Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Princesses & Even More Princesses

I bought The Secret Lives of Princesses recently. The art is fantastic and all the non-standard princess descriptions are just plain fun. It got me thinking of how many different fictional princesses there are in picture books. Here are some of the titles I found during a quick princess search at Barnes & Noble:

The Real Princess by Hans Christian Andersen

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch 

Princess Baby by Karen Katz

Olivia the Princess by Natalie Shaw

Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker

Princess Palooza by Joy Allen

Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke

Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole

Princesses, Princesses, Princesses by Julie Olson

Monster Princess by D. J. MacHale

Princess Penelope by Todd Mack

Princess Posey and the Monster Stew by Stephanie Greene

Princess Me
 by Karma Wilson

Paiute Princess by Deborah Kogan Ray 

Princess Peepers by Pam Calvert 

You get the idea. (And I didn't even try to list all the Disney princesses.) Why is this interesting? Well, it means they are still stories to be told about princesses, but perhaps more importantly, it illustrates that each writer brings something to children's fiction that wasn't there before; a different slant, touch of humor, adventure, or whatever. I find that exciting and encouraging. How about you? 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ray Bradbury - Lover of Life

National Endowment for the Arts video

Science fiction/fantasy legend, Ray Bradbury, died June 5, 2012. Like many, many other writers/readers
, Mr. Bradbury influenced how I saw life and fiction as a young adult. This endearing video should be required viewing for all fiction writers. 
Check out Ray Bradbury on his childhood love of reading, how he rented a library basement typewriter for 10 cents/half hour and wrote Farenheit 451, and how he has written every day for the past 75 years.

"The things that you do should be things that you love, and things that you love should be things that you do." - Ray Bradbury

I may watch this every day for a while, just to sync Bradbury's counsel with my creative wiring.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rainy Days and Writing

I have to admit, as much as I enjoy the outdoors, I almost look forward to rainy days. I don't have to keep moving the sprinkler every hour and I get a lot more writing done! My creative thoughts seem more likely to slip from their burrows when the light is dim and the light patter of rain on the deck offers a soothing natural soundtrack. Where or when are you most productive?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Asparagus & Editing

I love asparagus! Growing up in Nevada, I roamed our property and nearby riverbanks hunting asparagus all during March and April. At the height of the growing season, I could fill a paper grocery sack in about 20 minutes. Cutting an inch above ground level, I always left a few stalks to go to seed for the next year.

Recently, when editing a picture book manuscript, I realized my asparagus hunting had trained me from an early age to accept change. I've learned to cut excess without overdoing and return to cull
 more when a story gets overgrown.

As with asparagus, a story and all its edited parts stay with you long past the pruning, but those are the things that make it stronger for years to come.