Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Headstrong Chicken

I have a little more patience today for MyYoT (Year of Technology) Persevering through the AGITATION is what it takes to learn something new. An older person feels like Time is running away and we are stingy with using it up for learning something new, plus we feel a little silly that we don't already know it (but isn't that exactly how teenagers feel). The world has changed, I didn't change it,  it is what it is and I'm trying to keep up. The encouraging news is that I've already surpassed many friends and family (barring the young ones) and I've barely begun. Blows my mind when I watch my son watch four channels on his laptop. This is going to be great when the Olympics come. I'll be able to watch Fernando Gonzalez win at the Olympics! Before, all we got was beach volleyball. Don't have a problem with beach volleyball except that I can't find Fernando Win! So, I'm ready for the next Olympics - nothing but Tennis on the laptop ESPN.

I digress, this blog is about books, and today, this  little book I painted a few years ago plus  figuring out how to make it a nice design. The cover and claw is in the last blog, so we'll start from the next page.

My YoT, that's a start. Today, was able to upload a bunch of pages to the Insert Image and stuck it to the left. A breakthrough!

A word here about Janell Cannon. I think we could be BFFs. The problem is she's doesn't know me. But, we're the same age and she has cats and works in the library system. All me. She visited the book festival in Memphis, but we'd travelled with the whole family and Taylor had a cold and no one would go one more day so I could see the best illustrator and writer on the face of the earth. Alas, missed my chance to meet her. Janell, if you out there somewhere - please come to our library! Wow, glad to get that said. If Janell Cannon illustrated one of my books, I'd be famous by now. But fame is not what I seek; I actually don't want people to bug me, but what I desire above all is a BOOK! with my name written by it. But, I don't want it with my JunkArt drawings, we need to have someone talented convey my thinking.

If you can't read it - the kid here is screaming, "I want a chicken!" Myrtle looks in the rear-view mirror at her beguiled son."
     Looking at this with a fresh eye, the word beguiled probably doesn't appear much in a kid's book and if I had a famous-fabulous expensive Editor, they'd probably take it out. But why not use a great word and maybe teach some kid it. There aren't that many words on the page to begin with, so why not use a good one. 

Any resemblance to this blond, round-headed, cute kid in my books to Taylor is strictly coincidental.

"No Chicken!" says mom. Caterwauling ensures.

Very cool - just learned how to put in a caption. This helps in not re-translating unreadable wording on the page. This is some random cute big-headed blond kid caterwauling in the back seat with incessant whining for things! There's no mother on the face of the earth who hasn't endured this. It doesn't matter what their screaming about - they want it and they want it now!
After 5,000 forget-about-it, NO WAY! responses from this mother, she wants the kid to love her, so she appeases him.

"Oh, Okay, there's no harm in looking."

As we know, there is always harm in looking. Just look for a new puppy at the pound and see what happens. I'm not a great illustrator, nor even a good painter or drawer (one who puts pencil to page and not bureau), but I wanted to convey that this guy  is Pining Away (name of another JunkArt book I'm working on about depression at Christmas) and living in squalor. Squalor is such a great word! It sounds exactly what is. And Squalid, no one uses any more, but we should, another great word. I read with a pencil in my hand (see pencil fetish, earlier post) and circle all the words to enjoy. Someone I worked with at the Berry Company borrowed one of my books and he called me simple-minded because he thought I didn't know any of those words circled. Not simple minded, simplistic minded Naieva, circling words to rediscover them. I pulled my glasses at the end of my nose and gave him the "are you for real" look. Last time I loaned him my precious books.

The mother in this book is adventurous, willing to check things out, and is completely accommodating to her son. Any resemblance to me and this mother is strictly coincidental as well. 

Love these old crusty Curmudgeon. LOVE that word, especially. In 1993, I met Cleveland Amory, the author of "The Cat and the Curmudgeon."  Besides that great book, he was an actor. He WAS a curmudgeon and so funny. It was a cold nasty day in Nashville and the attendant wanted him to sit outside to sign his books. He gave her the slide the glasses at the end of the nose stare and said, "no, I don't think I will do that." The poor little attendant was all in a flutter because she had to get the next session in the room. It was curious to see how it would all play out. He wasn't budging and she was ready to cry. Luckily a cooler head in the crowd said, "let's just sign in the hallway at those tables." So, he was the only one to sign out in the hallway, and luckily I had the good sense to get a book signed. Sad to say, he died shortly after of a heart attack I think. Curmudgeons are known to take care of themselves well. The thing about curmudgeons is that they are lovable souls. The crusty cranky part is all a front because underneath is a marshmallow center who pretends to hate kids and cats but actually loves them. Look at how he takes in that white cat. The autograph is signed to me and Memphis. Memphis was the love of my life - can't even start to discuss him, that's how much I loved that cat. There's going to have to be a JunkArt book there, but it hurts as much as the Pining Away book to write it. I'd rather write goofy or funny; it's easier, but just as funny creeps in when you're sad, sad creeps in when you're laughing.

In any case, this curmudgeon lives in squalor, they have to risk getting gang-green or something to just get in the backyard to even see the chickens. There are a few scary places like this in Tennessee. I keep walking into them, anyway. I mean this mother continues to walk through all this rusty stuff to see the chickens.
Unless they fall over some muddled treasures.

"I love them all! coos mom. "That's $2,804 dollars in cash demands the curmudgeon."

I took out the word curmudgeon and put in man, but looking at it again, it should be curmudgeon. "Hello, kids, how about using a bigger word!" It can be the word of the day. The mother coos but that word doesn't seem right. Coo is a great word sounds like doves from which it derives, but perhaps its coes instead of coos or maybe it's an apostrophe deal coo's. In all cases don't like the looks of it. Cooing is nice, however. She's pretty much is purring, but cats purr and these are chickens. (My YoT - just discovered the spell checker and coes and coo's isn't correct. Who are the spell-gods though?)

Well, of course no kid wants to buy the sweet thing that the mother chooses; kids are true being of their own and choose for themselves and this kid is no exception. Rather than the sweet little cooing things, he chooses the Headstrong Chicken (see former description in last blog).

"There's the one! Marco points. Surely, he's kidding, because that's a scavenger escaping over a rusty fence. That chicken is a yellow-eyed, tick-filled, mangy, four-Adam's apple'd beast with an unusual sinus condition.
"Sold!" the curmudgeon snatches Myrtle's twenty and doesn't give change.
Not loving the kid's name - may change it. I like the mother's name. The chicken's name may eventually be Murcus or Mucus, so then this kid's name should be Marcos (like in Marcos Baghdadits - will get spelling). There you go, corrected the name right here. Marcos and Mucus! :)

Here's the autograph and book. Love it.
Things are squirreling around right now, getting tired of clicking, will learn more Tech tomorrow. 
Sorry this curmudgeon is no longer with us. But, life is short and how much longer to I get to be Naieva Bookist? Only, God knows. Peace Out!

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