Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm in the SCBWI Bulletin!

I hope everyone's been having a great holiday! I'm pretty tickled right now, lol! One of my illustrations is in the SCBWI Nov.-Dec. Bulletin. If you have a copy, I'm on the regional news/events page.

What is just as cool to me is that the cover (which always has a kite theme) was done by my absolute favorite illustrators Leo & Diane Dillon. It's like double the YAY!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm Back!

Sorry! Things have been kuh-razy!!!!

More postings to come!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Stanford Wong Rocked Big Time

Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time by Lisa Yee had been on my Amazon wishlist for a while and after the postal service lost it in shipping, I was sent a new one.

I'm so glad they did, because I couldn't put it down and finished it this morning. Having re-read Millicent Min: Girl Genius, I was ready for it. After Lisa Yee received a big award and spoke at the 2004 SCBWI LA Conference, there was a rush on it by the rest of us there. I bought the last copy of Millicent that they had. All my pages had a slight dent in them somehow, and for a moment, conversations were like this:

Other Person: "Ohmigod! You have Millicent! Where'd you find it?"
Wawa: "I got the!" (and would hug it close. Did it need its own guard?)

LOL. It was like gold. For some reason, on my very last day there, I was in the foyer outside of the main ballroom and who should be coming out but Lisa Yee. She graciously signed my book, although she had this total "Aaiggh!" look, LOL. I had the slight feeling I'd kind of ambushed her or something. (Sorry Lisa!)

Look, Stanford is a really funny, touching book and I enjoyed every minute of it. I can't wait to read So Totally Emily Ebers.

Friday, June 30, 2006

World's Ugliest Dog Contest

Pee Wee Martini, World's Ugliest Dog candidate

I know it's not kidwriting and I know I haven't posted in a while (sooo sorry!), but I have to share the website for the World's Ugliest Dog Contest that was held at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair in California every year.


These are truly faces that only a parent could love!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Me 'n' Dora the Explorer

Me w/Dora the Explorer at the BookExpo's Children's section.

Hola! What more can I say?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Post BookExpo America 2006

Since it was in my hometown, I thought I'd go to BookExpo America 2006 with my friend, supernatural suspense author Chesya Burke. It is very much an industry event, but it was fantastic to see so many publishers all in one place like that. Imagine a football field filled with publishing houses and there you go.

The second of the adult horror/suspense anthologies that I'm in came out last month. I got a good review in Publisher's Weekly for the last story. This one, the horror entertainment mag Rue Morgue enjoyed and chose my story as the only one that they talked about in length. I'm flattered, especially given that horror isn't necessarily my genre. See, I'm comfortable writing historical supernatural suspense in that aspect of my writing life.

As Wawa Moore, I have a chance to write more lighthearted things. I actual enjoy writing stories where the characters employ humor a lot. That's the way I know I interact with my friends and family and it's always fun to read books with characters like that. For instance, I adored Millicent Min: Girl Genius by Lisa Yee and when I was much younger, I was a fan of Paula Danziger and Judy Blume. It was their use of humor and helping to create a world that seemed pretty real that made the books fun to read. I'd like to take that kind of feel and throw in a twist of what I write for adults and create something that'll make kids and middle graders not be able to put it down! If anything, this weekend has given me a bit more clarity about the direction I wish to go more in my kid lit writing.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Book World and Children's Books

Is it just me, or are other children's and young adult book writers out there tickled when they find a major news outlet writing articles or section about our industry? I know I find myself reading the whole thing.

Today, The Washington Post's Book World featured their 2006 Children's Book Review.

You can read it here.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Author Sharon Draper

I've found an author after my own heart. Remember my post about finding books for African American teens? I found the author that the other 13-year old told me about. While at Barnes & Noble (I swear I'm there at least once a week!), I scanned the young adult section and found the works of Sharon Draper.

She is the author of many books for middle graders and teens. The ones I noticed were part of her Hazelwood High Trilogy. Her newest book is called Copper Sun. Her plots are interesting and I can see why they would be really appealing. I know that I'm really looking forward to reading her work, and she inspires me because I know that this is a genre I would like to write more of. There just aren't enough writers doing this niche genre.

Perhaps one day, by the time my younger cousin is in high school, she can read one of my books from that section...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Of Nerd-Girls & Nibelungs

Right now, the SciFi Channel's showing a miniseries version of the Ring of the Nibelungs. I'm really enjoying it, LOL.

Years ago, when they showed the first inkling of a preview for the Lord of the Rings (which was very influenced by this), I was sitting with my best friend and very nerd-girl-like said "YES!!!" (while pumping a fist) at the movie theater. Um, mind you, this was before everybody knew what the heck it was and I was in a largely African-American audience when I did this. Let's just say I had a lot of folks looking at me like I lost my dang mind.

Growing up, I read a lot and always felt weird reading all the things I did. I loved history, myths and legends, heroes and warriors, faeries and dragons, epic journeys, and travels to exotic or alien lands. It was an escape for me from the realities right outside my window and growing up where I did in D.C., it just wasn't cool. I might as well have had "Supergeek" stamped on my forehead, but it was me. That's the only person I could be, right? I was lucky that I had a friend who was into it too and if you're somehow somewhere reading this, I just want to tell you that I had so much fun with you. Thanks for being a nerd-girl with me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Standing in Borders

When asked if she'd like to chill and talk over apple cider at Starbucks or to go to a bookstore, my 13-year old cousin Brianna was a girl after my own heart. "Let's go to the bookstore. I'd love to see what's out right now!"

It's always fun to go shopping with someone who is the age group you prefer writing for. I was genuinely interested in seeing what she'd choose. The young adult section at my local Borders is about two stacks full. She wandered around both sides, skimming the spines. On the other side, another girl stood looking pretty much the same way as my cousin.

"Excuse me, sorry to bother you," I told her. "How old are you?"

"13," she said, smiling.

"Is it me, or are you having a hard time finding books about Black teen girls too?" I asked. She smiled even bigger this time and said, "Definitely. There just aren't very many of them at all." She recommended two authors to me. My cousin seconded the girl's statement. For both girls, judging from the books in their hands, they had no problem reading stories with non-"ethnic" main characters, but I know from talking to them and seeing the section with my own eyes that there's a hole--a need--there and it became glaringly obvious to me that night.

The next day I told my friend Sylvia, who is Mexican-American, about my experience and she told me, "You know, I think girls 'of color' like us need fun stories about us doing positive things."

I agree.

Brianna's picks: The 310: Life as a Poser by Beth Killian, How to Survive Middle School by Rick Bundschuh, Girls Rule by Ashley Rice and a book of poetry, What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Great Art in a Heat Spell

Last week, we had a bit of beautiful weather--we're talking in the 80s here in D.C. I just wanted to get outside and walk and explore. Ran into some co-workers who gave me their extra strawberry-banana smoothie (yay!) and I was off. I walked past the National Geographic headquarters building, popped into a store, bought cool shell earrings from a West African vendor and used my Potbelly gift card for a sandwich. Ahhh, the life of a worker downtown, lol.

As I was nearing my job, I heard calls of "Portraits for 25 cents! Get a portrait done!" I couldn't resist. Students from the 2nd grade class at the SAIL charter school at the Washington Very Special Arts program were sitting on the stairs of their school, surrounded by pastels and clipboards with paper. One young businessman was already standing there posing with his suit and briefcase. He looked at me and smiled. I stopped and said, "I'd love one! Who's going to draw me?"

A young lady named Amber said "I will!" and proceeded to sketch me with her pencil, paying close attention to what I was wearing and my hair (which she declared as "really long", lol) and even got my sunglasses on my head. She was thrilled when I paid up and her friend Tanyia (pictured above) declared, "Well, I'd like to draw you too! Have a seat!" I was too tickled and plopped myself down. Her class was winding up behind us to go back in and she asked for more time to finish. Her teacher, Mr. Pierce, sat with us and enjoyed the day as Tanyia sketched and blended. I was really happy and gave her a dollar--you know, for the extra time and because it was for a good cause--they were raising money for the homeless. As we were sitting there, a man--who may have been homeless himself--came over and gave her a handful of change.

This experience really made my day.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Being Productive


I'm going to sit down with the 2006 Children's Writers and Illustators Market and ID some companies to a.) send postcards to, and b.) send manuscripts to.

It can be rough trying to get published, isn't it? I think it's a combo of luck, studying your industry and talent. You can be plenty talented, but if you're not putting yourself out there, who'd know?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

In the SCBWI Bulletin

Yay! One of my illustrations is going to be in the SCBWI Bulletin--the main newsletter-magazine for the organization! I'm pretty tickled about that! That means that all of you SCBWI folks out there will see my work. I know I enjoy seeing everyone else's!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I've been working on a middle grade fantasy--a departure for me, but oh-so-much fun to write!! It's so crazy and funny and well, crazy, that I really enjoy writing it. I have been pretty good lately about parking myself in front of the computer and tikking away. That's the hard part. Focusing and getting it done. Forget all the imagined glory and recognition for after it is completed. The reality is that everyone would like to be a writer, but darn it, sitting down and doing it is hard work no matter the genre or age group.

I've run into a lot of people who think that writing for kids is either a.) easy or b.) somehow less worthy than writing for adults. Some are surprised when I tell them that I write for kids too and I am working really hard at being good at it--because a.) it's not easy and b.) it's just as important as writing for the adult market. Every day that I write for kids is just as important as any words I write for adults, and in some ways more so. Here's a chance to spark imaginations, inspire, educate, innovate--maybe even shape a life.

How could that not be important? How could it be "less than"?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

In Spite Of...

As a writer, there is nothing more distressing than hearing that a middle school doesn't have a library. I am a product of D.C. Public Schools, and I'm familiar with hearing how DCPS is one of the worst school systems, the students perform so badly, blahblahblah. Well, you know what? What do you expect when middle schools don't have books? Why don't people care more? Is it a "not my kid" thing? That's not right and as a kid, when you feel you've been written off, what kind of reaction do you think you'd have?

Well, let me tell you about something positive. In spite of their lack of a library, the students at Charles Hart Middle School in Southeast D.C. are participants in the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop. Along with Simon Elementary and Ballou Senior High, these kids and teens are creating some amazing work and are being recognized for it. These kids have dealt with some rough environments--even within their own schools--yet someone saw the potential that was there within them. All it takes is someone to believe in you to help you believe in yourself.

If you want to know more about them and this fantastic program, please click on this link. You'll be so glad you did.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fan Art! Jordan's Bug

OK! I have a fan! This is from Jordan, who has a multicolored spin on one of my bug cartoons. The red teeth, those irritated eyes...I love it!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Doing Good

Today, on the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, I found myself thinking about what can I do to help my community. Living in the Washington, D.C. area you read/hear so much negative news about our failing school systems, the cycles of violence and/or poverty that kids here are subjected to and the repercussions from them both. The thing that always ticks me is you hear these sad stories, yet no one ever gives info on how to help or make a difference. I think people really want to help, but just don't know where to start. All it takes is one person to effect change.

I'm not just an aspiring kids book writer-illustrator, I actually am a published author in the adult market. I know I can make a difference using this talent for good. I know that when I was a kid growing up in the hood, keeping a diary and writing stories was a source of venting, of creating another world, of keeping my thoughts in line. Perhaps I can help to do the same for others? I don't even know where to start myself, but I know I have to at least begin. I've been toying with the idea of starting a creative writing class or club at my local elementary and high school. Kids and teens need to get their feelings out somehow. What better way than through words?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Holiday's Over

I took a heck of a holiday break huh?

Well, in the spirit of the new year, I picked up the Children's Writer's & Illustrators Market 2006 and another market guide. I plan on sitting down and truly mapping out a plan to get published. Yup, I know a lot of it is luck and the right place at the right time with the right editor, but I can't even get that far without some research.

I can make it happen this year. IthinkIcanIthinkIcanIthinkIcan...