Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tales of Sydney

The first Sydneys are in. Below you will find the first two interpretations of my picture book story character, Sydney. Each unique and beautiful, and very different. I’m beginning to understand the tough challenge an editor has in matching an illustrator to a picture book story.

Many thanks to both Alexandra Browne in the UK and Karin Johnson Alderson here in the Pacific NW.
Enjoy, and feel free to let me know if you’re inspired to draw and submit your own Sydney.

(All images and texts are copyright of the original artists and may not be reproduced without express permission. Thank you for playing by the rules)

Meet Sydney

Look, up on my shoulder. That is Sydney, my cat.
He can be any size he wants.
Today, he is small, because he knocked over mom’s plant.
Usually he’s blue with grey stripes.
Sometimes he likes to be purple, just for fun.
We play together, all day, every day.
We never play checkers anymore, because we always end up in a fight.
Karin Johnson Alderson (2012)

And in Monopoly, Sydney can’t be the banker. He gives himself extra money when he thinks I am not looking, and bats the dice under the sofa.
I taught him chess myself. It was really hard.
Sydney says he would rather dance the queen across the board than play by the rules.
I know … Sydney cheats at just about every game we play.
But when there is nobody else to play with, he is there.
When we go out, Sydney slips into my denim jacket pocket.
He sticks his little head out and sniffs the air.
I have to try to keep him out of mischief.
Sydney likes to make a mess.
And then I have to clean it up.
Mom does not like mess all over the floor.
Mom says Sydney can’t take baths with me anymore.
He likes to dive off the cold-water faucet and usually water goes all over the floor.
Just last week he told me to make waves so he could go surfing with the bar of soap. He looked like a real surfer too.

(Alexandra Browne 2012)

Sydney helps me fall asleep at night, after I tuck him in good and tight so he can’t run off.
He keeps bad dreams away.
Mom says, “It’s okay.”
Dad just shakes his head and goes back to reading the paper.
Only I know Sydney is real.
He is my best little cat friend …
For always and ever.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Patience is a virtue and I certainly do feel virtuous waiting for my publisher to get back to me on a contract for further Fountain Pen stories, among others, but I can’t help wonder if we would embrace patience with a little more zest if it were a vice.

Patience as it stands does very little for me. It’s just a fancy word for waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more. Mind you, I’m not being idle while I wait, patiently, but it’s always there in the back of my mind. Patience.

If somehow we could sell patience as a vice, would that mean people would eagerly and happily wait for the phone to ring or the next text message announcing a contract, a new lover or new job?

Perhaps in an alternate universe. I just don’t see it happening in this one ... no matter how patiently I wait for it.

Enough silly ramblings... back to work!