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I had the best of intentions for doing InkTober 2014 every day. But you know what they say about intentions.

Between back to back con appearances which ended the first week in October, a deadline for pencils due to the publisher, starting a new job and trying to spend time with my husband while he was on vacation (it was our anniversary part 2 as well.) I just was overwhelmed and didn’t get to doodling.

Here are a few InkTober 2014 catch up sketches.

Inktober 10-12-14

Inktober 10-12-14

Inktober 10-26 & 27-14

Inktober 10-26 & 27-14

It’s time to sign up for Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) over on Tara Lazar’s blog.

Take the pledge, sign up, come up with 30 incredible (or not so incredible) ideas, win prizes, get inspired. All that.


I’ve done Tara’s challenge a number of years. I forget how many, not all 6 though, but close. I’ve even been a guest blogger a few times. Because, you know, Tara is just that wonderful. I’m hoping that 2016 will see me posting in her blog as one of her success stories. I already have one book dummy from a PiBoIdMo idea seeking a home with agents. I’ve gotten personal comments and feedback on it and, FINGERS CROSSED, am hopeful that 2016 will be my year to announce it’s found a home. Plus, I have another PiBoIdMo book dummy in final revision stage which I’ll be shopping after the first of the year.

So don’t miss out. Head over to Tara’s blog, read the rules and sign up for your dose of daily inspiration. See you there!

What’s the matter with your book?

I’m talking front and back matter. We’ve all heard about it, but what is it really?

The front matter includes things like the title page, copyright page and the dedication page. Other things you might find in the front matter of a book are:

  • half title page
  • copyright acknowledgements
  • colophon
  • table of contents
  • foreword
  • preface
  • epigraph
  • prologue
  • other acknowledgements (may also appear in the back matter)
  • introduction

The back matter comes after the body of the story/book and is often optional. Things you might find in back matter of the book are:

  • epilogue
  • afterword
  • appendix
  • glossary
  • bibliography
  • index

Granted, the majority of the items on these lists never show up in children’s picture books, early readers or even lower level chapter books. In fact, in some recent picture books, the front matter has all been shoved onto a single page and placed on the end paper in the back of the book.

With the dawning of a whole new interest in the story-telling style of non-fiction books for young readers, back matter like a glossary, bibliography and indexes are more likely now than they were in the past.

Pick up some recently published children’s books and check for the front and back matter. What is included? What is excluded? Is it placed in the book where you expect it or is it someplace else?

What’s the matter with your book?

I got late start with my Inktober drawings. Family stuff and the last of 3 weekend conventions in a row. Brain went into overload and in my down time, I slept.

Back in the studio now. The last push for my pencil sketches for the book under contract are top priority. Their deadline is just around the corner. Luckily, I passed the halfway mark before the conventions and life stuff interrupted my carefully plotted schedule.

A week late to the Inktober challenge, but it still counts. It’s October and they are in ink. I’m using a Sharpie extra fine point. The bleed is pretty strong though, so getting a very fine line in the sketchbook isn’t happening. I may switch to a Copic marker later on, but speed was the determining factor this week.

Here’s my Inktober for the 7th and 8th. I’ve decided to work all the sketches with the same character face in mind. Not being very particular on the consistency but focusing more on just having some fun and warming up for my paying client work.

Inktober 10-7-14 Inktober 10-8-14

I’ll  be taking on new mentoring students as of October 20th. I have 2 openings left. Shoot me an email if you want to grab your spot before they are all filled.

It’s time, again for the book illustration promotional postcards quarterly mailing. Since it’s the end of summer, early fall season, my thought was a fair. The area county fair was last week. I’m not much for going out into crowds, so I’ve never been to the country fair even though it’s only about a 20 minute drive. I live vicariously through the photos in the weekly paper.

I do love the joy and excitement I remember from the annual summer visits to my grandparents’ homes. It was a treat to go to the boardwalk and the beach once a week. And the rides. Oh, my, what rides. I took my daughter back there when she was young, but the arcade and miles of boardwalk had diminished to one small block or so, and sadly, she was not impressed. The Six Flags park in a neighboring town was probably just too much competition.

I’m recreating my memories of the late summer fun in this quarter’s book illustration promotional postcards. Here is a sneak peek at what’s on the drafting table this morning.

Book illustration promotional postcards

WIP children’s book illustration postcard art

Book illustration promotional postcards

WIP children’s book illustration postcard art