So you remember that lovely little children's book organization that I write about every now and then...? SCBWI, you know, that one. Every fall SCBWI announces a pretty neat contest run by Tomie DePaola. Last year I had a bunch of free time and entered a piece. This year, however, was just a wee bit busy with trips and jobs and all kinds of stuff, so though it was announced months and months ago back in September/October, I didn't have any time to tackle the project.
- "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott,
- "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, or
- "The Yearling" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
I felt terrible about missing out on an opportunity not only to create a piece of work in beautiful black and white, but also to put that piece of work in front of Tomie. I tried my best to put it out of my head... but I contemplated it in early October. I half-heartedly considered it later in the month. I spared it a passing thought in November. And in December, I finally decided to pass. I just didn't have any spare time.
Until the day of the deadline...
Andrea Offerman do an amazing demo, so with that in mind, I set to work.
When the contest was first announced, I realized that it had been years since I'd read Little Women, so I picked up a copy for my own pleasure.
One passage that I loved was something that Jo says to her sister, Margaret:
"I'd have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and I'd write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be as famous as Laurie's music. I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle-something heroic, or wonderful-that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream."
With less than four hours until the deadline, I sat down to work.
And at 5pm, I sent in my entry: