Josephine's Dream Reading

Josephine's Dream Reading
Trying to look like Josephine Baker - and failing miserably!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Conquering the Beast

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Expanded Horizons

Remember the times when I said things like 'follow your dreams,' and a variety of other encouraging words? Well, I finally took my own advice. For years I've been saying, "I was born to do cartoon voices," and "one day I'll take a course." Well, yesterday I took the plunge. I spent ALL DAY, along with eight other students, at a workshop where we learned about the voice over business and how to read both animation and advertising scripts. It was wonderful. The best part was when all nine of us went into the recording studio and read an old animation script. It felt so good, and we sounded even better. I'm hooked. But the experience inspired me in another way too. I'd now like to write animation scripts!
In the meantime I plan to follow the instructor's advice and watch/listen to t.v. cartoons and t.v. commercials very closely, work on my own best voices and finally make a cd to shop around. If I can get work in the animation world there could be an extra advantage. My son doesn't listen to me when he's watching cartoons - but what if I got a job IN one of those cartoons? Better still, what if I also wrote the scripts? Are you ahead of me yet? I could nag him and he wouldn't even realize it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Variety in Reading is the Spice of Writing

I finished reading 'The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush,' by S. Jones Rogan. It was one of those stories where you want to know what happens in the end, yet you don't want it to end. A rollicking adventure with lots of humour thrown in for good measure. Whenever I opened the book I entered another world - a world I liked a lot, and want to visit again. I eagerly await the sequel so I can pack my bags and return to Ramble-on-the-Water and Porthleven.
So now I'm reading 'The Higher Power of Lucky,' by Susan Patron. Suitable for readers aged 9-11 (and obviously, 62) I bought this book because a) I read a good review of it somewhere b) it won the Newbery medal and, perhaps most important of all, c) some school librarians in the U.S. have tried to ban it, because it mentions - on the first page - a dog's scrotum. Some people believe that mention of scrotums in a children's book could have a negative influence on the young. They might have bad dreams, or worse! What if the child asked a parent or teacher or a member of the library staff, "What does this word mean?"
Actually I think it's great when children ask that question while reading a book. It's the perfect opportunity to say, "Why don't we check the dictionary, and see what it says?" That is one of the great things about reading. You ask questions. Sometimes you even ask them of yourself.
So for all these reasons I'm reading 'The Higher Power of Lucky,' and even though it might not be the type of book I would write (I can't say that for sure, however) I'm enjoying reading it very much. For one thing it's well written. I get the distinct feeling that every word in the book is just the right one, and no other word would do quite as well.
The heroine, Lucky, is a delightful character. In fact all the characters - including the dog - that I've met so far are people -and dog - I want to know more about. Susan Patron reveals her characters through the things they say and do, and shows us the landscape and climate by describing how it makes her characters feel or behave. And what I like even more about both Rogan's book and Patron's book, is that they are different from each other. You'll learn a lot about writing, about telling a story, by reading books that are different from each other.
Now that's spicy.