Last week I concluded the two creative writing classes I was teaching at Sacramento State University this summer. It was really fun to witness the individuality and imaginations of my students. During the class we went outside and played with bubbles and chalk, creating worlds within worlds, I threw in non-sequiturs and had them write from a variety of perspectives. Their protagonists were made to be antagonists and ultimately they learned to build suspense and critique each other’s work. Then they courageously stood up and presented their final story to the class. It was fantastic to see their minds at work.
Now I am on vacation for two weeks, relaxing up in beautiful Oregon visiting friends and family. Then a few days on a gorgeous river in the mountains at a little cabin hiking and illustrating. “The Jade Serpent” is about to fly free in the world. I can’t wait to share Koen’s next adventure with you all.
Hi All, I hope Spring has sprung in your neck of the woods. It is lovely here in Sacramento, CA. I’ve been out gardening and enjoying the lovely weather on hikes around the area. I’ve also been making some changes to The Jade Serpent. My protagonist is now a young writer. He is documenting his adventures with his co-conspirator through his retelling of their escapades in writing. I really like the idea of a young writer. Maybe I’ll have him sketch along the way too!
Last Saturday I went to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Spring conference (#SCBWISPSP17). It was my first writer conference and it was packed full of great advice. I had the chance to speak with Kate Sullivan of Delacorte Press (an imprint of Random House) and learn more about what an editor does. I also went to two talks by Beth Phelan with the Bent Agency and Peter Knapp with Park Literary – both agents. Everyone offered such great advice and were so nice. I left not only excited to write, but also determined to submit The Jade Serpent to an agent this spring – yikes!
So of course I came straight home and started reworking the opening, and changed up parts of my protagonist. So now Koen is a young writer (and illustrator perhaps). His adventures with Titanus McDuff, the Keeper of the Treasure Chest are still forefront. But I like the added dimension of his character. Not only is he afraid of heights, he loves to write. Here is a doodle I did thinking of Koen awhile back.
Happy Spring to you all!
Hi All – just a quick shout-out to tell you about a beautiful place in Oregon where you can let all your creative juices over-flow.
Check out The Clyde Rice estate – it is a 10 acre, gorgeous place on the Clackamas River in Oregon – just 15 miles from Portland. Has three bedrooms and lots of space to be creative – and super cheap to rent. Think workshop space, brainstorming sessions, private pondering, exquisite landscapes to paint and write about. It is idyllic, serene and cozy.
To rent the place or learn more click here.
As the end of my school year ends at Gallup Middle School and summer looms, I look forward to the long sunny days to draw and write. For now, a few quick sketches to keep The Jade Serpent swirling around my brain.