Archive for November, 2007

Um, whuhhhhht? OMG. Wow.

November 20, 2007

Hi guys.

I have good news.

By January 15th 2008, I will have illustrated my first children’s picture book, and for a legitimate publishing company (Abrams).

And by next year, you may even see it on the shelves at Barnes and Nobel.

I am so completely scared out of my pants.

I better not mess up this amazing opportunity.

And p.s.-

With all the money, I can afford to move to Boston, and rent an apartment, and buy furniture, and pay my bills, and spend a couple months looking for a job…

Holy crap.

Even After Two Years

November 12, 2007

The amount of love with which I am surrounded everyday never fails to leave me eyes-wide blinking, mouth half-opened, dazed and completely incapable of understanding it all.

For two years. Twenty-four months. 730 days. Each day I am so grateful for what I have been fortunate enough to experience. A friendship unlike any other. A bond that has evolved and strengthened and harnessed us both together while at the same time allowing us to find ourselves. The future has never looked so happy.

So. There it is. As much as I can bring myself to say.

And now, the recap.

Friday: THE EVE OF BIG PLANS
Adam came over around 9:30. We hung around with the family for a bit. I caught him up on the new things he hadn’t seen, like new acquisitions to my children’s book collection. Mostly we lounged around until bed.

Saturday: THE DAY OF BIG PLANS
The two of us had plans to go to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art to see the Tony DiTerlizzi exhibit of Spiderwick Chronicles illustrations. I was super excited not just because of where we were going, but because I had secretly planned a day and weekend of BIG PLANS in the Amherst area. Unbeknownst to Adam, not only had a planned for the museum visit, I had also rented us a hotel room in Hadley so that we could stay around longer, hang out, eat dinner, shop, enjoy the scenery, and stop by Yankee Candle Village and Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory on Sunday.

So Saturday morning as Adam showered, I went through his things and packed up what we would need for the trip. Then I sneaked out to his car and put everything in the trunk without him knowing. We set off around 11, and enjoyed an absolutely gorgeous drive up to Amherst. I can not get over how amazing the little mountains are, and the farm land, and the houses! Oooo. So lovely!!

We arrived at the museum around noon to find that admission was half-price (which was good) because one of the three galleries was closed for exhibit preparations (which was too bad.) But regardless, we happily made our way through the AMAZING DiTerlizzi exhibit which was one of the most inspiring collections I’ve ever seen. They had so many wonderful characters from the Spiderwick Field Guide, as well as props from the upcoming movie and sketches and maquettes of how they will be interpreted in the film adaptation. It was super exciting to see these in real life, where you can analyze the look and technique of his work and dream of one day halving half as much skill with a paintbrush as he has. I was entirely inspired to try working with the acryla goauche on bristol board, which seems to be his medium of choice. There is such a finish to his work it sort of makes me want to cry.

After we looked through that gallery, we browsed through the section of Eric Carle and Leo Lioni, which was also very exciting to see. Then we mosied over to the adorable little on-site library room which had basically every modern kids book ever. That got us salivating for books of our own, so we headed over to the gift shop where they sold an equivalent vastness of picture books. I was in heaven. Scratch that— WE were in heaven! It was like being a kid in Santa’s workshop, where in everything you want is in one spot only you can’t have it all because you aren’t rich and Santa ain’t that generous. So we spent a loooooong time making sure we looked through the whole place as thoroughly as humanly possible. Then we narrowed it down, and made our final choices.

In the end, I bought the following books, based primarily on the fact that they are more difficult to find anywhere else:
-The Dragon Machine (illus. Wayne Anderson)
-The Magic Nesting Doll (illus. Lorel Long)
-Fiona’s Luck (illus. Kelly Murphy)—- a signed copy!
-Sweep Dreams (illus. Mary GrandPre)– signed by the author
-Jimmy Zangwow’s Out Of This World Moon Pie Adventure (illus. Tony DiTerlizzi)
-The Houdini Box (illus. Brian Selznick)
-The Boy Of A Thousand Faces (illus.Brian Selznick)

Adam bought just about as many books as I did, including the AMAZING new Dinotopia Book, signed by the insanely marvelous James Gurney. After our fun-filled spree, we walked smiling ear to ear to the car with our loot. On the way, Adam mentioned whether we shouldn’t head over to Yankee Candle on our way home. It was at this point that I said something like the following:

“Actually… I have a different idea. We’re going to stay around here for a while longer. We have a hotel room and we can check in at 4.”

To which he reacted both surprised and confused. He asked if I was kidding. I really think he thought I was making it up at first. So I said, “Check the trunk. Everything that we need is in there. I even brought our bathing suits because there’s a pool!”

With that, we opened the trunk to put in our new books, and there looking back at us was our suitcase.
So very happily, Adam and I got into the car to drive to the hotel. It was extremely close by and we arrived precisely at 4. We got our keys and brought everything up to our room. The sunlight was so warm and glowing as it was setting right outside the window. And although it was certainly nothing luxurious, it was good enough for our little adventure. I think Adam was very happy with my little spontaneous secret one day get-away. And I was happy, too.

Our room was on the end of the second floor, which was great because the staircase outside led directly to our room for easy access. So off we went to find somewhere for an early dinner/very late lunch. Luckily, we only had to drive a bit down the road to reach a mall area, filled with all the normal chains. We ate at Applebee’s which was tasty. After that we went to Target to browse, then to Barnes and Noble, Pier 1, and Old Navy. Then we stopped at Walmart and picked up some snacks for later. It was great! I really love browsing and I have sort of a strange love for going to chain stores in different places while on vacation.

After a couple ours of eating and browsing, we headed back to the room for the night. We found out the the pool would be open until 11, so around 9 we got our suits on and headed down. We were lucky enough to have the pool to ourselves, which was really cute and fun and relaxing. After we had our fun we dried ourselves off and went to get snuggly for the night. As it happened, Office Space was on, and Adam had never seen it, so we watched it and laughed A LOT. I adore that movie. Especially when Michael Bolton beats up that printer with his bare hands. OMG.

It was a wonderfully romantic and cute little time in Amherst, and I was so happy that it all worked out so perfectly. Well, almost. the only bad part was our belgian waffle fiasco this morning, when we went to partake in our complimentary continetal breakfast and forgot to spray the waffle irons before pouring in our batter… leaving us to shamefully scrape away the contents of our charred breakfast while the hotel food Hitler told us, “You gotta spray ’em first!” So we made off to our room with some muffins and pastries and juice, with our heads hanging low.

Then we showered and packed up and made our way to a new adventure– Up to Deerfield to visit the Yankee Candle Village. Everything is so close and easy to find it was great. We arrived there around noon and it was already incredibly crowded. We made our way through the bast parts- like the sampler room where we smelled every candle, and the toy store section, and the Black Forrest area, and my personal favorite, the Bavarian Christmas Village with its huge indoor facades and medieval props. it was really fun just walking around, even with all the crazy people and children.

After our noses had enough, we left and made way down the road to the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. I had been there once a while back with Brittany and Kaitlyn and my Grandma, but hadn’t been back in a while. So I decided Adam had to experience the strangeness of being surrounded by thousands of little winged creatures that may or may not hand on any part of your body. I have to admit that it was a bit creepy and unsettling, even though they are so pretty. It’s just weird because they are so big, they’re bore like birds than insects. I was glad that none landed on me, but Adam didn’t get away so lucky, as one was sitting on his had for quite a while before we asked one of the butterfly ladies to brush it off him.

So we walked around and tried to take pictures of the ones that had lighted on leaves or feeders. Unfortunately it was impossible to capture the prettiest one, which is vibrant blue on it’s back and brown on its underside. This was probably the most abundant one there, but every time it landed it closed its wings so you could only see its brown underside.

As we were walking around, something familiar caught my eye. Nestled in among the greenery was the plaster butterfly sculpture that I had worked so long to help my former boss Maureen mosaic and grout while I was working at the art school. It was a project that she had started a couple years ago as a memorial for a friend’s daughter who had died so young from cancer. Magic Wings was one of her favorite places, so this was a befitting location for her sculpture. I was very happy to see that it had finally made it to it’s home among the butterflies. And even though I really only finished what Maureen had started, I was proud to have been the one to see it to completion.

When we saw all we wanted, we grabbed a bite from the food court and headed back home. On the way we stopped at a used book store to look around. We also wanted to stop at this really bizarre dinosaur fossil roadside attraction (the same one James Gurney himself had visited a few weeks ago), but is was closed! So instead we tried to peer over the fence to the unkempt backyard area where there were these goofy looking dinosaur statue things among all the overgrown and dilapidated yard.

So back in the car we went to continue back through the beautiful mountain area we were so sad to leave.
We got back to Manchester a bit before 4 this afternoon, at which point Adam had to head back to Scituate. I was more than sad to see him go, especially after such a fun and spontaneous and adventure. The weekends simply are not long enough.

Tonight I watched Under The Tuscan Sun, even though I had already seen it and was not impressed by it the first time. But I wanted to see more beautiful things. Someday I hope to be able to go see the beautiful places of the world. But I worry that I might get so swallowed up in the world’s beauty that I won’t survive the experience.

But amidst all the goofiness and cheesiness of this movie, there was a line that really spoke to me.
Katherine, a former Fellini actress, recalls the great advice once given her by the Italian filmmaker– Il Maestro, Federico Fellini:

“One must live life spherically, in all directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm and life will eventually fall into place.”

This lead me to seek actual quotes from Fellini, and I came across one which I particularly hold true.
“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion for life.”

I want to do so much and be so much and see so much sometimes that I get overwhelmed by the feeling of waiting. Waiting for life to start. Waiting for a job to come. Waiting for my time where I don’t have to limit my love to weekends. And I lose perspective, I lose patience.

But I am reassured. Because so long as I make the most of my time and live as much as I can by whatever means available, then my life is already passionately in progress.