Monday, July 27, 2015

Inspiration Monday: Maurice Sendak

I've given nods to Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss on the blog already, so it's long overdue for me to express my gratitude to the other "Big S" illustrator who has inspired much of the work that's going into this book.

Not much needs to be said here, as three years ago, upon hearing of Mr. Sendak's death, I wrote an extensive reflection on my website already.

I invite you to hop outside over there to read it: "Outside Over There: Reflections on Maurice Sendak

Hearing the news of his passing still haunts me to this day, and I look back upon it as a major turning point in my return to making books. Since then, I've only continued to expand my education on the life and career of this great artist who's been a bigger influence on me than I ever realized. Every now and then I stumble upon another book (in a used book store) that he illustrated, which I never even knew existed. 

It was around the same time he passed away away that I began writing poems again, which grew...and grew...and grew like the forest in Max's bedroom into where my book currently stands. I find much solace and purpose in his own words: 

"All my life I have been in the fortunate position of doing - creating - what came naturally to me. What could be more wonderful than a dream of childhood coming true?  As a small boy, I pasted and clipped my bits of books together and hoped only for a life that would allow me to earn my bread my making books. And here I am, all grown up - still staying home, pasting and clipping bits of books together."

Monday, July 13, 2015

Poems in Print

I'm very honored (and my Canadian side is honoured) to have three of my poems & illustrations included in this new volume of works by the good people of Story Warren. Pretty neat to see them in print for the first time. (They include The Parliament of Owls, The Goth Mime and The Cricket Watcher)

This great little book is full of artwork, short stories and poems by other writers and illustrators who are part of the Story Warren collective, and was handed out to attendees at their recent Inkwell Family Conference in North Carolina. The cover drawing is by illustrator Joe Sutphin, whose work I really enjoy. (I'm crazy about his Rats of NIMH gallery!)

They may have copies of this reader available through their site in the near future, and I'll let you know when that happens. In the meantime, check out the other stuff they have on their site, including S.D. Smith's wonderful novel The Green Ember and brand new prequel The Black Star of Kingston (out today!). They both feature rabbits with swords.