I spent this morning with Anne-Sophie Tilly, a smart dynamic publisher with Cheneliere, an educational publisher here in Montreal.
For Anne-Sophie's newest project, she needs simple but fun and clever stories for elementary aged students who are learning English. So I decided to give it a go! Not because I don't have plenty of other work to do, but because I thought it would be FUN and also CHALLENGING. (I put those words in capitals because they are two of my favourite words.) Most people think that writing for small children is easy, but I know it isn't. Every word counts. Also, you have to enter the world of small children -- which is especially challenging when you're a grownup.
So I did some tinkering. That means I played and worked and came up with two stories. And the exciting news is that Anne-Sophie likes them and even has suggestions to make them better.
We started our meeting over coffee, then moved on to lunch at the Jean-Talon Market here in Montreal. Towards the end of lunch, Anne-Sophie talked about her own interest in writing and drawing. She said something that I thought was really beautiful -- and you know me, I grabbed my napkin and pen, and asked Anne-Sophie if I could write it down (she said yes). So here's what it was: "I haven't found my voice yet in my drawings." What I like so much about this line is people are always talking about finding their voice in their writing, but it is a surprising thing to think that artists who draw or paint need to find their voices too. Anyway, Anne-Sophie's saying that made me happy. Maybe because it reminded me of conversations I had long ago with my opa (the Dutch word for grandfather) who was an artist too.
So here's to finding our voices -- in words, in images... or in a simple conversation!