Friday, August 26, 2011

Random Line Friday

2009 Christmas Swords, Poplar with beeswax finish.
As a rule, Titus's mother liked to get parental permission before arming children. 

Today's random line is from the second Titus and Annie book. 

That little magic charm or snit fit on Tuesday did the trick.  Titus and Annie Book 2 is sailing along.  Not only is the Befana letter finally written it is also funny.  There are only five chapters to go until the first rough draft is done.  Plenty of time to make my Friday deadline.

Catherine and I are getting together for Labor Day Weekend and working.  It's time for a sit down illustration and editing session on both books. 

Five chapters in seven days?  No problem. 

My french press and I can do it. 

In fact, I am rather looking forward to some nice quiet writing days right after I arm my daughter with a candy apple red electric guitar for her seventh birthday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Routine Returns

The village thyme needs a mow.
Thanks for putting up with yesterday’s rant and cat picture. It always takes me a while to rebuild my routines.

Being stuck on a plot point doesn't help my patience any. I keep telling myself that this is only the first full week of school.

The grapevines have topped out the arbor.
The house almost completely recovered from this summers around the clock occupation. The backyard looks much less Sanford and Sons and much more Shabby Chic. Chapter six has a new stronger opening. Even though I still haven't written Annie's Befana letter, things are going in the right direction.

Another fun routine has returned. Art Web is up and running again.

Remember Art Web? My excuse for starting this blog? A potter, a painter and a writer.

We were all on creative hiatus over the summer while Catherine adjusted to her new work schedule and Lisa and I herded three children through summer vacation. So I'm not the only one rebuilding routines this week.

Catherine was the first of us to get back into gear. She finished a painting of a steeple chase scene. She has also been cranking out illustrations for Titus and Annie book one. I cannot wait to see them. I promise to post some as soon as we get them scanned in. Catherine assures me that Mr. Holt, Titus's teacher, is very cute in his horn rimmed glasses.

Lisa stopped by yesterday on a quest for materials to back a mold. She's finding her way back into the studio. The nice weather helps.

Wind chime with a hint of Miyazaki from Lisa.
She found me in a corner of the backyard working at a folding table barely big enough for my legal pad and my cat. We had lunch and a rambling talk about yard projects, plot lines and all that other random stuff. I made puppy eyes and bribed her with a few more lunches if she would help me design a business card. Lisa is a great sport and an excellent graphic designer. She said yes.

Lisa headed off to her studio and threw two pots. I went back to my little table to fill up a few more pages.

Not bad for a Tuesday that started with a ranting blog.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Domestic Magic

Yes. I believe there is magic. Subtle little steps we can take to invoke the deities of irony and mirth.

For instance, I lose things a lot. Keys. Wallet. Library card. Cell phone. I try to save face and find these things on my own so I don't have to admit to the family that I pulled a Kristen once again because I am still getting grief for misplacing my keys in the refrigerator butter dish. That was six years ago.

When I give up looking and decide to just take it on the chin, be a grown up and admit to losing something again, the item shows up. Magically.

Those drill bits weren't on the table before I e-mailed my husband. My wallet did not appear in the bathroom sink until I told my daughter I couldn't find it. Magic, right?

Now let me see if this works with writing. If I admit that I'm stuck, will I magically become unstuck? Here's hoping.

Chapter six of Titus and Annie 2 is an important one. This is the turning point when Titus gets on board with Annie's logic about the whole Santa Claus issue. He goes from empathy to interest and active engagement.

The chapter revolves around the Italian tradition of Nona Befanna. Children in Italy write letters to their parents promising to be good in the upcoming year. The letters are read outloud at the dinner table. Then the children go to the fireplace and burn the letters, saying a little rhyme to Befana as the ashes go up the chimney. They ask her to send them a treat.

For the life of me, I cannot write Annie's letter to her parents. This should be easy. But I'm stuck stuck stuck.

My husband is not sympathetic. He rather enjoys writer's block. The backyard looks awesome because of all the thinking and muttering I have been doing. The garden is almost ready for the fall planting. If this keeps up much longer, the shower in the master bathroom may end up regrouted.

Gratuitous Cat Picture:  Gravy and Smilodon "counting" baby turtles.
Ok. I have publicly admitted to being stuck and added one more gratuitous cat picture to the cosmos.  Hopefully this invokes whatever cosmic forces make my keys reappear. Let the magic and the writing begin . . .

Friday, August 19, 2011

Random Line Friday

“You're not busy. Your five.”

I cannot claim today's random line. Credit goes to Hayao Miyazaik from his movie Ponyo. The dialogue is between two 5 year old children. A girl asks Sousuke, to play and he says “I can't, I'm busy.”

Everytime Catherine and I get together to collaborate on the illustrations for Titus one of us inevitably quotes this line. It just sums dear Titus up quite well. He is a busy child. Titus gets cross when he is accused of playing and don't even think of calling his model soldiers toys or action figures.
Enough about Titus. Let me gush about Ponyo.

Hayao Miyazaki has been my daughter's favorite director since her daddy gave her Totoro for Christmas when she was 3. Not every Miyazaki movie is good for the younger set. It's going to be a long time before we let our kids watch Princess Mononoke.

Everyone should watch Ponyo, Miyazaki's telling of the Little Mermaid story. The animation is beautiful. The soundtrack alone is perfectly married to the images, like a deep breath. I could go on and on. But I won't.

Ok. One last point. It is a really great exercise/experience for grown ups and kids to watch Disney's Little Mermaid one day and Ponyo the next. Makes for lots of great discussions. Like a little critical thinking playground.