BY ANNE BELOV
October 7, 2015
Is it a bad thing to admit that I was just reminded that I had a post due and that it was due…um…tonight? Do I need to make some Fall Resolutions to recommit to my previously organized ways?
Maybe it’s wrong to admit this here, and maybe it isn’t, but one of the current facts of my life is that it is cut up into about 600 Little. Tiny. Pieces. I think it’s safe to say that many people are in the same predicament, so maybe flopping the elephant in the room into the middle of the dining room table is a good thing.
The facts are as follows:
1. My aging mother needed to be moved permanently into a nursing home all the way across the country, due to a fall and a broken leg. This included a whirlwind eight-day trip to the east coast to effect the move, sorting and disposing of decades worth of possessions.
2. I have both a new (to me—huzzah) gallery that wants to show my fine art work, as well as my faithful island representative, The Rob Schouten Gallery, for whom to create, prepare, and deliver work (in a timely manner and with all documentation in order.)
3. I need to finish compiling the cartoons for my anxiously awaited (by my six fans) new Panda Chronicles collection, “We R Endangered,” as well as do all the formatting, proofing and a bunch of other things that I haven’t quite gotten to yet. Not to mention, keeping my weekly posts of new cartoons done on schedule.
4. Two different groups of dear friends came to visit the island in September, and of course I wanted to visit with them and play Island Tour Guide, because it’s fun to see the place you live through new eyes, and plus, FUN!
5. A whole bunch of other piddly stuff that is too numerous and too tedious to mention. Many of them involve house and yard work.
And the big thing is number six: I had been accepted into a mentorship program through the Nevada chapter of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. This six-month long program pairs the pre-published (in traditional publishing), the genre changing, or the I just need to give my writing/illustrating a kick in the ass writer/illustrator, with a professional who is currently working in the publishing industry. Each mentor has two, or at the most three mentees to advise.
Last weekend in Reno, Nevada, we met with our mentors for the first time, outlined the work that they felt our Works in Progress might need to be ready to send out on submission. I will be working on a graphic novel, doing both the writing and the illustrating. It needs to be double in length (at least) from where it is now. I’m considering major stylistic changes, as well as changing the narrator point of view. I have the other writers in the program to cheer me on, read my WiP and kick me in the butt when I need kicking, as well as my individual mentor cracking discreet whips in the background.
As a freshman art student, I had a professor who shared these words of wisdom with us, his freshman design class, usually right before he gave us some huge, time-consuming assignment:
“If you want something done,
give it to the busy person.“
I feel quite certain that I am a busy person. I am also pretty sure that I am up to the challenge set forth by my mentor. Keeping all these balls in the air will not be easy, but there is something about the beginning of fall that makes all things seem possible. The clear skies and bright colors of autumn feel more like renewal to me than it does like the dying of the year. The crisp days and cool nights tell me it’s time to go back to school, to learn new things.
I am learning new things, keeping the balls in the air and loving every minute of it.
Somewhere, my old art professor is smiling.
Anne Belov is a painter, printmaker, cartoonist, and blogger. She is working on a middle grade graphic novel through the SCBWI-Nevada mentor program. Her paintings can be seen at the Rob Schouten Gallery in Greenbank, and at the Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle. Besides writing for WLM, she publishes new cartoons on her blog, The Panda Chronicles, twice weekly.
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