PPBF: The Giant Seed

This post is dedicated to all those affected by the High Park Fire: seeds of hope
Author/Illustrator: Arthur Geisert
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books, 2012 (originally published in France under La Grosse Graine by Editions Autrement, 2010)
Genre: wordless fiction;  note the interesting size: 10 1/4″ x 6″
Themes: pigs, seeds, volcanoes, islands, dandelions, displacement
Age Level: 4-8
Synopsis: In this new episode of Geisert’s pig stories (yes, that was the cue to read the others) a seed drifts into the community, is planted, nurtured and enjoyed by all. The threat of a  volcano eruption has them scrambling to safety, and I’ll let you guess how their escape is provided – or you can drift over to your local bookstore tomorrow to participate in Kelly Sonnack’s annual Save the Bookstore’s 2012 Event
Why I like this book: Geisert’s ability to imbue action and adventure in a wordless picture book with really cool photogravure illustrations is magical! (From Wikipedia: Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking or photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph.)
Resource/Activity:  Good explanation for wind dispersal of seeds; Craft ideas: Printmaking for Kids; makeandtakes.com: home-made volcanoes
For more posts on Perfect Picture Books and resources visit Susanna Hill’s blog every Friday
And now to Day Nine: Jeff Goins tells us another habit of great writers is to connect with other writers. Then I must be in a great group of great writers already! For more info visit Julie Hedlund’s site for more info on the 12x12in’12 Challlenge.

Day Seven: Beauty in the Beast

Where did Day Six go? It was stolen. Jeff Goins, aka Fagin, sent fellow 15HoGW challenge participants out to pick a pocket or two. Nothing new to me as a visual artist: learned by copying, at first unconsciously, then as my skills grew from the crayon stages I looked for great work to emulate. Finally in college a fellow student had copied my work, and it allowed me to believe I had arrived: I had skills and ideas worth emulating!

On to Day Seven: Goin’s advice is to make it ugly first because beauty comes from chaos. I get it. I had recently read the writing advice from Maureen Johnson: “Let me let you in on a little secret. When you are learning to write, you are going to suck. You are going to suck a lot. You’re just going to keep sucking for a while, and feel like you’re sucking, and actually that’s a sign that you’re completely on the right path. (…)” Read more (worth it).

Because of the raging local fire I witness beauty in the beast daily, and was inspired to create.

Day Five: Ship, Tweak and Bon Voyage

The break Jeff Goins gave us at the weekend really was a break.

So I messed up. Means I’m an eager participant right! Got my coffee, got writer’s ‘mojo’ and Eurocup eurythmia – no wonder I tripped!

Back from the break we are asked not to procrastinate but to prepare: ship and tweak. Send work out into the world, let the critique wash over and tweak and revise. Then ship it out again!

I’m there, I send out work to my online crtique group, just started a face-to-face crit-group in town (by the way ladies, the lightning we witnessed at the close last week may have caused the High Park fire, now covering 20,000 acres with one confirmed missing (more later)), and I also send work to Rate Your Story, for a free manuscript rating.

And I’ve been lucky with the opportunity to have published authors read a few pieces and share their advice. Recently I made an exchange:  a logo design for a manuscript read-through by author Natasha Wing: her ‘on-the-side’ business venture: bumcicles

Then I tweak, revise and throw it out into the world again. Goins is right – I should ship it out next time – it has a more respectful ring to it! And without a real ship the bottle of champagne is mine!