SCBWI-Carolinas Conference

     Was this past weekend. Wow. What a well-done and educational event. I gave a talk on "The Nuts and Bolts of Illustrating Children's Books" on Friday, along with giving four portfolio reviews. They went very well, and I got to see some wonderful talent. I also talked about "Two for One: The Illustrator as Writer" on Saturday. That was a much less tangible subject to cover, but the group really participated and I felt like it ended up being a highly worthwhile discussion. Hope everybody enjoyed everything as much as I did.
     Of course, the best part was I finally met one of my critique buddies, Karen Lee, face to face. We talk almost every day, and yet we'd never met. The internet is so strange that way - but wonderful too. She was just as awesome and easy to talk to in person as she is online. Check out her wonderful art at her website: Karen Lee.
     We got to spend some great time with Donna German, Editor of Sylvan Dell Publishing. If you aren't familiar with them, check them out. I was so impressed with their dedication to high quality work and fair contracts for all involved. Expect to hear a lot more from this house, and especially to enjoy "One Odd Day" (illustrated by Karen Lee) when it comes out in October of 2006.
     We also spent some good time with Mark McVeigh, Senior Editor of Dutton Children's Books. What a genuinely nice guy. He was very honest about the business, even the bad parts, which was extremely helpful to everyone. And just to have the viewpoint of someone so experienced in the business was worth the trip all by itself.
     So, all said, it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. If you have the chance to attend next year, I highly recommend it. SCBWI-Carolinas is top notch.

Illustration Friday, Theme: Escape

I wish I had time to create something new for this week. I've got this great idea for a mouse as Bacchus - escaping via wine and partying. Oh well, with the move and all the craziness right now, there's just no way.

Moving . . .

I guess I may as well announce it - Stan and I are moving. Our offer was approved on a new house in Atlanta. So, we leave the mountains . . . Gotta say, I'm so looking forward to good restaurants and being around people again. This has been an incredible launching pad for my children's book career - but I'm ready to return to civilization.

Illustration Friday, Theme: Roots

I drew this a while back - a gnome village built into the roots of a huge tree. I pass several trees that look move-in ready for a gnome family every day. Wish one day I'd walk by and notice a little door, or a window . . .

Thanks for all the great comments! I've uploaded a larger version so you can see the details - just click on the image. - MY hosting company!

Turns out the main servers for my hosting company were located in downtown New Orleans. Not only did the servers go down, but one of the guys there stayed in his office and kept a blog of what was going on outside. You may have heard about him in the news, reporters were constantly contacting him. Amazingly, my website and my blog were down for only a day and a half! I am so impressed that they were able to get things rerouted (not sure what they did really) in such a short time, and in circumstances I can't even begin to imagine. I didn't expect to be back up and running any time soon, and I was willing to wait. DirectNIC has been a great hosting company. This is the first and only time they have gone down in the several years I've been with them. No, they don't support higher programming languages for bells and whistles (part of why they are SO inexpensive), but I've been very pleased with my site using basic HTML and some javascript. I tell ya, they were good before, but they've just gained a customer for life.