Jennifer L. Hotes and I spent a fun afternoon at Ardmore School with Girl Scout Troop 46260 talking about character description. The girls each brainstormed a unique character and challenged a friend to illustrate based on their descriptions. What do you remember about Angus? What does he look like? What does he love to do after school? What does he think is an inventor's most important tool? Do you know the answers to these questions? Extra credit if you can guess how many hours Mrs. Hotes spent painting Angus's feet on the front cover until they were just perfect.
Angus and Ivy have been plaguing me this week. I've been scribbling diligently for the past five days working on the second book in my Inventor-in-Training series. Angus has landed in a strange new world and I am so looking forward to sharing it with my readers. But the naughty twosome has not been playing nicely. I had planned how book two was going to progress. Organized, plotted, great stuff. I had worked out all the challenges they would face and how they would overcome them. But if you know Angus and Ivy at all, you know that they are willful children who do exactly as they please. They will not listen to the wisdom of their elders (me) and they are fouling everything up! If only they would behave like nice, well-mannered kids.
In a flash of frustration, a burning need to get away from the two of them, I peeked in to visit my good friend and illustrator Jennifer L. Hotes at her blog. In her recent post "Why I Read Books S-L-O-W-L-Y" she wrote:
Darroch captures the spirit of everyone’s favorite nephew in Angus Clark. He dares to dream, then duct tapes the parts together until something sizzles and pops. He’s the boy we love having over to our house to play with our children, but then need a long pull on the wine bottle after the door shuts behind him.
And that's just it. I do love having Angus come play but because he lives in my head I won't be able to "shut the door behind him" any time soon. If he was any other type of child he would never have wound up in his current predicament. Why do I think he's suddenly going to start doing what I tell him? Guess I'll just have to trust him to clean up the lovely mess he made today.
My wonderful illustrator Jennifer L. Hotes and I spent a fun-filled morning at Chestnut Hill Academy talking about writing, painting, and pirates. After listening to a chapter excerpt, the kids broke into author-illustrator pairs and worked on their own stories. I’m looking forward to reading their tales and seeing their illustrations. What a great bunch of smart, creative kids!