Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wedding Bells, Glitter, Feathers, Sage, and Rattles

FeatherMy sister was invited to a wedding being held in the wilderness of Wyoming. Conveniently her husband was going to be out of town that weekend and inconveniently, I could not think of an excuse not to go. We were to arrive in the afternoon, commune with nature until dinner, then when the sun set the nuptials would begin followed by dancing under the stars.

Living in Colorado my sister and I both respect and admire nature, we just don’t really “do” nature. However, being the good sports we are, we pulled on the hiking boots, founds us some pretty stylin’ hats, packed up blankets, toiletries, journals, books, pencils, art supplies and enough food for a week for our afternoon and evening stay in the outback. We loaded the car and started off...to Starbucks, then hit the great wide-open road to be one with nature.

As we are traveling I took out the 5 page wedding invitation to find the directions to our destination. I was envisioning a mother earth type atmosphere, but as I am reading through the pages I can tell the atmosphere is going to be more of a western flare with mother earth rituals thrown in. Like nature, I don’t really “do” western. I asked my sister if she left that part out on purpose afraid I would change my mind and not go with her, but she quickly confessed she had been in denial about this whole event and never read through the invitation. I totally understood and sympathized, but the part about needing to bring your own chair might have been good to know.

After miles of winding around on a very narrow rutted dirt road and thinking we were lost numerous times, we arrived at the camp site. We parked towards the edge as to not be blocked in, you know, in case one may need to leave early. My sister had made several wedding favors for the bride and we had to drop the last of those off with her. Of course, she was thrilled with them and told us to go enjoy our afternoon amongst the beautiful scenery. We went back to our car and loaded up with our 5 days worth of supplies for our 3-hour stint in nature. There was a perch up above the campground we chose for its strategic location of people watching despite the fact we both almost had a coronary hiking up to it each with our 50lb load.

Since neither of us was in our element (the comfortable confounds of our home), we could not concentrate on the art and writing. Instead we read through some children’s books I had checked out from the library including, The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky. Yes, there we were on the side of the mountain on the eve of a spiritual communion reading poetry, and what signifies the blessing of love more than poems? All be, these poems were about mummies, specters, banshees, poltergeist, zombies, and a headless horseman, but I thought their readings added a special touch to the afternoon of being one nature. My sister and I were both impressed with Prelutsky’s book, no sugar coating of the undead as it should be.

We discussed the cover design for Willow May and Pam sketched out an idea. It will have the circus tent in the background with the birds flying with the banners in front. The billowing flag will carry to the back cover (getting goose bumps just thinking about it). We could have gone on for hours going over Willow May illustrations and imagery, but we were interrupted for dinner and the nuptials.

Under the stars, I was saged, glittered, feathered, and rattled. I am not sure it warded off my evil spirits, but I think it did daze and confuse them for a little bit. Folks walked the spiral, gave many readings while guitarist played and sang. It was a unique ceremony, but the couple seemed very happy and pleased with the festivities and that is all that counts.

My sister and I did not stay to dance under the stars; the half-day of nature and standing during the nuptials had worn us out (really should have brought those chairs).

Before I left her home on Sunday morning she showed me a picture of the convertible hearse for Willow May. We had an epiphany on that the other day...a rather clever epiphany.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Editing and Illying

Working through another set of Willow May revisions. Still in talks with the one-eyed clowns and joining them this time is the vampire. Even though a smaller group this time around, it doesn’t get any easier. Oh, but I wanted to let you know that the Ringmaster who has been refusing to give me his name...is still refusing.

On a happier note, or at least for me. The illustrations are coming along fantastically! One character in particular my sister totally nailed. He is a reoccurring key figure and he is absolutely perfect in every scene!!

Oh, I am in my happy place now....

Monday, June 18, 2007

That Darn Text

We were up visiting the parents this weekend at their cabin in the mountains. After dinner Pam showed me the finished illustration for the carousel in Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival. Part of the struggle with the book layout was there were two illustrations that I wanted to be sure got their own spread, the carousel and werewolf band. She had shown me the sketch and color key to the carousel earlier, which she added a couple of nuances that are for lack of a better word, awesome! I could go into an Eddie Izzard routine here, but I will refrain for those of you are not familiar with his comic genius. Any hoo, she showed me the carousel spread and I actually got a little giddy in its presence. She asked me about adding a background element that I thought sounded good but I asked her if that would still allow enough real estate for the text. “Oh,” she said, “that’s right, we are going to have to add text to these, aren’t we?”

If us writers only knew how vexing we really are to our illustrators...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What’s in a Name

One of the main characters in Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival, the Ringmaster, is sophisticated, intelligent, cultured, a classy dresser, yet, has a mysterious and foreboding air about him. In fact, he is so mysterious...he refuses to give me his name. Does not matter how politely I have asked him, he will not give it up.

I am getting ready to send off another draft to the editor and am still having to use a placeholder for him, Corbin Barnabas. Nope, that is not his name, way too Dark Shadows for me. I am started to get concerned. My sister tells me not to stress about it. She says the name will come to me when I least expect it. One day I will be standing in line at Starbucks and blurt out, “Yappernettle Squashernot!!” In this particular example, it is somewhat of a relief that has not happened, as the Ringmaster would not approve of the name Yappernettle Squashernot, and the Starbuck baristas would probably not appreciate me spontaneously shouting that out while in line.

My sister thinks it will mystically appear to me some night in a dream, but so far no late night visitors. I have been reading the obituaries as well as surfing the net and finding sites such as:


But alas, still no name.