While I’m feeding my soul and enjoying the sunshine and endless Vitamin D here on beautiful Saint Simons Island, Georgia, I’ve been thinking a bit about the pile of manuscripts I’ve accumulated over the past 15 or so years. Of course, it’s not really a pile, but rather folders full of dozens and dozens of manuscripts and ideas. When you write every day, that pile is bound to grow, and grow… At this point, I’ve come to accept that there are a few, okay maybe more than a few, in that pile, even novels, that will never be published, but yet I keep writing. I can’t not write. It seems like I have new ideas every day; part of the challenge is definitely sticking with an idea, as Rick Riordan has said:
For some reason this year, I’ve also started drawing. I can’t remember when I’ve had this much fun with a pencil and piece of paper, but it was probably back in elementary school. I’ve created so many picture book characters from words, and trying to bring them to life with my pencil is a very cool (and often frustrating) experience. I got to spend some time in Blick’s, a huge art store in Savannah a few days ago – so much to see, and none of it is cheap! Savannah has a big art college; can’t imagine how students afford to acquire materials. It’s doubtful I’ll ever see my “art” in a book, but enjoying the process is what it’s all about, right?
Whenever I travel, I always try to visit the local library. Here on Saint Simons, you can get a six-month library card for $12 – what a bargain! Sadly, I’m only here for one month, but I’m spending hours going through picture books, trying to figure out the appeal of certain illustrators’ work. It seems to me it’s really about having an original style – many of the most popular illustrators aren’t producing “fine art,” but it’s art that appeals to both kids and adults, art that enhances the story being told through creating people who seem real and organic to the story.
Hope spring has arrived in your corner, and that it brought a new burst of creative energy your way, too; hopefully something beautiful and satisfying to feed your soul. A quick middle-grade novel recommendation – NIGHTINGALE’S NEST (Nikki Loftin) – magical, perfectly imagined and written from its cover to its last words. And here’s some food for thought from Steve Jobs: