I am proud to be included in the display at Elting Library in New Paltz.
Last Friday, Elting Library hosted a reading of Tangled in Magic, and a preview reading of the second book of the Karakesh Chronicles, Guided by Magic. I gave a short talk about how I did the illustrations using carving blocks and tools.
Then I invited the audience to make art using stamps. My collection includes store-bought stamps and others that I carved myself.
Stamps lend themselves to multiple uses besides illustrations. I’ve used them to print stationery, cards, and logos. The trickiest part is remembering to reverse the image. The part that is carved out will be the color of the paper, and all lettering must run backward.
I remember reading about an artist—it might have been Degas—who wouldn’t let his dealer take away his paintings because he felt they weren’t finished. Not that my efforts can be compared to great artists, but—I get it.
Now that I’m editing and proofreading Guided By Magic, Book II of the Karakesh Chronicles, I keep finding bits that need changing. Either there are two of the same words too close together, or the object mentioned wouldn’t be used in that way, at that (mythical) time. Paper, for example. Old Erta, the metal crafter, would not have wrapped beeswax in paper, as paper was valuable and too scarce to use as wrapping.
And then there’s the voice of the main character, Miela. There are certain words, like “innumerable,” that she wouldn’t have used. So those must be replaced.
Some mistakes are so obvious that they are laughable, such as when the illustration shows a baby carriage, but the text refers to a baby basket.
As I go along, reading the story again—and again—I worry. What are we missing? It would be dreadful if the reader slams the book shut in disgust, because of a foolish, embarrassing error. I’ll admit that I’ve done that myself, especially if the grammar and mechanics are faulty. “What was the author thinking?” I ask myself. “Did the editor even read this?”
If you readers have similar reactions to these typos and errors, please weigh in with a comment. I’d like to know that I’m not alone!
Tangled in Magic is in good company at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck. It will be prominently featured for a month, so stop in, buy a copy, and have a look around this wonderful bookstore.
In the last week or two, I finished the linocuts for Guided by Magic, Book II of the Karakesh Chronicles.
If you’ve read Tangled in Magic, please leave a review on Amazon. And comments on this blog are welcome, too.
When: Friday, February 16 at 11:00 a.m.
(snow date 2/19/18)
Where: Children’s Area, Elting Library
93 Main St., New Paltz, NY
Who: Children ages 8 to 14, parents welcome
What you’ll get:
-a reading from Tangled in Magic.
-a sneak preview of Guided by Magic, Book II of the Karakesh Chronicles.
-answers to your questions about the writing and illustrating process.
-an art activity to take home.
Please register in advance at the library.
Find Kim at http://www.tangledmagic.blog, www.amazon.com/author/ellisk
on Facebook, and at http://www.handersenpublishing.com
Over thirty years ago, I tried to illustrate one of my own stories.
I had written a book about Max, a little boy who refused to take a bath.
In attempting to illustrate this story, I became increasingly frustrated at my lack of skill and knowledge of craft.
When I finished writing Book II of the Karakesh Chronicles (title: Guided by Magic), I pictured the kind of illustrations that would suit the mood of the story. I envisioned the look of a woodcut, because so much of the story takes place in mines and caves.
Tevin and Nichole Hansen, the generous editors of Handersen Publishing said, “Try it out.”
So I did. And the editors liked the result.
I never would have guessed that I would become a published writer and illustrator in my “golden years.” Somewhere in my subconscious, the desire kept simmering.
I am more and more convinced that “All thought creates form on some level.”*
What do you believe?
Author Cynthia Voight’s Dicey’s Song, and the Mister Max trilogy
Cynthia Voight won the 1983 Newbery Medal for Dicey’s Song. I read the whole book and, quite honestly, I can barely remember it. I do recall that Dicey brought her siblings safely to live with their grandmother. Each sibling has issues settling into his or her new life at home and in school. Their mother lies catatonic in a mental institution in Boston. Perhaps Voight’s depiction of Dicey’s struggles is what gained her the medal. Could it be that thirty-five years ago, learning disabilities and death were considered innovative topics in children’s literature?
I was much more intrigued by the Mister Max books: The Book of Lost Things, The Book of Secrets, and The Book of Kings. Here, the author cleverly leaves the big question– can Max locate and rescue his parents?—to be resolved only in the last book. So of course I had to read them all. The twists in the plot, and Max’s job as Solutioneer were entertaining. I was especially impressed by the quality illustrations from the hand of Iacopo Bruno. His use of perspective was amazing! I studied the pictures, wondering, “How does he do that?” I even googled Bruno, who lives in Milan, Italy. Check out his work at: