Saturday, July 24, 2010

IF- "Double"

The Illustration Friday theme this week is "Double". This is a very old illustration I used for a Valentine's Day card, which is good, because I am up to my eyeballs on getting ready to go to LA for the SCBWI National Conference- Anybody else going?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Pollyanna look at rejection...

    So on a whim, I entered my screenplay on the beginning of archeology and tourism at Mesa Verde in the late 1800's into the Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting Contest., considered one of the few competition for new writers that Hollywood takes slightly seriously. 5 Fellows are chosen from over 6,000 applicants, given $30,000 dollars and a year to write another script, which Hollywood insiders pay attention to, something a lot of writing contest can't claim.
Well, I didn't win.
But I'm actually kind of excited....
6,300 scripts were submitted this year- each was read one time, if it received a favorable read- it went on to a second read.
Mine, went on for a second read- so the playing field went from 6,300 to 2,900, which tells me.... I can actually write a script, not talking about a brilliant script, but I know the structure of screenplay writing, can create a story with a beginning, middle and end, have enough of a grasp of grammar that some underpaid reader in Hollywood didn't cringe and toss the script onto the reject pile like in 15 seconds!
The scripts are read a second time, so the playing field went from 2,900 to 900- and guess what I got another favorable read! Which means my standing in 6,300 scripts was 15%- ( gosh, I feel like this would make a great word problem in Math class!) 15% tells me- hey- I can write a decent story- that is somewhat interesting and is exciting enough to hold a reader's attention that is basically locked in a very small room like the girl in Rumplestilkin, with a very large pile of scripts and she can't have lunch till she reads them all, I'll take that!
Well, these 900 scripts were read again and this time instead of getting a pass or fail, they were scored, and well, no go, my script did not hit the 20% off the 900 scripts need to go to the next stage, which is the top 180 out of 6,300 scripts.
The 180 scripts will be cut to 30 scripts and then to 5 Fellows.
Sure, I had ideas of grandeur, that standing in the long line of "want to be" script writes, a slick back dark haired Hollywood type executive with a big bodyguard, all dressed in black of course with the dark sunglasses would mosey right towards me, unclip the velvet rope barricade, inform me I could go into the V.I.P. section of glory and well, go all around the monopoly board and collect my $30,000 dollars.
But I kind of knew that wasn't going to happen.
What I really hoped for, and think was confirmed- was that the two lowly readers that read my 120 pages of words and ideas pulled from somewhere in the back of my head, did not laugh themselves silly with my delusions of being a writer and head to their favorite coffee shop and continue to have a good laugh with all their other reader type friends over my expanse.
It might be "Pollyanna-ish" - But I am happy I'm in the pack, not at the front of it, but at least I am in the pack.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


So, Monday I was up here...

In Telluride, Colorado, about 70 miles away from my home. A friend who has a house up there, invited me up to just hang. So took my work and really didn't do much of it, instead just hung out looking at the amazing San Miguel mountains and breathed in the air at like 8500 ft.
It was a glorious day, until Jon called, " Sooo...just in theory, but what do you want me to take out of the house, incase we have to evacuate because of the fire?"
me- "Fire?"
Jon- "It a small fire at the bottom of the canyon, at least a fourth of a mile away."
Me- " ahhhhhhhhhh? Fire?"
Jon- "They have a bomber ( i.e. a big belly plane that drops chemicals on the fire) circling in the air but haven't used it yet. And the foam truck ( which they can encase an entire house with if need be) just went down the road....I'm sure it is fine, but what do you want me to take if they evacuate us?"
Me- " ahhhh the kid's pictures and my artwork"
Which I realized was all in the same place, in the far corner of my studio- the farthest room from any exit out of the house- that is smart.
Jon- " ok, got to go soak the tree break with the irrigation water"
Apparently all the neighbor were turning their water on towards  the rim of the canyon- we are on top at the start of a flat mesa.
I get off the phone, and wander down towards the coffee shop, should I race home? Then I remember one more thing that would be heartbreaking to lose in a fire, so I call back.
Me- "the quilts"
We have two of Jon's granmothers quilts, circa 1920s, hand stitched.
Me-" the rugs"
And we have several Navajo rugs circa 1960 and 70s from his parents buying days traveling the Southwest to supply their Western Tac store in Chicago .
Jon- "okay- it looks like they are getting it under control, probably fine now."
Me- "Okay?"
By the time I get home, the fire is out, it rains the next night and with the windows open the house stinks, fire smell is on of those smells that stays with you.
So yesterday I walk down the canyon with the dog and take pics of the damage.

This was an apple tree.
So walking back up the canyon, I see a growing column of smoke coming from a pile of brush the firefighters had piled up, and poof, it burst into flames while I watched, so yeah, called 911 and a crew came out and took care of the hot spot. Fire Season is just starting around here....yeah!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I'm really good at this promotion thing...

I got in Babybug and totally forgot to tell anyone about it- Actually I was really hyped to first of May- the issue is the May/June and my poem was called Tickle, about a little Polynesian girl who finds an exotic bird feather and tickles her brother with it.I would go to Magpie Newstand Cafe over in Durango, first of every week looking for it and since I have been traveling been checking the various Barnes and Nobles bookstores along the way. Apparently when it is a two month span for the magazine, they are not so quick to get the next edition out. Well, I probably found it the eighth time I had head into a magazine shop in anticipation, but finally there it was and I opened it to find..... the color sucked!
Not Baybug's fault at all, they were an absolute delight to work with- it was my fault- I did the color editing and that wasn't even the problem, what was- the fabric- I should of known better, I knew better, that super saturated colors do NOT photograph well, muted midtone colors with just a little bit of highlight and extreme darks look so much better, but it was Hawaii and all I could think of, apparently, was the bright colors of Hawaii. grrrrr. I hope they are happy with it and learned my lesson, even restarted a illustration I am doing for a promotion in the Fall over- when I realized the how crappy the blue in the sky had looked in Babybug- and was using the same blue fabric. 
I have learned that usually if I put something like that aside for a while and look at it again- it is not as bad as it seems like the first time. Here is hoping! And here is the illustrations-