Friday, January 26, 2007

The Dust Bunny School of Creativity

David Gifaldi gets credit for the literary exposition of this concept (and no, you won't find it on his web site–yet) but here's my take. Stories arrive in undifferentiated masses in my mind, sort of the way that dust bunnies arrive under bookcases when I haven't been paying attention. When the stories show up, dust bunny-like, I make a truce with them. You leave me alone, I say, and I won't launch an anti-dust bunny campaign. Some die out at that stage. Others grow, however, and pretty soon a few reach dangerous proportions. This despite my policy of careful negligence.

With me so far?

At this point I need to start paying attention to the ones that are starting to intrude into the fragile balance of my writing world. I can't attend to every single one that shows up. Most of them are just dumb dust bunnies and they'll go away to hide under lesser minds if I just ignore them. I only write out the stories that bother me enough to force my hand.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Still more 2007 books

More books out or due out this year by authors and illustrators in my real and virtual worlds:

Dori Chaconas, Coriander, the Contrary Hen, Carolrhoda; Cork and Fuzz: Good Sports, Viking; Virginnie's Hat, Candlewick; Street Horses, Peachtree
Coleen Paratore, The Cupid Chronicles, Simon & Schuster; Mack McGinn's Big Win, Simon & Schuster
Joan Sandin, At Home in a New Land, HarperCollins
Leda Schubert, Donna and the Robbers, Vermont Folklife Center
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Reaching for Sun, Bloomsbury

Monday, January 01, 2007

Just One More Book!!

This wonderful audio-resource of three podcasts a week about children's books is brought to us by Andrea and Mark Blevis, who go every week to their favorite coffee shop, and talk about books they and their daughter love. The podcasts include interviews, comments from young readers, themed discussions, and much, much more. Just One More Book is a treasure trove, an audio archive of evolving conversations about the work and delight of creating and sharing books for children. Past interviews include Jack Prelutsky, Audrey Wood, Dayal Kaur Khalsa, Helen Oxenbury, Sheree Fitch, and many, many other great voices.

My interview with Mark, up this morning (to my surprise. What? Me? Kicking off the year?) focuses on storytelling, writing for children, and the Peace Page on my web site, my own little effort to cope with the state of our world and the never-ending conflicts that are beginning to feel like the addictions of those in power.