Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Why are you walking down this path? Do you seek fame or fortune? What does success look like to you? Is it a novel, a picture book, a magazine publication, an income or even a following on your blog?

For me, I see a little hand reaching for something on a shelf. It's a book. Not just any book. This book's cover is so alluring that no hand can pass it by. Delicate watercolor illustrations decorate this hardback book. (Jerry Pinkney is the illustrator in my dream.) There under the title is a name, my name. When that little hand opens the book, the reader discovers there is more to this book than pretty pictures. It tells a story, a story that touches his heart. It's a story that teaches him about his world and once finished with the book, he has learned a little about himself.

Oh, I'd like to make enough money to pay for a house keeper once a week. :)

BTW...My Grandad built the path in the picture.


  1. Hmmm... I don't know. I really respect your motivation, but I got nothing.

    I just wrote a bunch of books because I liked doing it. It'd be great if they someday turned into money, and if I could walk into the pub and hear folks saying, "Ain't that Ray Veen?"

    I'd be like, "That's right, eh -- who's buying?"

    Then I'd be all "Psych! I'm buying of course. Because my books turned into money."

  2. A housekeeper would be great...especially after what happened just yesterday.

    I'm currently taking a personal essay class so success today would look like a byline under my essay in a magazine.

    My next step is to tackle the PB market. That's where my true dream lies.

  3. Exactly what you said! And ... you said it so beautifully!

  4. Kim--good luck with the class. What kind of stuff are you writing about? I did a personal essay on an adventure I had chasing the snow removal people. Still trying to find a home for it and the photos...I love picture books too.

    Kelly--Thanks if you were talking about my words or thanks if you were talking about Kim's words. :)

  5. Ray--so you are after the fame...and money. In all honesty there has to be some sort of validation. Publication and money are two indicators of success. When I was a teacher it was hugs. They were much easier to get than acceptance letters. :)

    --I was a radio dj in college and a little girl asked me for my autograph...it was pretty cool. :)

  6. I love it when children are enthralled by either a story I have written or a puzzle I've created. That, to me, is Heaven. It always feels good to have adults comment (nicely) on any of my works, but children never pad their words; honesty is at the top of the chain.
    Adults tend to be kind and caring. Both are good.

    ~ Just Joany/Yaya
    Yaya's Home
    Red Wagon Flights

  7. publication, definately. it's all about the learning and the journey -- I really do believe that. but, in the end, I want to see my book on a shelf.

    and, love the picture :)

  8. hmmm...sometimes, I'm not sure anymore. Publication is great, but now that I'm getting there, the bar moved up to 'publication by a big house'. I guess I just want to hit the apex of children's lit at least once. (Of course, then I'd have to do it again to prove it wasn't just luck. And then, probably again to prove that I didn't peak too early.) Sheesh, what a ball of issues I am.

  9. Funny, I was just asking myself, "Who is my dream illustrator?"

  10. My dream illustrator would be Adam Rex!
    My dream is a chapter book, then a picture book that is different but similar theme. Wow, to see my name on a book and have children enjoy what I've written. I hope one day to enjoy that.
    Good luck everyone!

  11. The path is gorgeous!!

    I want that little hand reaching for the book, too. That is enough.


  12. Sharon--Thanks for the kind words. They mean a lot, especially coming from an established author/illustrator/publisher.

    Joany--Thanks for stopping by. :) You are right, kids don't have buffers. Sometimes I'm scared to hand a piece to my 13 year old and ask her what she thinks.

    Tess--The learning and the journey will get you to the destination. You've got to be heading somewhere. I know where you are heading...(Newberry)

    Amy--When does Invisible Sister hit the bookstore? Your second book will be even better, I have NO doubt about that!

    Corey--Well...who is it? I picked Jerry because the first picture book I really fell in love with as an adult was called Homeplace. Crescent Dragonwagon wrote it and he illustrated it.

    Kelly--I'll have to look him up. Keep writing, revising and submitting. You'll get there. I think persistance is the key.

    Hardygirl--Thanks for stopping by. I'll tell Grandad you like his work. He has no idea how many of my posts have some link to him.

    Doesn't it make you feel all warm inside when you think of a child choosing your story to read?

  13. It's so cool that the path was made by your grandfather. It's a perfect picture for this post. And I love how well you articulated your dream.

  14. The Invisible Sister is tentatively scheduled for Sept 2010 release.

  15. Hi, Sharon
    I stopped by to see what's new today. I loved the post about the bird's nests - Fall is my favorite season. I had to post my comment here, though, because... Jerry Pinkney is my favorite illustrator too! I LOVE the work he did on Mirandy and Brother Wind. This whole post resounded with me - you spoke what my heart feels, too. :)

  16. Shannon,
    (fellow teacher) Have you read Homeplace? Back in the day, when elementary teachers taught gym and art, I sponsored school wide art weeks. I began each week reading Homeplace. If you get a chance to read it, it is a great story. It takes you back to when people could walk in the woods without worrying about their safety. But Jerry's artwork is what I wish I could paint like. I'm glad you have that same feeling. :) It validates my desire to have him illustrate something for me. Funnily, I can talk to in person or via email with other writers and illustrators, but he is my pinnacle.

  17. I haven't read Homeplace, but I'll be finding it on Amazon and reading it soon! It sounds like a wonderful story. I can envision what Jerry's artwork must look like. His style is so unique - I can always tell immediately if he was the illustrator for a book. I don't blame you for having him as your pinnacle. My favorite picture book author is Patricia Polacco. She is who I want to be when I grow up! :)