Posts Tagged ‘writing and illustration children’s books’

Books Are Babies Too!

Filed under: On My Mind | September 10, 2014
photo 2

Strange little drawing of a book-baby.

We often hear writers and illustrators refer to their books as their babies, but after just recently having my second “real” baby, I can see that this is REALLY true!

 

For example…

How exciting! You’re pregnant! What will this little one be like? Dream. Dream. Dream. (Your idea incubates and grows in your heart and head).

Then one day it’s time… to struggle, to cry, to fight and labor to get it out! (Writing the first draft)

Finally she’s born! You are so happy, she’s perfect. You did it! Joy joy joy! (First draft is done!)

Then … comes the torture. You realize this isn’t so awesome. What were you thinking?! You’ve made a huge mistake. No sleep, no schedule, no life, and so many diaper changes! (You read it again, it stinks. Rework, rework and rework. Edit and edit after endless edit.)

Then one day…She smiles at you! (You see a glimmer of hope again in your manuscript.) It’s changed a lot. Oh yeah, this is why I went through all that. It might just be worth the pain. She really is pretty cute :)

Then you keep raising her as best as you can. And it takes a village to raise a child as they say. (Husband, friend, critique group, agent, editor… ).

You feel so unfit to do this job. But you keep going because it’s the task that’s been given to you. No one can be a better mom to this kid than you can. (No one can write your story but you.) So you keep going…. (Doubting your story, doubting your calling, you never knew how much work this would be! But you’ve put in too much to quit now.)

Some days will stink. (Rejections.) Some will bring you so much joy. (Requests!)

You’ll take her to story time and play group. You’ll introduce her to the guitar, let her try art lessons, or dance classes to help her figure out who she is. Turns out, she loves┬áto dance! Her dance instructor may see some real talent in her and even ask her to join the company. (An agent takes you on.)

You’ll always be her biggest fan :)

And hopefully…

She’ll grow up into a lovely person (a good book) because of your labor of love. Someone may even tell you that you’ve done a an outstanding job raising her. Maybe a great college or company wants your kid on their team and takes a chance on her (Your book gets published!)

And even though it was a tough journey and being published is awesome…

you’ll probably miss the days when your baby was little… (the process :)

 

 

-Shanda

 

While I was gone, I had a baby!

Filed under: Events,Growing Up Artsy,Shanda's Journey | September 5, 2014
Me and Beni

Me and Beni

If you saw me at the New York SCBWI conference or the Atlanta SCBWI conference, you might remember that I was expecting my second little one. I had lots of energy then, and I accomplished much on my “to do before the baby comes” list (including attending my first national SCBWI conference in NYC!) But soon after, I hit the wall… where it took ALL my energy just to do basic tasks like showering or tying shoes. Every woman who has ever been 8 months pregnant, knows this truth :) So for a while there, I couldn’t tie up the loose ends on my projects or submissions, because I was too distracted┬áto do my best work. I had to close my “book” (so to speak) to give this season of life all my attention…

And here she is… Beni Lois McCloskey! Named after her precious daddy (Ben) and his zealous grandmother (Lois).

photo 2

Beni Lois

Beni Lois

Beni Lois

A lot has changed adding a second child. Having 2 kids is pretty crazy! I still have pregnant brain, and have to write down things like when I bathed each kid last and if I took my vitamin yet. It’s like my short-term memory is struggling to function, but I hear that’s pretty normal… hopefully.

Our home also went through many changes leading up to Beni. My husband and I used to share an office/studio together upstairs, but we had to move our bedroom up there to make our old bedroom, Beni’s. My husband now rents an office outside of our home, and we squeezed out a little space in our living room for a studio for me. It’s tight, but good. Here are some photos of my new office…

Shanda's Studio

Shanda’s Studio (behind the couch)

 

Shanda's Studio

Shanda’s Studio

Dana Tanamachi print (frame made by my dad) hangs above the cradle (made by my Pop), in the living room near my desk.

Dana Tanamachi print (frame made by my dad) hangs above the cradle (made by my Pop), in the living room near my desk.

And here is Beni’s woodland room… (I was dead set on using lots of white for some reason :)

Beni's Room

Beni’s Room (Garland made by my cousin Audrey, the moss B made by my mother-in-law Barb, the table under the lamp was made by Ben’s grandmother Lois, the bookshelf was made by my grandfather Pop, and the painted furniture was painted by my mom!)

photo 1

photo 5

photo 3

I painted the flowers on the wood plank that my dad prepared above the mirror.

photo 2

My husband, Ben, trimmed our crepe myrtle and hung a branch!

photo 2

photo 1

photo 3

photo 4

photo 4

photo 2

photo 1

photo 5

photo 4

photo 3There you have it! Now I have 2 beautiful girls to inspire me! Hopefully, I’ll be posting new work again soon. I am working on it :)

Sisters!

Sisters!

Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author