Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Hummm? Had two ways to go on this one-
Skipped the first, more obvious definition when I went to www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propagate- - one- because I just had no desire to go there, but more importantly because the less used definition fits very well into my plans of showing the progression of my first picture book project that I am going to share on the blog-
Sounds pretty- good? Helping a larger audience, like children, through a vehicle like....books gain knowledge and understanding to an idea or belief.............well that depends on exactly what one would be trying to "sway" the audience into believing. Something I believe we as writers and illustrators, especially, let me underline that- especially because we are trying to sway the innocent, have signed up for a special kind of judgement. Even with the best intentions, myself included, we all are trying to influence in one way or another.
"To propagate" has an "ickier" sounding Noun- "Propaganda" when heard evokes images of Stalin and the Iron Curtain, Hitler and his throngs of loyal children marching in their black shorts, white shirts and arms bands- guess what- America- "The Land of the Free" does not escape without a black mark of trying to "propagate" the masses.
Still intrigued? Or are you thinking- "Man! She's turned this light Illustration Friday into a Propaganda piece!" If the second- my apologies and have a great weekend!
For those sticking around-
In dealing with the "Indian Problem" words of the Nineteenth Century US Government- the last and most efficient solution when out and out warfare and the reservation system was not working so well to "tame the red man" was to eradicate the Native populations culture- the way to do that..... take their children, yes sometimes at gun point, pull little ones out of their mothers arms!
Between the mid 1800s and far into the 1900 thousands of Native American children, were taken from their mothers, some as young as three, many around the age of five, girls and boy, but more boys, to get them before they got their rebellious ways and were placed in Off Reservation Indian Schools. Where immediately on their arrival, their hair, sacred to many tribes, was cut off, they were scrubbed down with kerosene for lice, and every remnant of their culture in their dress and decorations taken from them. They were dressed in white man's clothes, set at a dining room table, slept in a bed, and beaten if they spoke a word of their language- or practiced a bit of their culture. Let me say that again- "they were beaten if they spoke their language"
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
While others are getting ready for "Fat Tuesday" or Mardi Gras, we on the insistence of Jon, had pancakes- why- because he declared that is what our Irish ancestors and much of Europe has done through the ages. "Why" I asked again, reminding him the reason for such traditions of collecting Mardi Gras beads, that we now so often see the students coming out of school on Mardi Gras wearing- I've explained to our girls what traditionally would be expected of them to collect such beads and both don't like wearing them, even in fun as part of the innocent festivities at school.
So I wanted to know exactly why pancakes were eaten on this day and sent him off to Wikipedia the answer- this is what he came back with - a much more practical tradition then "whooping up the night, before forty days of false piate' .
Pancakes- use up much of the good things in the cupboard that would go bad if not used in the fasting of Lent- sugar, milk and eggs!
I have gained many European friends through this blog- have you ever heard of "Pancake Tuesday- do you practice it- or is it like Cornbeef and Cabbage on St. Patrick's day- a very American thing.
The picture is of Roy Ethridge, Al Wetherill and Seth Taner cooking pancakes or pones on the Colorado River taken in 1891 by Gustaf Nordenskiold on their way to be tourist and check out the Grand Canyon amongst other things- it's in the collection of Fred Blackburn, a very nice man and authority on the Wetherill family and Mesa Verde- who has been gracious enough to help me in my research for my YA novel. Check out his webside at http://www.wetherillfamily.com/
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday evening, I was working upstairs on my computer and my attention was drawn to the sound of my husband's voice- rhythmic and soft and realized he was reading out loud to our girls. My curiosity peeked, I listened more carefully trying to distinguish what he was reading from- for the list was long. He has been reading to them from the time the first was still inside me. Not concerned if I was myself was listening or was fast asleep, nestled in bed, he read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Farmer Boy" to my belly.
When they were toddlers, he never insisted they sit still or stay even in the same room, looking down from our loft, I can still see him there on the couch, the older, snuggled close, the littler one toddling around, with her pappy in her mouth, dragging her blanket around, poking at the dogs or playing but also listening.
His reading list is long and I highly recommend it- for it is made up of the greatest authors of all times and are the stories that influenced me to be an author and surprisingly are not often discussed in the blog-o-sphere- where the watch is for the new writing- but these are the stories that have managed to stick around for a bit- maybe we should ask ourselves why?
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Kipling "Jungle Book", "Riki Tiki Tave"
Frances Hodgsons Burnett- "Secret Garden" "Little Princess"
You can find many children's editions of the more heavy fare- giving a taste of something they will hopefully want to go back and read more of later in life. I would add a few authors that he isn't much interested in-
L.M Montgomery- "Anne of Green Gable"
"To Kill a Mockingbird"
And if you are wondering- when I finally snuck downstairs- he was reading Macleans' "A River Runs Through It", with our 16 and 11 year old, curled up on each side of him.
So, what are the classics you love?