Saturday, May 17, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
My twin brother, Paul, and I were the hosts of our hometown spelling bee in Chelmsford, MA. Also known locally as "Chemzfid." It was a joy to be back in our hometown. We grew up there - from 1st grade to 12th. Old Skip's Ice cream and Lounge which crouches on Route 110, we learned tonight, was slated to be demolished to make way for a strip mall. Sigh.
ANYWAY.... the night was a grand success - raising much-needed funds for school kids in Chelmsford. (What a world it would be if public schools funded the "investment" in our future properly and saved us all from school fundraisers!)
ANYWAY..... We rattled off a bunch of words for the teams at the Bee. One of the words caught my ear. Fun to say and the meaning, as it turns out, quite ishfully resonates with me.
"Idioglossia refers to an idiosyncratic language, one invented and spoken by only one or a very few people. Most often, idioglossia refers to the private languages of young children, especially twins. It is also known as cryptophasia, and commonly referred to as twin talk or twin speech.
Children who are exposed to multiple languages from birth are also inclined to create idioglossias, but these languages usually disappear at a relatively early age, giving way to use of one or both of the languages introduced."
Cool. Twin speech. Language-ish.
What if we allowed children to keep developing "private languages?"
Would they perhaps better understand the mysteries of the universe? Would they know a vocabulary into a better future. A future which demands delicate nuance and sensitive prose?
We have, as a society, managed to do one thing QUITE well - to trample on the originality.
I'll end for tonight with that word: Idioglossia. It is fun to say, and I like the general notion of it, but it worries me that it sounds like "idiot" as if to say that freedom of thought and expression might result in the diagnose of brain mis-function.
Monday, May 5, 2008
The "companion book" to our NY Times Best Selling "Someday" is now on the shelves. Alison McGhee wrote it and I inked and watercolored it. These images are some of the ideas for the cover of the book. The one on the lower left was the direction we went. I like all these images. Especially the "wild and crazy boy" image!
I'm busy working with Marlo Thomas and Carole Hart on the 35th anniversary edition of Free to Be! Quite an honor. The book is a classic with messages as important and powerful as the day it was published. My team at FableVision is helping me craft the book - building on the work done by Running Press. Samantha Oliver is our new art director. She is incredibly talented and a delight to work with - as is Erika Welch, our FV producer on the project. Here is the cover I inked and watercolored.
I've started jotting a few notes before I drift off to sleep to get me reviewing how much progress I made on my creative projects. I have several book contracts currently - yet another Judy Moody book, a book about a goat named Huck, my collaboration with Jess Brallier called "Tess's Tree." But I also have loads of stories in progress... and loads of ideas that have come to me as I go through my days. I have roughly estimated that I have 300 stories in my "vault." I realized that if I don't start speeding up the process that I'll never finish before I go to that Great Creativity Camp in the Sky.