Last night, I finally read the last essay in Ways of Seeing (by John Berger), finished Meet Mameshiba, and worked through Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (by Adam Rex) at about 2 AM. 🙂 I figure that if I’m interested in writing and illustrating kids’ books, it would be good to see what’s out there.
I really have to recommend Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. It’s about monsters and food, and poetry. (The front cover seems to contain a marketing in-joke.) In my library, it’s actually in the poetry part of the kids’ nonfiction section. This book caught my eye a long time ago, but I was too shy to check it out. The humor in it, though, is kind of universal. I think that if I were a parent reading this book to my kids, I would probably have a good time with it, too.
Meet Mameshiba is cute, but there wasn’t much of it that really lasted in my memory. The concept is clever — Mameshiba are bean/dogs, as their name implies. I still found this one to push the limits of my attention span, though. Apparently, there are more books in the series, and then I keep seeing some information about animations. They might be worth checking out at the library, at least, even if you’re actually a thirty-something who was into Sanrio at the height of its popularity.
Ways of Seeing is a book to check out if you’re into art history, viewed from socialist, feminist, and other left-wing viewpoints that challenge the status quo (or did, in the 1970’s, though on the whole in my country, socialist viewpoints [and left of that] have been historically politically suppressed, so some of the critiques are still valid. However, a good dose of Second Wave Feminist viewpoints live among the pages…we’re on the Third or Fourth Wave [depending on who you talk to], now). I picked it up because I saw a direct comparison of Titian’s Venus of Urbino as versus Manet’s Olympia when I opened the book to a random page. (I just did a quick lookup; this method of divination — opening a book to a random page and seeing if it strikes any chords with one — is apparently called “bibliomancy.”) As I did my last paper and speech in Renaissance to Contemporary Art History on these two works, I felt like it was worth my time to check out what Berger was saying. I can’t say I agree with all of it, but it’s interesting reading.
Last night and today, I was struggling to get myself to read You Majored in What?, and I think that it was worth it to avoid giving up when I got to the part of the book where one would try and apply the training of their major to their job search. (I just skipped the assignments in the chapter, and made a note to look at my unofficial transcript and/or the current program site, to remind myself what classes I actually did take.) From this, and from my final meeting with my counselor, I can see that writing is one of these things I’d really like to do.
I like to read good books, and I like to write…the major reason I’m in art classes now is that I’ve found there are things that need to be expressed, sometimes, which cannot be expressed through the written word or anything which, like it, takes a linear, discursive form. This is probably one of the reasons why things like storytelling and poetry exist, though.
It might be worth it to get back into Creative Writing classes, just to brush up and have a structured environment to work within. However, there are certain definite reasons I stopped writing. I’m not sure they’re absolute reasons, or that I cannot overcome them, though. I have hope that one day I’ll be able to write again, without fear.
I spend most of my reading time online, and not with actual paper books. What I found to be amazing is the shortened attention span this eventually engenders. I was up in the middle of the night reading, because I’ve been told not to be on the computer after 10 PM. Apparently, the light from the monitor can fool one’s brain into thinking it’s daytime, which then makes it more difficult to fall asleep…so the books were there, and I directed myself to look at them.
I found myself wanting to go back to sleep at what must have been around 2:30 AM, which is the reason why I’ve realized that if I’m going to write, I’ll need to be able to keep the reader’s attention even when they want to leave. (!) Especially so, if I’m writing kids’ books. I was kind of amazed at how sometimes I want to read, but I also want to read quickly and get on to the next thing to read.
If I’m going to be a published author, though, there’s probably no better place to work, than a library. Right now I’m wondering if I really should become a Library Assistant instead of a Clerk, just so that I can have more contact with the books, and with helping to match people to the books…
…not a Librarian position, necessarily. Not now. Though I’ve heard that most of our LAs are in training for Library Science degrees. I have four more years until I can reapply at the online college I hated, but maybe that’s not the path I want to take. Actually, I’m fairly certain that’s not the path I want to take.
Oh, hey. And then there is the possibility of working in Publishing, as an Editor. It is what I trained for. And I would get to read a lot.
I’ll need to think about it. In the meantime, dinner.