Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A new year, a new book

Life has changed a lot for me in the past month.
The biggest change: I'm not working day and night on the second Ellie book anymore (although I do have copy edits due in a few days). Now I'm working day and night on a picturebook about a drama queen. I've been writing and rewriting and drawing and redrawing this book since April when the idea first hit me.
My agent saw it a couple times, loved it, asked if I wanted to tweak the cover art, and I took it back and tightened the writing, redrew the whole thing, showed it to a famous author during a conference portfolio review...

She loved it too, made a few little suggestions, and I took it back to my cave, tightened the writing again, started to redraw the whole thing again, and am trying to finish before jetting off to NYC for the SCBWI Conference there in a couple weeks.
My agent wrote a few days ago, asking if I take on these punishing tight deadlines/long work hours on purpose, since they seem self-induced.

I suppose I do. For one thing, I'm deadline-oriented. Nothing like a deadline to scare the bejeebers out of me and make me achieve something I think I can't do.
For another, I most certainly have A.D.D. (Took a test and found out the only indicator I *don't* have is I am not male) Having so many distractions makes it tough to stick to a task unless it's critical.
Here's another thing that's hard for me: Staying loose under pressure. It only took about 5 redrawings of the first page of this third book, to get me back to the normal, loose line I so easily produce in my on-the-spot sketches. I think that's because it's a different genre than the Ellie books -- I'm more uptight about it.
Which reminds me - here are more sketches from my trip to Santa Fe:
If all goes well in the next couple weeks, I'll finish the Marcella book *and* be in another airport, sketching planes.

2 comments:

Fiona said...

So? Didja get to sketch more airplanes? :^)

I hope you're game for some blog tag, because I've just tagged you to post a list of Five Random Things about yourself. Check out my blog entry about it for more info: http://fbayrock.blogspot.com/2008/02/five-random-things-about-me.html

Ruth McNally Barshaw said...

YES! I did sketch on the airplanes -- my New York sketchbook (the recent SCBWI conference plus touring Manhattan) will be uploaded very soon. It's a huge job, and there are more pages than in past sketchbooks. I'm excited to show it off soon.
Thanks, Fiona! :) hugs