Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Old MacDonald's Farm

Did you have a favorite animal on Old MacDonald's Farm? I don't remember having a favorite as a kid - I just liked making the animal sounds.

But as an adult, my favorite is the cow. It's just so much fun to say, "with a moo moo here, and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo." :0)

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Farmer In The Dell

For some reason I had "The Farmer In The Dell" in my head this morning - the end part, where the cheese stands alone. I never understood that as a kid. I clearly remember thinking, "that doesn't make any sense." There was the game you could play with the song too, and a person got stuck in the circle standing alone. Nobody wanted to be the cheese in the middle.

The whole idea of the cheese standing alone still doesn't make any sense to me except that for some reason, I feel like I'm standing alone today. Well, not completely alone. Cheese is here with me (Cheese from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends).

Anybody know why the cheese stands alone?

Were there any songs, nursery rhymes, games or stories that you remember not understanding as a child?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

celery needs

My favorite subject line of spam email today was, "I be celery." So, since I'm apparently celery today, I thought I'd look up "celery needs" on google. Results from page 1.

1.Celery needs a particularly long cool-weather season
(maybe for celery, but not for me!)

2.Celery needs rich, sandy loam and lots and lots of water.

3.Celery needs more boron than most plants.

4.Celery needs at least 1 to 2 inches of. water from rainfall or irrigation each week during the growing season.

5.Celery needs deep, fertile soil that has been enriched with organic matter

6.celery needs teh shox
(????? no clue what this means)

7.Celery needs approximately three months as a seedling and three months in the garden.

8.celery needs water.

9.celery needs - daytime temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F during the day, 60 to 65 at night ...
(sounds good to me!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Houston, TX

I used to live in Houston. I liked Houston, even though the summer I lived there was the hottest it had been in about 40 years - I still have the newspaper headline somewhere.

My fun quote for today is from FORTUNE magazine 3.29.99

"Texas is not for everyone. If Dante had ever walked across a Houston parking lot in August, he would have added another layer to hell."

Maybe, but it was still a fun place to live!

Friday, March 9, 2007

new favorite cartoon character

My new favorite cartoon character (actually DH's new favorite too) is Cheese from Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends.

"I like chooocolate milk!"


"Bad doggy!!"


"Do it again, DoItAgain, DoItAgain, DoItAgain,"

Thursday, March 8, 2007

notes and things

I still haven't typed up my notes from the NY conference, but I found some random (and hopefully helpful) notes from the last few years. They're listed by the year they were in my notes. If they don't have a name attached to them it's because I didn't write down who said it - sorry!

Pat Cummings (always a riot to talk with or listen to!) On Winning Through Whining: Record every injustice, Embellish, and Encourage others to sink to your level.

Barney Saltzberg: Make 3D models of characters so you can draw them from every angle.

From the Long Island conference: Magazine stories are more linear, while Picture Book stories are more circular. PBs are also more visual, have more action, and are similar to songs in that they have lots of concrete images.

NY Conference: HARRY THE DIRTY DOG by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham is one of the only books that was published the way it came in, which is extremely unusual. Almost all other books go through revisions, sometimes multiple rounds of revisions. (I think this referred to the text and not the illustrations, but unfortunately, I'm not sure.)

Perseverance is the key – it (success/getting published/goals in general) usually takes 10 years longer than you think it will.

Jill Davis (Bloomsbury)
- By the 3rd or 4th spread of a PB, there should be a major event
- Plot is easier with a misunderstanding between characters, rather than mean intent.
- A picture book about something is a good thing.

Robert Quackenbush
- Try writing 10 stories every week. Keep the ones that are good.
- Stretch yourself and take chances.
- School visits are like giving parties.

Melanie Cecka (Bloomsbury)
- Young PBs, Birth – 3 yrs old: ideas and subject specific to small world the child is familiar with. More about concept and less about the narrative. Example, WHOSE NOSE AND TOES? By John Butler
- Older PBs, 3-8 yrs old: more about the narrative and more sophisticated ideas. Example, HOW TO MAKE AN APPLE PIE AND SEE THE WORLD By Marjorie Priceman

Paula Danzinger (from one of the market books, maybe CWIM 2005?):
- She always insisted that her Amber Brown books were not a series, nor were they sequels. Paula used the term "sequelizer" because each was written without relying on previous or upcoming books. (This is the kind of series book that I would want to write - if I wrote a series.)
- Keep in mind how quickly culture changes. Four years is a HS generation. By the time you're 12 years out of HS, your own experiences are three generations removed.

SELF magazine Feb. (nothing to do with children’s books – just makes you think)
- Profound Beauty Volume Power hairspray comes out of the can at 75 mph. (Holy Hairspray Batman!)
- A sneeze can rush out as fast as 100 mph. – Michael Setzen M.D. (ewwwww!)