SKUNKS and SKETCHES: Thoughts on the Creative Process

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Since today is National Skunk Day, I simply can’t resist re-sharing these writerly thoughts on skunks, elephants, and creativity. So, please bear with me and enjoy! 

Can you guess what these are?

They’re preliminary sketches for the sleepy little pair skunks and the large pair of frightened elephants that appear in GOODNIGHT, ARK. When Jane Chapman first posted them on Facebook last year, I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I was amazed at all the detail and artistic brainstorming that went into developing these delightful animals. They clearly show that she spent at least as much time “playing with pictures”  as I spent “playing with words” in the creation of my story.

Jane’s sketches are a wonderful reminder that there is joy in the process of creating and that creating takes time.  Don’t rush the process by just sketching one skunk or elephant.  Sketch a a full page of them!  Likewise, don’t rush to finalize your word choice or your plot twists. Keep on playing with those words and let the creative process work its magic. Fill an entire notebook if you need to. That’s what I did!

As a fun aside, and in conclusion of today’s skunk-themed thoughts, if you have a copy of GOODNIGHT, ARK, you might enjoy examining these sketches and then perusing the pages of the story to see which sketches made the final cut.  The students I share the sketches with LOVE doing this and I have to agree, it’s fun!

Enjoy!

P.S. You might also enjoy this skunk quiz!

SKUNKS and SKETCHES: Thoughts on the Creative Process

10636444_990468270967068_3750353967010366325_o10655417_995160880497807_40157072554385356_o (1)

NOTE: I simply can’t resist piggybacking (or should I say skunk backing) on yesterday’s skunky quiz with a few writerly thoughts on skunks, elephants, and creativity, so please bear with me and enjoy! 

Can you guess what these are?

They’re preliminary sketches for the sleepy little pair skunks and the large pair of frightened elephants that appear in GOODNIGHT, ARK. When Jane Chapman first posted them on Facebook a few months back, I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I was amazed at all the detail and artistic brainstorming that went into developing these delightful animals. They clearly show that she spent at least as much time “playing with pictures”  as I spent “playing with words” in the creation of my story.

Jane’s sketches are a wonderful reminder that there is joy in the process of creating and that creating takes time.  Don’t rush the process by just sketching one skunk or elephant.  Sketch a a full page of them!  Likewise, don’t rush to finalize your word choice or your plot twists. Keep on playing with those words and let the creative process work its magic. Fill an entire notebook if you need to. That’s what I did!

As a fun aside, and in conclusion of today’s skunk-themed thoughts, if you have a copy of GOODNIGHT, ARK, you might enjoy examining these sketches and then perusing the pages of the story to see which sketches made the final cut.  The students I share the sketches with LOVE doing this and I have to agree, it’s fun!

Enjoy!

EXCITING NEWS: And the Illustrator for GOODNIGHT, ARK is….

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… JANE CHAPMAN!!!

I’m thrilled to announce that the wonderful Jane Chapman has illustrated my debut picture book GOODNIGHT, ARK, which is scheduled to hit shelves August 2014.  Jane’s illustrations practically glow off the page with warmth and humor.  I love how her colorful depictions of creatures fill every spread to the very edge. 

I was first captivated by Jane’s illustrations while reading Karma Wilson’s BEAR SNORES ON (Simon and Schuster, 2002) to my kids. Since then, I’ve read many of her books and just love the way she brings stories to life. I wasn’t one bit surprised, therefore, to learn that Jane is a multi-award winning illustrator with over 100 books under her belt including five New York Times bestsellers. I’m still over the moon that Zonderkidz paired us together for this project. Thank you, Zonderkidz! And thank you, Jane, for capturing so fetchingly the rollicking, yet ultimately restful essence of GOODNIGHT, ARK. I can’t wait until next summer when you all can see for yourselves each and every delightful illustration.