Own Authorship

Dear J-

Not sure if you’ve moved on to reading books at night (what lover of books would not?) but I’ve taken it as a chance to pick up all the authors that have emerged between say 1985 and now. There are many new, very talented artist-authors such as Mo Willems and Oliver Jeffers; there are some that I maybe should have read before like Patricia Polacco; and of course there are new books by old favorites like Maurice Sendak (Brundibar is transcendent). In other cases there are new classics (Trivizas and Oxenbury, collaborating on The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig), but today I want to talk about Kevin Henkes and LIly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Terse synopsis: kid misbehaves, gets punished, resents discipliner, learns lesson.

I’m only talking about this because of a single line in the book, which goes: today was a difficult day; tomorrow will be better. For me yesterday was difficult at work but I have today to look forward to and make amends/fix my issues/whatever instead. The key to the book, though, was when Lily realizes it’s her misbehavior that is at the root, and once you get over the resentment of the punishment, you learn, change what you’re doing, and move on with your life. I’m okay with criticism, especially when it’s warranted. I just don’t have the courage to ask enough questions, I suppose, to make sure I’m moving in the right direction, or that I know what the expected outcome is and when.

There is only so much I can learn from google, wikipedia and passive examination of past work; if I’m going to be attacking new problems or taking on new methodologies I need to understand what they’re looking for. Communication being a two-way street, if I don’t understand I need to. Right? Simple. If it’s asking questions verbally or via email, so be it: the old adage of better to remain silent and appear a fool than open your mouth and confirm it doesn’t apply here. If I don’t understand what you need, it’s up to me to find out. I am not so willingly obtuse but I don’t always know best, or most, and I certainly can’t read minds (now that would be a handy trick) so this is the best way, isn’t it?

Mike

PS: TODAY will be better.

PPS: It was!

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