Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ambition and my new six

my scrawled notes!

Writing this newest novel has been a rather intensive process. Yesterday,  I told the Sasquatch that I felt like this novel was "squeezing the juice out of me," and I really meant it! Perhaps because it was just the memorial and this book is a companion to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon which meant so much to me, I've been feeling this overpowering desire to make this book "really good."

Which is how I try to be with all my books, of course. The difference with this book is, as I mentioned before, I'm afraid that my ambitions might be greater than my abilities.  But if dogged determination and will power can do it, I might have a shot. I've been in a state of overwhelming, constant, concentration, scrawling notes in my notebook wherever I am--the subway, the bathroom, the grocery line--if I'm not at the computer. When I can't sleep at night, I tell myself if the book is bad, at least it won't be from lack of effort!

One of the things I've been thinking about is my new six, the six things that are important for me to write about in this book. Now, they are:

PEACE
HARMONY
BALANCE
FORGIVENESS
ACCEPTANCE
EMPATHY

Interesting to see how they changed from my original six and I wonder what they'll end up being when the book is done!


Monday, August 29, 2011

on my desk monday

Inspiration for "Return to Sky" though now the book may be called "The Starry River of the Sky!"  (Hint: it's the Chinese three-legged toad, whom there are many myths about--some conflicting-- but said to be an inhabitant of the moon). I'm almost done with my revision which means this blog will be soon be back to its normally scheduled ramblings!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

happy hurricane sunday

video

not too bad yet, just a bit windy!
(ps--you know what doesn't need batteries or electricity? books! hint hint)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

moments of

ocean waves
staring faces
cold rising heat
squealing laughter
orange moons
clapping hands
round silver shining
falling snow
echoing rooms
soft steady typing
silent tears
blossoming trees
clean white buildings
waiting lines
thin passing clouds
yellow flowers

are the moments you missed
and
are the moments i missed you

Robert Mercer
5/30/72-8/27/07





.







Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

summer fun with family

I've still got my nose to the grindstone, slowly turning out my novel. But it's summer and summer is time for family, so I did temporarily halt the wheel to spend time with my favorite niece and nephew (okay, my only niece and nephew but they're still my favs!!).

One particular fun day was our trip to the Utica Zoo:

My niece's name is Lily, so this is joke on two levels...Lily is getting watered! Get it? The kids & I thought it was hilarious...

They also thought I made a fearsome tiger:

And we dressed in stripes so we could match the zebras:
(my mother's striped shirt had roses on it so we called her the "romantic zebra")

There was also (on other days) sushi,
yes, all this sushi is just for her!

Sparklers (on sale after the 4th of July so my mom bought a bunch of them):
My nephew calls fireworks "funny fire."


Bouncing houses:
I've seen kid heaven and it looks like this!


Peach picking:
The Sasquatch is hoarding all the peaches!


Bowling:
This was the best bowler.

The beach:

ice cream:
a lot of ice cream. I had a cone a day. My nephew is shrieking in horror of my excess!


and blue tongues:
Ah, such fun! Good summer memories...but back to work I go!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:
dinner
wǎncān


Friday, August 19, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a day at the museum

My novel has been all-consuming the last few weeks, as you might have been able to tell by my intermittent blogging. But I did try to leave the house a couple of times. The Chihuly exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts was ending plus I wanted to do a little more research for my writing, so I decided to make some time to go to museum with the Sasquatch.

The sculpture in front of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts reminds me of someone...

Did I mention there was a Chihuly exhibit going on? There was a really, really long line to get into the museum:


We were in line for about an hour when we saw other people just walking right in. Curious, the Sasquatch followed them to see what secret they had that gained them such easy admission. He quickly found out that there was an automated kiosk which allowed you to buy your tickets immediately!! We jumped out of line, bought our tickets from the machine and got in within minutes! Crazy! I wanted to go back outside and yell to everyone waiting in line about it, but Sasquatch thought it might make a mad panic.

Because it was an extremely crowded and busy show as it was. It was very, very beautiful but hard to enjoy with the constant squeeze of people.

This was one of my favorite pieces. I thought it looked like a bunch of carrots, but the Sasquatch thought it looked like intestines. I guess that is why I am the children's book author and he is a Sasquatch.


After the Chihuly exhibit, we went to the Asian Art wing so I could do a little research and get some inspiration. It was not crowded at all in the Asian art wing, which I am not complaining about. I was able to look at everything at my leisure, looking for details that could help my story:

A possible setting for a scene.

This bowl was particularly helpful, especially when compared to the bowl I saw during my research trip to the Met.


These are asparas, kind of the Asian equivalent of angels. They aren't in my book, but I'm intrigued about them now. Maybe they'll make an appearance in my next novel!


This was actually vey helpful as well. I wasn't sure what saddles looked like in ancient China!

It was a lovely day at the museum!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:
lunch
wǔcān


Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

welcome to the new age

I haven't been posting recently mainly because my novel has been all-consuming but also because I've taken a couple days out to visit my parents in Upstate NY (and attend my high school reunion!). My older sister and her family are also visiting and it's fascinating to see how adept her kids are with technology I haven't even fully embraced.

I've thought about e-books & apps many times but have never really investigated them. But my nephew loves the iphone and I knew that the book I illustrated Round is a Mooncake was made into an app , so I decided to see if the conversion to this new digital age would be bearable:



Not bad! He was fully engaged and it was a pretty faithful adaptation of the book--it was kind of like those "read-along" books I had when I was a kid (you would listen to the floppy record while reading the book). I still prefer and love paper books but I think there's probably a place for e-books too. My illustrator friend Aaron has an app my nephew loves too. I guess I should start thinking about making some electronic book/apps of my own...but after my novel!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:
breakfast
zǎocān


Friday, August 5, 2011

fortune cookie friday


"One generation plants the trees; another sits in their shade."
-Chinese Proverb

Monday, August 1, 2011

on my desk monday

I'm in the last stretch of the first draft of my novel and the everything is in disarray. I'm not that tidy to begin with, so when the writing becomes all-consuming the mess becomes chaotic. It's actually quite an accurate reflection of what is going on in my brain!

Luckily, my understanding Sasquatch has taken to buying me flowers at the weekly farmer's market ("If I go right before the market closes, they sell them real cheap!" he says). I love these lilies, the scent of them helps me dream of a place beyond my reality and seeing them encourages me that something beautiful can exist amongst all the mess.