I've spent part of this afternoon on my back porch, having lemonade with picture book author Nancy Gow. Nancy is the author of Ten Big Toes and a Prince's Nose, which recently made the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens 2011 list.
Nancy came over to interview me for the CANSCAIP newsletter -- she wants to write a profile about how I do all the things I do (I told her all my secrets!!). Over lemonade, we also compared notes on the pleasures and challenges of the writing life. For Nancy, writing has meant "following her bliss," but she also admits it can be hard work to find just the right words to tell her rhyming stories.
I have to admit I was checking out Nancy's feet and toes under our wrought iron table! That's because the princess in Ten Big Toes and a Prince's Nose has unusually large feet -- but Nancy's are quite normal-sized. She told me she got the inspiration for her book when she was just falling asleep one day. The rhyme scheme and the refrain actually came to her -- and all she had to do was write it all down. Cool, no?
My students know I'm also a great believer in using the dream and pre-dream or post-dream state for creative work. So when you begin to doze off tonight, keep your pen and notepad handy. Speaking of which: Lala Salama (that's Swahili for sleep well)!