Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Around the Bend

Just last Sunday I began a list of what I am looking forward to doing as soon as I finish the illustrations I have been painting for the past three months. The list so far goes like this:

  • Clean playroom (my kids are grown, but we still call it the playroom. Everything we do seems to be done in this room. It needs some help.
  • Re-hang art in stairwell. (It was all taken down to film a dystopian version of MacBeth over spring break.)
  • Garden. (I have hardly noticed spring, locked up in my studio. I dream of plunging my hands into black dirt.)

It is not a long list, but it is the beginning of hope. At the end of a long focused bout of illustrating a book, I always look forward to returning to ordinary things like picking up the house, clean laundry, hot coffee with a friend, reviving the garden, and walks around a lake.

I am looking forward to finishing the illustrations.

I am also looking forward to this book coming out in the fall:
I am looking forward to finally updating my website and blogging on my own blog about this book. I look forward to working on activity sheets to go with it and planning publication events. I look forward to reading it out loud to a listening audience for the first time.

All of these things I look forward to, but sometimes we look forward and we don't know what is around the bend that could change everything for good or bad. This is what happened to me a couple of weeks ago and luckily for the good! Last fall I finished a manuscript to submit for the biannual McKnight Fellowship in Children's Literature. Two weeks ago, I received a phone call telling me that I had been chosen for the Fellowship! Around the bend came fantastic news  and a whole new list of things to look forward to! The list looks like this:

  • Plan a trip to Venice, Italy to research a middle grade novel set in Venice that I began during NaNoWriMo .
  • Plan a trip to California to stay with an author friend there for a week of writing.
  • Buy an iPad and begin learning how to design and make apps for my picture books.
  • Enjoy a year of breathing easily about finances.
That is my list so far and it is a dream list thanks to the McKnight Fellowship. The story I submitted to the McKnight is called When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky. I look forward to telling you more about this story. It will be published in May of 2013. Since I am still in the midst of painting it, I will stop here and let you look forward to reading more about it in future posts. The posts I look forward to writing when my house is picked up, my laundry is clean, and my garden is planted.


Christy said...

Yay, Lauren! Such great news about the McKnight! A trip to Venice-wow!

I can relate to looking forward to simple things-- taking time to put order to life (cleaning, gardening, etc.). When I'm working on an illustration deadline those things suffer, and I am adversely effected by the chaos. Working on art is such a full-immersion endeavor that it's hard to do much else. I hope you enjoy this time though of bringing another book-baby to life.

You have many worthy goals, but are so wise to be open to surprises around the bend.

Lauren said...

Thanks Christy! And when I am in California, we must, must, must get together!

Mark said...

Fantastic news about the McKnight fellowship -- congratulations! What a great relief to have financial support for doing whatever will help you pursue your artistic goals. I'd also like to hear more about this "dystopian MacBeth" that apparently was filmed in your home!!

Lauren said...

Good catch Mark! My 16 year old son and his friend decided to make a dystopian version of MacBeth for their English class-- gas masks, army green coveralls, supply belts, knives, etc all played a part with kids from all over the neighborhood playing the various parts-- the three witches were filmed separately then re-filmed as MacBeth enters a room with three broken televisions and their faces appear on the screens to give him his oracle-- very cool and it is still in the making. I will share when it is finished!

Stephanie said...

That's such fabulous news. The new book looks so good:)

Library Jewel said...

I love how your list changed, Lauren. When you are finally done with the artwork, I look forward to hearing/reading more about the process!

Lauren said...

Thanks Library Jewel! And thanks Stephanie too!

Diane Adams said...

What a wonderful list! I, too, love how it changed overnight. Congratulations!

David LaRochelle said...

Your book with Mem Fox looks gorgeous, Lauren. And a huge congratulations on the McKnight. You've got some wonderful ways to put that money to good use.

Good luck as you head toward the end of your current project. I'm hoping that you are still finding joy in it.

Edie Hemingway said...

What exciting news about the McKnight Fellowship! I'm so proud to have such a versatile and creative friend!