calling "Lil Red" because it's a Little Red Riding Hood spinoff. Writing things here and there, character building and sketching, world building and figuring out the theme before NaNoWriMo begins. I figured if I have   an idea to start with,  50,000 words will be a bit more manageable (maybe?)


I found that drawing the characters and settings forced me to get to know these people and places more than I ever could if I just wrote about them.

Here is an example I would like to share, apart of the PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo count down.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

PiBoIdMo Next Month!

So I've stopped the contests for now but I have plenty of work to do this month and the next.

This month I've been preparing for PiBoIdMo by gathering past ideas on notecards, sketchbooks, random pieces of paper or material...and mashing them altogether as a reminder that I DID come up with 30 picture book ideas in 30 days (no matter how good or bad haha) and can do it again!

I'm pumped!

Now for a challenge that I haven't tried before. I find this challenge super intimidating but of course that just makes me want to do it even more.


50,000 words in 30 days. AHHHHHH I don't know if I can do it...but, I think I can. Yeah, I CAN DO IT! I can complete BOTH.

Hahahahahahahahaha. Ha.

As for the blog background change, it's the gathering of notecards, scribbles, and pieces of paper with old ideas written down. I thought it appropriate.

Wish me luck! (I also wish all those out there working on either or both challenges!!!)