October 28, 2009

Sneek Peek at The Soggy Town of Hilltop

I’m still working on a web site, flash games, promotion material for my books and a new rhyming picture book, all which are in various stages of completion. But I should have something to show for it by next month. I’m glad we’re gaining an hour due to Daylight Savings Time, because I could use it!

I did see some illustrations from The Soggy Town of Hilltop and I’m very happy with them. Eugene Ruble is the illustrator for this book and I think he did an excellent job. Eugene was an illustrator for the Voltron cartoon series for those of you old enough to remember it. Now Eugene is one of the talented artists at Guardian Angel Publishing(GAP). He is also doing the illustrations for my counting book titled, Lightning Strikes, that GAP is publishing. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.

On a side note, I am old enough to remember Voltron. Unfortunately, what I remember most about Voltron is my attempt at assembling a three foot tall replica of the robot that my mother bought for my nephew. Enlisting the help of my sister and brother-in-law, we managed to put this thing together, but it did take most of Christmas morning to do it. My nephew was about two years old at the time, and could have cared less about Voltron. He proceeded to play with the box it came in. The box was quite a hit.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here is a sneak peek at The Soggy Town of Hilltop. This book is scheduled to be released in January 2010.

October 7, 2009

Prose vs. Rhyme

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything new. So I’ve taken a short break from creating online games and websites, and have been trying to get back to basics. I’ve framed out the idea for a new picture book, but now I’m left with one nagging question. Should it be in prose or rhyme?

I’m leaning towards rhyme for no particular reason other than it seems to be the best way for me to tell the story. It also means that I’ve picked the most difficult route to travel. To write a rhyming picture book, I still need all the elements of a story, I need a clear beginning middle and end; a strong plot, a likeable character, maybe a villain or two, some sort of conflict, and a good, believable resolution of the conflict, all while paying attention to rhyme and meter.

I’ve heard it said that a story shouldn’t be told in rhyme unless it absolutely has to, but I’m not exactly sure what that means. What’s the method for determining whether a story should rhyme or not? All of Dr. Seuss’s work could have been written in prose, but it wouldn’t have been the same. I think it’s just a plain judgment call.

I know why people say this though. Writing a story in rhyme is hard to do well. I’m sure that many otherwise promising stories have been sunk by faulty rhyme or meter, or that they were missing a necessary element of a true story.

I actually started writing this story in prose, and then I wrote another rhyming version. I like the rhyming version better. It has a certain character that the other version doesn’t. So for this reason alone I am taking the more difficult route. I don’t know where this will take me. Hopefully, I’ll wind up with a completed, polished piece. But I could also wind up with an unfinished, abandoned piece, which has unfixable problems.

A challenge…sure. But I’m not intimidated by a challenge. A rhymer it is.