Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Picture Book Dream & Watercolor Art by Candy

For many of us aspiring authors, publication feels unattainable. The thought of seeing our work in print dangles before our faces, just out of reach. Agonizing torment. For some of us, the dream (or nightmare) has visited (plagued) our nighttime slumbers for decades.

My ultimate dream? To publish. Do I need to top the bestseller charts? Nah. If I could make one child smile and cherish my book, my dream would come true.

I've toyed with painting since my childhood. Oils and watercolors are my art of choice. I've never thought of myself as a painter, but sometimes, I actually produce something worthwhile. 

My first complete picture book, Little Acorn's Big Fall was first written in rhyme. After receiving kind rejections (and agonizing silence) for over 18 months, I decided to redraft the story in prose.

In the beginning, I struggled. Little A. was insistent upon rhyming his voice. I begged, pleaded, and agreed, that if he would show a little faith in me as a writer, I promised to be true to his story. So together, he and I reworked the story. We wrote and rewrote until both of us were satisfied that we'd stayed true to authenticity of his tale.

As I typed our prose, something magical happened. I began to visualize the art as the words appeared on the page. Abracadabra. Bibbity-bobbity-boo!

Here's our visualization for page 3:

Oh, if anyone is a grammar person, I've went back and forth with the last sentence on this page. "Only one in ten thousand acorns grows into a tree." I read it as the subject is "one" and the verb is "grows," or should it be "grow," I'm confused!! It looks funny the way it's written now.

If anyone knows of a publisher or agent hunting for author / illustrator combos, please leave me a comment! I have five on my list to research for now. Thank you!!


  1. Adorable, Candy!

    I'm sorry (and kind of surprised) the publishing world didn't want a children's book in rhyme. It's too bad. But this is charming.

  2. Thank you for your kind words, Petrea! I'm with you. Little A. always wanted to rhyme. It wasn't easy to un-rhyme the story. I appreciate you stopping by. :))

  3. That's such a lovely picture! You're very clever. And you're correct with "one grows" too.

    Also, I've given you an award :). You may very well already have it, or not want it, but I thought I'd let you know it's over at my blog.

  4. Thank you so much, CD!! I visited your blog earlier this morning. :))

    Thanks for your sweet comments about the artwork. I've had two people in the past week read my manuscript, and both have questioned "one in ten thousand acorns grows..." I agree with you! But the questioning makes me nervous.

  5. Your photo at top is GREAT! And little A looks amazing, too. I wish you luck in finding him a home, and yes, I think "grows" is correct ; )

    Thanks for visiting my blog! It's always fun to find other children's authors.

  6. Thanks for the visit and comments, Katie! I was touched by visiting your blog and website. I'm impressed by all your publishing experience. That's awesome!

  7. Hi Candy,

    I loved watercolour and oil (and actually acrylic) though I can't paint well. Your painting looks great!

  8. Love that tree guy's face. It's so happy!

  9. Thanks for the visit, Claudine! I've never tried acrylics. I dabbled with an art class at the junior college here in town. I'd love to take another one. But, to be honest, YouTube has some fantastic art videos!

    Catherine, I love that coming from you! You're such the great artist yourself!! Thank you, friend. I'm working on others. I did one last night I'm not sure about. I may post it soon.

  10. Candy, you've done a good job. The layout of the text is nice too. You can always do a bit of photo editing to clean up, if you like. I would advise investing in a program like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is best if you're a little hesitant about your skills. It's so easy and a whole lot more cost effective.

    Nice meeting another artist. I didn't know you had all of that in you. Of course, it's not like we really know each other in the first place. LoL!!

    But. I wish you so much success as you work through your projects. Keep at it!

  11. Thanks for your awesome, sweet comments! Nice to see you here, too. :)) I just visited your blog. Your interview (with your alter ego) is too funny! I love it!

  12. I think it's great. I hope you find a home for this story, soon. I would love to read it when it's done. Also, in your top paragraph, "Size does not matter, under your cap..." is a comma splice. You should have a period (or a semi-colon, but probably a period for children's lit) after the word "matter." Good luck with this, and thank you for sharing it.
    ~Regina. rys

    1. Hi, Regina! Thanks so much for your great comments about Little Acorn! Since this post, I've revised / edited again. LOL. The new text reads, "Size is not important. Buried under your cap is a special seed," Papa Oak said.

      What a great catch, can I keep you in my pocket while I'm drafting???

      Thanks for visiting my blog. :)