I’ve never pulled into the parking lot at the Hollins University campus without an accompanying sense of excitement and gratitude. The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum is there with the occasional workshop (I've enjoyed myself immensely at each one) and constant spectacular exhibits (Goodnight, Hush: Classic Children's Illustrations is there now), the theater where my hubby Kelly had a great time playing guitar in the play “Violet” is there and when Olivia was at Community School (we are back to being a home schooling family now) there were celebrations and plays on the grounds. I feel extremely blessed to live close to such a wealth of creative goodness.
Yesterday was the last day of the Children’s Literature Association event and it was an insightful, inspiring time. I did not get to attend the two previous days but wish I had.
At events like these, I take notes, jotting down anything and everything that triggers some sort of spark, snippets and wisdom that I think I may be able to pull from later to aid in a piece of writing or in a painting. I'm looking forward to looking those over this morning while nursing a cup of tea and see if any connections remain. But first, I have a few links to share with you lovelies.
A few things from yesterday stand out in my mind:
* Hearing Meg Medina read the opening of her book, “Milagros, The Girl From Away.” I am going to pick this one up as soon as I can. Magical realism=Love.
* Julia Mickenburg and Philip Nel’s lecture on radical children’s literature. You can get the entire book list on the blog. This is great as I think I missed a few in my notes, especially near the end when I thought my hand was going to fall off from all the frenzied scribbling. Ideas for home school lessons were foremost in my mind during this talk and the mommy/teacher in me was getting a healthy dose of motivation and ideas for group activities with friends. This lecture was also filmed and will eventually be available on the CHLA site.
* Thacher Hurd, son of Clement Hurd who was the illustrator for “Goodnight Moon,” and author/illustrator in his own right, was entertaining with his anecdotes about Margaret Wise Brown that left me wanting to know more about this beautiful genius who seemed to enchant all she encountered.
* Seeing up close the wonderful art of Ruth Sanderson and Ashley Wolff.
*The session on writing and illustrating fantasy: Charle Vess, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, and Amie Rose Rotruck –oh, the passion and excitement they have for what they do! That's always wonderful to see and to be around. Meeting Kathleen Foucart Walker, a local writer and friend of a dear friend.
*Chatting with Becky Mushko, another local writer. I purchased her new middle grade book, a paranormal tale titled “Stuck” and can’t wait to dive into it.
*Spending the day with another dear friend, definitely one of the highlights. Where would we all be without our friends? I used to have a quote painted on the panel in the hallway. I have since painted over it but recall the words well. “Friends are flowers in the garden of life.” So true, dontcha think?
In the art room:
* I’ve been gesso-ing panels and organizing, getting ready for an art show at the Oddfellas Cantina in Floyd. I'll have my art hanging there the months of September and October. Very excited about that!
* Fabric took over for a few days. Doing some mending and also making an eye pillow. I had to measure and pin---shew! SO not strengths of this impatient girl but I am proud of the end result. It’s weight felt good in my hand, filled with flax seeds and lavender, and smell was delicious.