Saturday, March 29, 2008

Return of the Hinky-Pink

While Moonshot has been burning along here with a fire - up - another - carafe - of - the - strong - stuff - and - give - me - every - waking - moment urgency, off out of sight The Hinky-Pink has gone and turned into a bona fide book. It’s good to have this reminder that the contained chaos and labor that goes on here does indeed eventually resolve itself into book form, and it’s good to see The Hinky-Pink on its own terms, too. I’m pleased with the look of the book, and the nice small size of it, and it perhaps goes without saying that Megan McDonald’s text still feels as funny and spry as it did the first time I laid eyes on it, almost five years (!) ago.

Therefore, even though the book doesn’t come out until September, I say now: Avanti, Hinky-Pink!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Easter Moon

Easter, as you may know, or not know, or, like me, vaguely recollect, is celebrated not on a fixed date but on the Sunday on or following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. (Got it?) Never one to miss a moon connection these days, here is a quick and not very good snapshot of said full satellite rising over Jamaica Plain, MA, in the early evening of Friday the 21st. I say not very good because the detail and tones of the moon’s face are lost. Still, the overall impression is not so far off; the sky was that deep electric blue, and the moon came up bright as a spotlight, with a warm tint to its color, beaming like a second sun. It was something to see.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sorry, Bob

One of the joys of teaching a children’s book writing and illustrating class is the chance to share the dark but wise writing advice, “Murder your darlings.” (Until I Googled it just now to check it, I had always thought that the line came from Orwell, but apparently I’ve been wrong. That’s another story, though.) Anyway, my translation of that phrase has always been: Don’t let pet moments get in the way of the story you really want to tell. It’s a line that’s always more fun to deploy than accept, but at the last minute here I took the bitter pill myself and decided that an LP of Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline (his Spring 1969 release) didn’t really belong in this drawing of a family watching the first moon landing, and I took it out. (I had already taken out the lava lamp. The George Nelson ball clock stayed.) And now? I kind of miss Bob.

Others’ stories of darlings murdered, happily or with regret, are welcome here, if you’ve got the material and the itch to procrastinate.