December 5th, 2012

You Go, Jo!

In case you did not know this, I am a member of SCBWI, otherwise known as The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Foolishly I have never been very involved in SCBWI the way I am with CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers), because I’ve always been rather intimidated by this stellar organisation. But that is going to change, because I’m attending my first US Conference next year in New York! And yes, I’m terrified. But I’ve done things that have scared me before (flying to Nunavut, performing in front of people), so somehow I’ll manage (I hope).

Something else that I’ve done to get more involved in SCBWI is to enter their annual Tomie dePaola Art Award! I have chosen to illustrate a scene from Little Women (confession: I’ve yet to read the book. Have seen the movie with Katharine Hepburn, though). Here’s the text that I chose to illustrate:

Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and “fall into a vortex,” as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace. Her “scribbling suit” consisted of a black pinafore on which she could wipe her pen at will, and a cap of the same material, adorned with a cheerful red bow, into which she bundled her hair when the decks were cleared for action. This cap was a beacon to the inquiring eyes of her family, who, during these periods, kept their distance, merely popping in their heads semi-occasionally, to ask, “Does genius burn, Jo?” They did not always venture even to ask this question, but took an observation of the cap, and judged accordingly. If this expressive article of dress was drawn low upon the forehead, it was a sign that hard work was going on; in exciting moments it was pushed rakishly askew, and when despair seized the author it was plucked wholly off, and cast upon the floor.

You can see some of the other entries here, at the Unofficial Gallery.

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