My dear friend Ryan Hipp posted here about Ellie: http://www.ryanhipp.com/blogs/diary-wimpy-girl
Ryan's one of those big teddy-bear guys who does both cute and scary with complete finesse. We spent a bit of time together at the Michigan Reading Association conference this past weekend in Detroit.
I encouraged him to get Patricia Polacco's signature in his Author-Illustrator Autograph Book, and he in turn encouraged me to show Patricia the quick sketches I did of her.
This one of Patricia's back is my favorite sketch in the whole sketchjournal:
The whimsy of it inspired me to draw a couple other famous people from the back, too, including Christopher Paul Curtis (who I didn't show a sketch to because I haven't read his books yet. Bought them ages ago but didn't read them yet. I am a slow reader, better suited for picturebooks).
I thought Patricia was very gracious to sign my book and Ryan's. She added this happy note to my second drawing:
Ryan and I are also in a critique group together.
Sometimes this job is solitary and the only friend I have is the character in my head whose adventures are directing my imagination.
Other times this job brings me close to lots of great people who remind me of all that is good in the world.
School visits and teacher/librarian conferences do that -- they're a lot of work to prepare for, but such amazing fun in their process of unfolding, and even more fun as I visit more schools, get to know more teachers and librarians, and then see them again at conferences.
Could this life be any better? I think not. :)