Not much time for blogging, but I do want to keep this site somewhat updated. Each day (when I can), I'll write a few points about what I've learned through the intensive reading I'll be doing as a part of an online writing course I'm taking. I won't share Anastasia's curriculum, or discussions taking place in the class, but will share some of my personal discoveries or experiences.
What I learned today: I need to stop self-policing myself, to some degree. I've been letting my inner parent (who must be a politician), tell me to avoid certain subjects. For instance, the person I'm currently writing about is devoutly religious. This fact is not so much important to the story overall, but is important in painting a clear picture of the character I'm writing about. So far, I've been trying to write around the fact that the subject is religious, thinking that I must avoid religion in a children's book. In this case, it would be like writing a story about Martin Luther King, but not mentioning that he was a Baptist preacher. One of the books I've read as part of my homework is MOSES: WHEN HARRIET TUBMAN LED HER PEOPLE TO FREEDOM (Jump At The Sun ), by Carole Boston Weatherford. In this book, Harriet, a slave, keeps in a constant dialog with God through prayer. With spot-varnished, capitalized text, God's voice leads Harriet to freedom. How much more religious can you get?
By the way, this book doesn't publish till fall; I got my advanced, unbound copy at the TLA conference. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson, it's a sure winner. Beautifully written, too!
I just finished a sketch for Harcourt, so, now it's back to my reading. And my manuscript.