Monday, January 31, 2011

Picture Book Marathon Eve

On your mark....get set.........

Tomorrow starts the Picture Book Marathon! 28 days of ideas! It's crunch time!
(ugh...I am so not ready for we go.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Picture Book Marathon Prep...2

T-minus four days to the Picture Book Marathon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Percy: The Little Big Dragon p.19

And there you have it, the last page of Percy. I hope you enjoyed it!

I did a library visit last night in South Jordan, a Moms and Daughters book group. Rapunzel was their book this month. I did my illustration presentation and we all ate Red Vines. It was fun!

I had a quick visit with Shannon and Dean Hale too, a little Team Rapunzel reunion. What did we discuss? Mostly "My Neighbor Totoro" and why so many people who love Rapunzel have never heard of Calamity Jack. I asked the book group to raise their hands if they'd read Jack--nobody raised a hand! It's a mystery. We also realized that between the three of us, only one has a book coming out in 2011. Dean stands alone, his picture book SCAPEGOAT comes out this summer (still in my top three strangest picture books--it's weird. I can't wait to see the final!)

It'll be a little quiet here this week. We're heading into the Picture Book Marathon next week, so Thursday and Friday's post will be low key, if not, non-existent. Gotta rest up for the big race.

You all know about Calamity Jack, right? Right? I don't want to sound like a conspiracy-theory-nutcase, but I think there has to be some kind of secret government shadow agency keeping Calamity Jack down.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Percy: The Little Big Dragon p.18

There will be one more page after this one, the "The End" page--gotta have one of those. Then Percy will be over!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Percy: The Little Big Dragon p.16

My wise man is based on Mark Twain, who's quote that is (originally about a dog, not a dragon.) Can you tell it's him? Not that it's important to the story, just a little detail to catch.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We interrupt Percy to announce "The Picture Book Marathon!"

Percy will continue tomorrow. Today, I want to announce THE PICTURE BOOK MARATHON 2011! Here is the logo (drawn by me!)

The Picture Book Marathon is like NaNoWriMo, but for picture book authors. The marathon starts February 1st, participants write 26 picture books, one a day (with two days off) through the month of February. This is about writing, not illustrating. You just write the stories. Everyone keeps tabs on their own progress, the stories aren't turned in or displayed publicly.

If you were here last year, you'll remember my 2010 run through the PBM (along side "The Land of Doom" story--check back to Feb. 2010 to see it, if you haven't already.) I displayed my cover illustrations and a brief synopsis for each book. I'll be doing the same thing this year. And maybe, maybe, wandering into the next stage of The Land of Doom.

Everyone is welcome to join and and play along! Finishers receive...well, the 26 picture book manuscripts they wrote, and the personal satisfaction that only comes with forced creativity! If you want to join, visit There will be t-shirts available, with the artwork above printed on them.

Do it, sign up, you know you want to. You have twelve days to get psyched up for it!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Percy: The Little Big Dragon p.13

Today's post is based on a tip from Shannon Hale. She pointed out how many "-ight" words I already had in the story (knight, fight, etc.) and thought focusing on "-ight" would be a good idea for an easy reader. Right she was! This story--especially this page--is all about the "-ight!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Percy: The Little Big Dragon p.8

Ooh, a late lunch, a late, late lunch. But better late than never! Here's today's Percy. It really progresses the story, eh? We call this part of the story the conflict.

Today was the ALA awards announcement, the Caldecotts and Newberys and whatnot. They announce them early in the morning, on a Monday, in January--it's like they WANT them to be ignored. Anyway, all of the Caldecott winners were fairly new artists, which I thought was kind of exciting. Click here to see all of the results. I know you must be dying to know who won the "Arbuthnot" and the "Batchelder" this year. This year's Newbery was a book called "Moon Over My-Hammy" which I haven't read, but if it is as good as the menu item of the same name at Denny's, then I'm sure it is dee-licious.

Seeing the results from the ALA awards always gets me excited to put some new books of my own out there. But I don't have anything slated for 2011--everything I'm working on comes out in 2012! Last year saw three books from me (CALAMITY JACK, ANIMAL HOUSE and 12 BOTS) so I guess I can't complain. But I want something new NOW. I'm glad blog publishing is instantaneous.

Come back at lunchtime!

Percy's running late! Come back around lunchtime!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Calamity Jack Commercial Break

Yikes! The elaborate Percy artwork was easy to do during the holidays when I had no deadlines. But the illustration deadline grind is back in action. Ouch! I had to pull rank for some, you know, paying jobs. Don't worry, Percy will be back tomorrow.

In the mean time, Amazon is still celebrating the one-year anniversary of CALAMITY JACK with the crazy-sweet price of $6.00. It won't last forever, so click over and snap it up while you can!

Back tomorrow.

{UPDATE: Whoa! The $6 CJ's are going fast! Right now it says, "Only 3 left in stock!" Grab one quick if you don't want to miss out!}

{UPDATE UPDATE:} It's SOLD OUT gang. I'll let you know if they come back in stock at the special anniversary price! Whadda deal!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Percy: The Little Big Dragon p.4

If you are reading Percy's friend's dialogue in the voice of Patrick from Spongebob, you are doing it right. Patrick has, in my mind, the best voice in cartoons today.

Happy New Year and whatnot. 2011, let's get into it!