Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Outside the Lines

A few years back someone handed me this poem and said- this made me think of you. The poem was about being different. Not fitting in. How lonely and yet liberating it can be at the same time. She was right. I've always been different. I've looked at the world from a different view than most of the people around me. Not so easy when you are a kid but it fits now that I'm an adult. This poem called "Coloring" inspired me to write and illustrate a book about growing up and not quite fitting in. The title of my book is "Outside the Lines". Writing a book is alot like being pregnant for the first time, and going through editing and rewrites is alot like childbirth. The hardest part of wirting the book for me was letting my publisher (Smiling Stone Soup) take the "protoype" copy and show it to bookstore owners. What if they didn't like it? What if...What if...What if...I cried. I felt like I did when my oldest daughter left home for college. I was glad to see her spread her wings and fly. I knew she could do it because of the foundation we laid for her but still... letting go isn't easy. So now my book is 'out there' and people like it. Borders ordered copies of it to sell this fall.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I talk with my hands...

I teach art classes to young people here at the studio. This fall I have had a girl who is deaf taking classes. Auna reads lips very well so her mother thought it shouldn't be a problem. Mom hung around during class just in case Auna needed an interpreter. So, I have had to learn a different way to teach- I don't know sign language. We were getting along very well- I spoke distinctly so Auna could read my lips- but then as she got more into the project and I got more into the flow of teaching I started "talking" with my hands. What can I say? (interject a shrug of the shoulders and hand out palms up) I'm Italian! Poor Auna. She didn't know if she should read my lips or watch my hands. Finally Mom came in and helped us get back on track. Auna is teaching me a few words and phrases in sign. So far my favorite is "way cool".