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Ka-ching!

To update you all on the Do the Write Thing For Nashville auction, my item was sold for $150.  While no homes will be rebuilt on my contribution alone, the lovely ladies who organized the auctions have raised nearly $75,000 to benefit the Community Foundation in Nashville.

Bravo!  That is a hunk of change.  I’m blown away at people’s generosity and, while I’m jealous I didn’t get to have dinner with Miss Snark, I’m pleased as pickles that I was able to contribute something.

I’ll be busy this week (and the next few months) working on a proposal for a children’s book.  I have around a hundred or so pages that I need to sketch out so, needless to say, I shall be busy.  But it’s a good busy.

I’ll keep you updated!  There’s lots of exciting stuff coming down the pipe that I can’t talk about yet, (squints eyes suspiciously) but I will soon enough.

Bonus sketches:

Random people on Trax.

A sketch of my son while he was in the hospital.  I’ve found that sketches seem to have greater memory permanence than photos.  If I snap a picture, it could languish in iPhoto for years.  But if I sketch it, create a physical impression of a moment, it makes that memory more solid than any photo could.  I can still see his sad little face and pouty bottom lip as he struggled to play with Grandma’s iPod with one hand tangled with tubes.

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As promised my auction has appeared on the Do the Write Thing for Nashville website.

So, go and do the bidding thing! The auction closes in 3 days.

Also, massive kudos to my agent, Mary Kole, for raising buckets of money for the victims of floods.

A group of writers has organized a fantastic auction to benefit victims of the floods in Tennessee. There have been some AMAZING items posted including personal consultations with some of the best literary agents around. Even a signed one-sheet poster from the Twilight movie that still smelled like Robert Pattison went on the block the other day.

Well, tomorrow is my turn. I’ve offered a character design for the highest bidder. As part of that process, I’ve agreed to a phone consultation and will give all the rights to the image to the author so they can use the image in whatever way they wish.

I’m stoked to be helping out so get on over there and bid!

(The included picture has nothing to do with me.  I just like it.  And Starbucks has the most amazing carmel apple cider ever.)

I have a huge backlog of sketches waiting eagerly to be unleashed on the world. To keep myself blogging more often, I’ll be posting one or two a few times a week.  This one is from a morning commute on the FrontRunner train with a few faces from church sprinkled throughout.

Aside from landing the worlds bestest agent, I’m also neck-deep in a proposal for a large mural. I’m on a design team that was chosen as a finalist for  6×24 foot mural to be installed at a new branch of USU in Vernal, Utah. I can’t post any images yet, but let me tell you, it’s going to be awesome.

Biggish stuff

“Nobody succeeds beyond their wildest expectations unless they begin with some wild expectations.”  -Ralph Charell

Let’s ignore that the preceding quote was from a motivational speaker and pretend that it was, in fact, from some inspiring literary figure at the apex of their career.  Quoting from a guy who wrote “How I turn ordinary complaints into thousands of dollars: The diary of a tough customer” makes me feel slightly icky, but the quote is awesome.  Here’s a completely unrelated quote from Bill Watterson to cleanse your mental palate:

“God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die.”  -Bill Watterson via Calvin and Hobbes

Ah.  Better.  Any way, back to the idea of wild expectations.  Yesterday, one of my wild expectations came true.  I signed a representation agreement with a literary agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.  Uber-Agent Mary Kole, who is also the author of the super-awesome KidLit.com blog, is going to represent my children’s books.

For those of you who don’t know, this is a huge freaking deal.  HUGE.  Reasons for hugesness:

One: Mary is a newer agent who has a passion for graphic novels and art, which was obviously a big deal to me.  She’s still got the fire needed to work with authors and develop their ideas.  I’m calling her the LeBron James of kid lit; she has buckets of talent and years to perfect her craft.  I am extremely lucky to be working with her.

Two: Most superlatives fail to describe the reputation that Andrea Brown Lit. has earned in the past 20-something years.  In the world of children’s literature, there are few if any who compare.  I am massively stoked to be chosen as one of their clients.

Three: I now have an agent to represent my illustrations and children’s books.  The publishing world is a wacky place that is complicated and hard to get into.  This is the reason that agents exist.  Here’s how it is supposed to work:  I come up with cute/touching/brilliant ideas for books and Mary helps me develop those ideas into projects that publishers will hopefully be interested in buying.  I do the artist thingy and she then takes these projects to said publishers who will hopefully buy the books and get them on the shelves of bookstores near you.  Note: my books are not yet on the shelves of bookstores near you.  But they will be.

While none of this means that I can now quit my day job and move into a fancy home with a studio where I draw cute robots and make books for kids all day.  At least, not yet.  But it does mean that I now have a person who can get my work into the hands of publishers so that I can make the aforementioned dream of making books for kids all day become reality.

It might take some time.  It might be a wild expectation.  But it will happen.

So, what’s next?  Currently, I am working on a proposal for a children’s book that –according to me — is brilliant.  I can’t wait to finish it.  I’m one of those people who can fall madly in love with an idea.  And I’m head-over-heels for this book.

And I’m making a long list of wild expectations.

Something sketchy

This is the 19th sketchbook that I’ve filled in the past six years. My obsession with sketchbooks started with a small moleskine that I found in my mother’s craft closet and ever since I’ve had some kind of sketchbook as my constant companion.  And, yes, I am surprised that I’ve been able to fill up that many.  Unfortunately, I’ve lost several along the way.  I hope whoever found them is enjoying them.

There is no perfect sketchbook. I waiver between Moleskine watercolor sketchbooks and a newer brand called hand•book.  Neither is perfect. I can’t stand the landscape format of the Moleskine’s but the paper in the hand•book is kinda wonky.  It’s not unlike trying to find the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.  There’s the hint of a long-forgotten memory of the perfect marriage of cheese and toasted bread that we all have.  But every bite we take falls far short of that perfect and non-existent sandwich that is served up in our minds.

Also, I never fill up every page of a sketchbook.  Call it the force of habit or plain old superstition, but I just can’t bring myself to close a book completely.  Since my brother suddenly passed away  several years ago I’ve become afraid of finality.  And these little books seem like such an extension of myself that I can’t bring myself to fill the pages up to the brim.  If there’s still pages to be filled with ink, there’s still life to live.

In this sketchbook, I’ve tried some new things, combining ink and wax pencils on a nicely colored paper. Fun stuff.

Most of what you see is done on the commuter train to my work in Salt Lake City.

So,yea. I’m neglectful of my blog. But, I have bigger fish to fry.  Hear me? BIGGER fish.

Here’s another batch of random sketches. I post these to tide you all over for said bigger fish.