Winthrop Stuff

So, my new faculty page is now live at the WU website: HERE. That's nice. And the uni gave me a new laptop since the desktop obviously doesn't work well right now (as it's in an office I don't really use at the moment). This laptop works with my iPad to create dual monitors so that I can see all of my students' faces in Zoom while I'm giving slide-show lectures. So that's nice too.
We're now into the second week of teaching online, and it's going well. Everyone seems to have adjusted to this new, online world, so there's no longer any fall-out, and we're just getting down to the business of teaching and learning. And that's nice too. Still, I miss being around my students IRL! We'll get there...

Mushroom Season

It seems everywhere I turn these days, I see mushrooms. It's obviously mushroom season in South Carolina. I love seeing these tiny little fairy houses. Can't you see the villages?

Video: At The Fridge Again

Yes, many of us are complaining about the Pandemic Pounds - weight we've gained while sitting on our bums during quarantine. Well, KD French, a gospel singer, decided to sing about it. The result is a gorgeous, viral, and catchy tune about the bane of our existence: the Fridge. Click the image to watch on Good News Network and learn more about this talented singer.

Friday Links List and Illustrators' Treehouse News - 28 August 2020

From School Library Journal:
     Laying a Foundation for Reading Joy | Donalyn Miller (Donalyn is a colleague at Hollins University)
     Netflix To Air New Book-Centered Live-Action Preschool Series 'Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices'

From SLJ's Fuse #8:
     Surprise! It’s Activist!: Children’s Entertainment Increasingly Takes a Stand

From The New Publishing Standard: Spotify’s move into audiobooks is a seismic shift in the publishing landscape, but the ripples will take time to be felt

From PW: What Chronicle Books Is Learning from Covid-19

The Cybils Awards is looking for volunteers to judge this year's contest

From Brightly:
     9 Great Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books for Tweens to Dive Into This Summer
     10 Female-Led Novels That Tween Boys (and Girls) Love

Do you know about YARD ART DAY? Labor Day in Rock Hill, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina; although, I think this may be a nation-wide movement!

From The Verge: How a designer used AI and Photoshop to bring ancient Roman emperors back to life "Transforming statues into photorealistic faces with AI"

From Print & Pattern: VIRTUAL SHOW - selvedge : the fabric of your life

From SLJ's Fuse #8: Celebrities Don’t Draw: Kvetching About Credit

All Designers Should Look at This: Decentering Whiteness in Design History Resources

Contest: Posters of Discontent (Deadline September 12th)

From Muddy Colors:
     Big Play with Jesper Ejsing - on Magic the Gathering
     The Little Hill by Corey Godbey

From Print and Pattern: MAKE IT IN DESIGN

From Children' -
     monthly newsletter with interviews and features - this is a portfolio site especially for illustrators targeting the children's market
     Joanne Chan Founder, Illustoria magazine

From KidLitArtists: Interview with Kayla Harren - 2020 SCBWI Summer Spectacular Showcase Honor Winner

From An Hour A Day (by Claudia Mills): Tip for Writers (and Other Humans): You See More If You Look (Good advice for artists too!)

From CommArts: Alexis Eke, Illustrator Feature "This Toronto-based illustrator creates Renaissance-influenced portraiture inspired by her relationship with God and the need to represent Black women in art."

From Draftsmen (Proko): VIDEO: Taking Risks to Get Your Dream Job (ft. Marvel Artist Anthony Francisco) - Draftsmen S2E19

From Philly Voice: New edition of Lewis Carroll's 'Jabberwocky' features Charles Santore illustrations

From KidLit Artists: Interview with Marissa Valdez - 2020 SCBWI Summer Spectacular Showcase Honor Winner

From Tech Times: Neuralink Brain Chip Update: Elon Musk Says Neurons Will Fire Up in Real-Time on August 28

From The Herald (local news to Rock Hill): Jobs and revenue: Tourism talk in York County starts with Carowinds. But that’s not all If you're looking for a job in Rock Hill - read this!


From the NYTimes: Tracking Coronavirus Cases at U.S. Colleges and Universities


WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS is a gorgeous new book illustrated by Michaela Goade and written by Carole Lindstrom. I asked Carole to come tell us more about it...

e: What was your creative process/medium for We Are Water Protectors, can you walk us through it?

Carole: WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS was inspired by Standing Rock and all Indigenous Peoples’ fight for clean water. I felt so helpless at the time that Standing Rock was happening. I couldn’t make it there. I didn’t know how I could help, other than sharing the events on social media. Which I did a lot of. Then I thought about writing a book for young readers. I’ve been writing for a long time, I thought I could put my words to paper and tell a story that could help to educate young people about these important issues.


e: What was your path to publication?


I started writing seriously for children right after my son was born, around 2008. I took courses through the Institute of Children’s Literature. I also attended many SCBWI conferences where I submitted my work for critiques. It’s been a long road. I began by querying agents. But when that didn’t go anywhere, I started querying publishers since I thought it might be good to have a book under my belt before I attracted the attention of an agent. My first picture book was published with a small publisher in Canada. It was so encouraging to me to actually have a publisher want to publish my story. I thought it would be a bit easier with subsequent manuscripts since I had the published book. But it wasn’t. I kept at the conferences, honing my craft and working at becoming a stronger writer. It wasn’t until four years after my first book, that I landed my agent with the manuscript WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS. In case anyone doubts the power of social media, that is truly how I landed my agent. So, don’t count it out! It has been invaluable to me and my writing career. 


e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of We Are Water Protectors?


Just that I have met some incredible people from Standing Rock that I still consider good friends today. I’m grateful for the entire community of Standing Rock. Michaela and I had planned to visit them this past April. Unfortunately, the virus prevented the trip. But we WILL get there. It’s important to us that we share our story, which is really their story. 



e: What do you think makes an illustration magical, what I call "Heart Art” - the sort that makes a reader want to come back to look again and again?

 I think the magic comes when the illustrator is left a lot of room with the author’s text to tell their version of the story through visual means. The illustrator’s style must also be considered when choosing the appropriate illustrator for the story. Does their medium work to tell this story to it’s fullest potential? i.e. I think it was very important for a story about water to be done with water color. All these details work together to create “Heart Art.” 


e: How do you advertise yourself (or do you)? 


I don’t really advertise myself. I have a website and I’m very active on social media. 



e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?


My favorite part of being a creator is getting to create worlds and characters to entertain young people. The most challenging part is getting it right. 


e: Is there something in particular about this story you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?


I hope that they take away the fact that we, Native Peoples, are still here. We’ve always been here fighting for the land and the water. And we would love more allies to join us. 



e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?


I’m working on a MG fantasy that I’m really excited about. 


e: I can't wait to see it!

Miigwech for having me. Carole

I am participating in the BookShop Affiliate Program. This program pays bloggers a small percentage of each purchased book from a post. But the best part is, purchases are fulfilled by bookstores near you, thereby, helping to keep your local bookstores afloat too! It's good for everyone! Click the book cover to purchase this title through Bookshop.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Daisy Chain Troll

     It's the little things that are important to us these days - simple joys.
CLICK HERE for more coloring pages.
     Remember, I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance, I'm celebrating the new illustrated (by me) edition of A BIRD ON WATER STREET! My debut novel won me "Georgia Author of the Year!"
Booklist said it's "A book deserving of a wide readership, recommended for all libraries."
If my news and images add value to your life, won't you please
Just love this one image? Consider a one-time donation...

     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

e's peas: The Sound of Cicadas

I made another "e's moment of peas" video for you - this one is the sound of cicadas this summer. I've been trying to get a good recording of them for you. They're really loud and wonderful. I don't know if it's a swarm year, but it certainly seems that way. Their exoskeletons are everywhere and in some spots, their 'music' is deafening! I remember the sound from summer camp - windows open on chilly nights in Mentone, Alabama (it would take me weeks to be able to sleep without them back in our air-conditioned, closed-windowed house); and from long, hot summers. It's one of my favorite things. I hope you enjoy! (Click to watch on YouTube - and please subscribe!)

Random nice things in Rock Hill

Stan and I have been walking more, trying to work of those 'pandemic pounds.' And just like in Edinburgh, we sometimes see things that make us smile, like these flowers someone stuck in a fence...
Or this message etched into the sidewalk from an era that had other concerns from this one.
I'm also trying to come back to some sense of normalcy... my friend Karen S. (You may recall, I did a post about Karen and her butterflies) and I recently had lunch at Amelie's, our French bakery in downtown Rock Hill. We ordered at the counter, sat outside, and put our masks back on once we'd finished eating. Despite the differences, we gabbed our fool heads off - we're just so thirsty for social interaction like this! I think we both left feeling a lot better.

Child Lit PhD Meet-up

A silver lining to being online is that I'm able to connect with my colleagues in the Children's Literature PhD program at the University of Glasgow sometimes, even when we are scattered across the globe! We met this past Friday and came from as far away as Utah to Pakistan, Lebanon to the Phillipines, Norway to China. Of course, despite our varied backgrounds, the one thing we all share is a sincere love of children's literature!

Friday Links List and Illustrators' Treehouse News - 21 August 2020

From School Library Journal:
     Spotting Misinformation and #FakeNews: 10 Resources To Teach Students Media Literacy
     Take 5: MG and YA Lit that Talks About Periods and Puberty

From SmithsonianMagazine: Why a Campaign to ‘Reclaim’ Women Writers’ Names Is So Controversial

From PW:
     Giving Voice to Indigenous Children: Spotlight on Rebecca Thomas
     Leonard S. Marcus Joins Astra Publishing House as Editor-at-Large

From EAB: Foster connections in a physically distant environment

From the NYTimes:
     The Celebrity Bookshelf Detective Is Back
     How Do You Translate a Comic Book Into Audio? Ask Neil Gaiman

From Inside Higher Ed: Making Remote Learning Relevant

From PW: Booksellers to America: Save the Post Office

From YA Studies Association: This year's conference will be online

Linnaeus University's Conceptions of Girlhood Now and Then: "Girls' Literature" and Beyond Conference will be online this year

Are you familiar with the blog The Picture Book Den - they have lots of smart articles and are worth following!

From Lee & Low: Writing Contests

Miss this year's SCBWI Summer Conference? Many of the talks were recorded and are now available online for free!

From BookBub: 22 of the Best Reading Nooks to Escape Into

From Brightly: Keep Calm and Color On: Amazing Coloring Books for Adults

From PW: The Fanatic (graphic novels newsletter)Topics: Race and Representation: Relaunching Asterix in America; PW Talks with V.E. Schwab; etc.

From The Washington Post: How John Lewis’s masterful illustrated memoir is a shining torch for the next generation

Do you know about Cedarseed's Artist's Guide to Human Types?

From CommArts: 2021 Typography Competition

Dark Horse Library News (Graphic Novels)

From Getty: 8 Fascinating Virtual Art Exhibits and Events To View This Summer

From Muddy Colors:
     Flaming Birds, but Gouache with Steven Belledin

From latest newsletter with interviews and features

From Print & Pattern: KIDS DESIGN - tesco childrenswear pt.1 (following print trends in a major UK retailer)

From The NYTimes:
     Fighting for the Vote With Cartoons

From The Art Room Plant:
     Vincent Grave

     Sydney Smith

From Yahoo!: Barack Obama shares his 2020 summer playlist and Megan Thee Stallion can't contain her excitement: 'Omg!'

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: How to Curate Your Zoom Backdrop, and Why You Should


With the election coming up in November, it's more important than ever that we become discerning consumers of our news. It's why I was so excited to see Cindy L. Otis' new book, TRUE OR FALSE: A CIA ANALYST'S GUIDE TO SPOTTING FAKE NEWS. It's directed at young-adult readers, but I think we can all learn a lot from it! I asked Cindy to come talk about it. Take it away, Cindy!
I spent most of my professional career in the CIA, thanks mostly to my dad’s love for James Bond films, sparking in me an interest in the world of intelligence early on. I was also one of those kids that was completely fascinated by the world—my room was covered in flags and pictures from around the world. I wanted to learn anything I could about other countries, cultures, languages, and histories, and see as much of this Earth as possible (still do!). And I got to do a lot of that at the CIA.

I worked in the directorate that does intelligence analysis, which means I spent most of my time reading intelligence of every kind about important issues in different parts of the world, analyzing them, and then writing that analysis up to help US policymakers understand what was happening. So, basically the opposite of James Bond.

Governments and intelligence agencies have long used things like disinformation, propaganda, deception, and covert influence to either hide what they’re doing themselves, or to try to influence events in other countries. Until the last few years when people learned that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, however, these things were rarely in the news. But working at the CIA, this is just par for the course. As an analyst, I was trained on how to spot things like disinformation and deception, but I knew that was not the case for the average teen, or even adult. I realized I could write something based on my experiences that just might help readers understand what they were seeing happen.

Even though my entire professional life was steeped in the world of disinformation, I faced a couple of challenges in writing TRUE OR FALSE. I knew from the beginning that I wanted the book to be two things: actionable and hopeful. Writing it, I also knew there was a huge risk that by showing just how pervasive disinformation and fake news are, readers might just throw up their hands and decide they cannot trust anything. I’d seen it happening myself in recent years—friends, family, and neighbors get so overwhelmed with all the conflicting information popping up online that they decided to just check out. They didn’t feel like they could trust the media, the government, or any other institution upon which they’d previously relied. That was exactly the opposite of what I wanted my book to do.

To make it actionable and hopeful, I wrote TRUE OR FALSE in two parts. The first part includes historical examples going all the way back to ancient Egypt to show how fake news and disinformation have been used throughout time. These examples are key because, even though historical figures like Marie Antoinette didn’t have social media like we do, they give us valuable lessons about how to confront the problem today. The second part of the book is all about ACTION. It’s essentially a step-by-step guide—with practices, even—on how to spot false information yourself. It covers everything from how to discover your own biases that affect how you see information to helping readers learn how to avoid spreading false information on social media during a crisis situation.
I get asked pretty regularly why I wrote TRUE OR FALSE specifically for YA readers. As a huge YA reader myself, I know personally how transformative books could be when they were written specifically for teens. My book collection is massive, but it fits into two neat categories—history and YA. Young readers are also more online than any other generation, and they’re absolutely inundated with information all day long—at school, on their social media feeds, in texting and messaging apps, from the news. Their lives are noisy. (Confession: The internet became A Thing in households when I was growing up.) So they need, more than anyone else, the tools and tactics to not just spot false information themselves, but make sure they’re not spreading it, too. Adopting these good habits will pay off in the long-term by helping to reduce the amount of false information online because we’ve got a generation ready to fight it.

When it comes down to it, I see combatting fake news and disinformation as an all-of-us problem. But we can’t be part of the solution unless we know how to help—that’s where TRUE OR FALSE comes in.

Book link:

I am participating in the BookShop Affiliate Program. This program pays bloggers a small percentage of each purchased book from a post. But the best part is, purchases are fulfilled by bookstores near you, thereby, helping to keep your local bookstores afloat too! It's good for everyone! Click the book cover to purchase this title through Bookshop.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Back to School

     I start teaching next week. Some of you have already begun. Whether you're a teacher or a student, I have great confidence in all of us. We can make this a dynamic, rich, and expansive learning experience; and even moreso, a year of empathy and understanding. We've got this.
CLICK HERE for more coloring pages.
     Remember, I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance, I'm celebrating the new illustrated (by me) edition of A BIRD ON WATER STREET! My debut novel won me "Georgia Author of the Year!"
Booklist said it's "A book deserving of a wide readership, recommended for all libraries."
If my news and images add value to your life, won't you please
Just love this one image? Consider a one-time donation...

     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

e's art tips: Painting with Gouache

I've created another demonstration video for you. In this one, I walk you through painting a condolence card using pencil, pen and ink, and gouache. This tribute to a good man is a little longer, so prepare for some rambling stories and an interruption or two. There's also some good advice on tricks using gouache, so I hope you'll think it worth the watch.
I hope you enjoy and do please subscribe!

Artsy Gouache Kit
Artsy Watercolor Paint Kit

My New, New Office!

When I first started working at Winthrop, I had a temporary office space until my predecessor moved out of his space. Well, lots of soul searching and rearranging later, and I am finally in my new-to-me official office! What was the soul-searching? My predecessor's office was a big, double-office space, but it was on the 2nd floor, away from my students and the illustration studio. My current office isn't as big, BUT it is opposite the "Treehouse" - the gathering spot and default classroom space for the illustration department. (This is the view of the door to the Treehouse from my office door.)
I didn't want to miss out on my students popping in to say 'hi' which is something they did all the time in my temporary office (on the 3rd floor, just a few doors down from the Treehouse). I knew they wouldn't do that if I was a floor away - it's simply a completely different vibe. Also, with this new office, it collates the illustration department and all the students studios on the 3rd floor in what is becoming the "Illustration Corridor" (I need to come up with a better name for that). Now that I'm in my new space, I am so incredibly thrilled with my choice. The office may be smaller, but it faces mostly west, so the light is amazing and it has the most wonderful view!
I can see the water tower (a university symbol) and I overlook Hardin Gardens. During session, it is filled with wonderful fountains that Mikale (the previous Professor who had the office) says you can hear if you crack the window a bit. Mikale got my predecessor's office on the 2nd floor, which makes so much more sense as she is truly a Design Professor, while I'm a bit of an outlier as the Illustration Professor in the Department of Design. So now she has the big, double-office space and is very happy where she is, and I am very happy with where I am! I've already dressed up my door more since this picture was taken - I like to set out the new picture books publicists send me. Not that anyone will see them anytime soon, but it just makes my entrance more friendly looking.
I've already got all of my fave artwork up on the wall you see when you first walk in.
It's also the wall I stare at from my desk. And as much of the artwork is by friends, it makes me happy to look at.
The walls over my desk are a bit boring right now, but I have a plan for them. Once I get my PhD, I plan to frame my three diplomas and hang them there.
And since my office isn't a double, I was given a second space for storage, which means my closet can be blissfully organized (even if this is the cleanest it will ever be).
With the Treehouse right across the hall, I really don't feel slighted on space. I can spread out over the entire corridor if I want to. So, I have to admit, I'm tickled silly with my new office. It just feels so good!!! That said, I don't know how often I'll be there this semester. We'll see if I keep working from home as I have since March. But I do keep finding reasons to go there, and so far I really don't run into anyone else in the building. It almost feels like I have the floor to myself (although it won't stay that way). So, we'll see how quickly I get embedded.
     I do know I have a LOT of organizing to do in the Treehouse itself, which I plan to get to as soon as I send my dissertation off. So, I very well may be owning the space very soon! Happy!