Common Core Standards

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kalamazoo Conference with Kids, Cows & Coyotes!

Is it any wonder that we illustrators and artists are the way we are? While attending a seminar in Kalamazoo's Western University last week for children's books, I saw the eight-year old school girl, Lori, come out. The topic of cultural diviersity was fascinating and helpful for us all--writers, illustrators and librarians, and gave us all much food for thought.

But as words rolled from the speakers, thoughts rumbled in my head. You know--that "Never-ending, Story Telling, I'm-Bored-Kid" voice that shouts--"Doodle!" As the librarians reviewed the books--alphabetically, I began sketching in my notebook margins--instead of listening and taking notes.  (Mind you, I was there to hear the key note speakers and gave them my full--OK, semi-full attention, of which I came away with much appreciated and valued thought.) And I did get some notes taken. Book titles, key meaningful phrases that jumped out at me and the like.
But it was my doodling that carried me away in a pen and paper canoe!
Kids, cows

and coyotes filled the pages.

Suddeny--a new story idea hit me! I began sketching that out and came up with the skeleton of that tale. It's amazing how creative you can be when it comes to the droning white noise of a speaker speaking. I'm not dissing the speakers, the others there got a lot out of the review, but I was thankful for the time spent letting my mind go. A rare treat these days.

The only problem I had, came at lunch. Having lunch with SCBWI - MI members: Ruth McNally Barshaw, Leslie Helakoski, and Jennifer Whistler and others was great fun. We laughed, we shared, we discussed the topic.

Then Jennifer, who puts together the SCBWI-MI "Mitten" newsletter asked me if I was sketching and taking notes. I answered YES! excitedly and rather proudly. Then she asked if I could put them in the Jan.'11 newletter.

Yipes! Double Yipes!

I was sketching things that had nothing to do with the seminar. Once again, eight-year old Lori got caught red-handed and red- faced! I could hear, "Would you like to share your notes with the class?"
Oh well, at least I got a story to work on--and January is a long time away!

*Notes I took:
Books are windows that take us into another world.
Illustration is a universal visual language that helps us understand other customs and people.

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