Tuesday, March 4, 2008
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.