This is how I like to draw a quick rose. I did a video like this for a friend, but I think I just posted it on twitter so the quality was bad. Is there anything you’d like to see me draw? I’ll do drawings of general items so please let me know what you want me to make!
I had wanted to say that I was catching up with artwork for Doodles & Dreams this week. Really this is a relaxed event so there is no pressure to finish anything. I do want to draw more so I’m going to make an effort to do more. I’ve been so exhausted this week. Here are some things I’ve been working on for both the booklet and the prompts.
I should admit I did get side tracked. I worked on a new color palette for Clip Studio Paint. I took a red, blue and yellow and mixed them with an almost white, and almost black to make a bunch of nice colors. It took a while, but I finished. It should help the blending of colors later on.
I’ll likely be posting these on Instagram! Some I’ve posted already. I’m posting the book prompts here: https://www.instagram.com/dani_duck_art/
And the daily prompts here: https://www.instagram.com/smart_dummies_challenge/
There is a list of prompts at the bottom of the page! To download the booklet and sign up please go here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/
Welcome to Doodles and Dreams! All the fun starts today. If you haven’t signed up for this event please sign up here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/ Don’t forget to pick up your free booklet as well.
This is a relaxed event to encourage doodles and fun! I’ll be making posts here so be sure to sign up for my email. If you like what you make during this event please share it with me on Twitter or Instagram using #doodledreams! I’ll RT some work I see. You don’t have to stick with what’s in the book. Please feel free to share any of you work with that tag.
If you have something you really like please mail it to me at daniduck(@)gmail.com. I’ll be posting other people’s work on Fridays (but only if you email it to me). I’m also hoping to post a few other things throughout the month so please sign up to get my emails below!
I just finished editing the Doodles & Dreams booklet so if there are mistakes please let me know. Also if you find accessibility issues in the booklet or on the website please let me know!
If you are an artist or writer please feel free to join my Discord server: https://discord.gg/mEt4PGr This server is meant for adult professionals and those working towards becoming a professional. Right now it’s mostly kidlit and graphic novel people!
Subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss out on any event posts!
I meant to announce this sooner. I’ve been extremely fatigued this past week and before that I’ve been so busy.
Unfortunately, there won’t be any Smart Dummies this year. It’s something I wrestled with a lot. It’s been an extra busy year for me. COVID has really messed things up. Also, I feel like I need a break.
This year I’m running a relaxed event called Doodles and Dreams! This will be an event much like my Spring into Writing Event. I will be releasing the Smart Dummies booklet again this year. If possible I’ll also do a fun booklet for Doodles &Dreams as well.
Doodles & Dreams wont have prizes, but I’m hoping it will be a lot of fun! We’ll do some art sharing and maybe even have some chats. I’ll be talking more about this before September starts. I hope to see you there!
Sign up here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/
I want to invite you all to a new Twitter chat! The chat is called #QueerKidlit and will be Wednesday nights 5:30pm PT/ 8:30pm ET. It’s hosted by Jenette Bradley (@jeanettebradly) and myself (@daniduck). The very first event will be Wednesday August 12th! All LGBTQIA+ people and allies welcome! This event is for both kidlit writers and illustrators.
There are lots of things we are working out about this chat. Please come with ideas for things you’d like to see!
Logo art by Jeanette Bradley.
Things have been so busy for me lately. I keep thinking that I was going to be able to make time to put up a list of new books this week and I failed. I have less involved things this coming week, so I will be able to pick back on the list next week.
Website building or consultation:
3 pieces of promotional material:
Thanks so much with your participation in Spring into Writing!
I will attempt to contact you both shortly. You will have 1 month to pick up your prize after notification and 6 months to use your prize.
Thank you so much for participating in Spring into Writing this year! This was only the second year for the event. I have a survey you can fill out if you’d like: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCTXW3Q
Here is a badge for anyone who wants an “I Won” badge. If you did any writing at all this month, congratulations you won Spring into Writing!
You have until next Monday (June 8th) to enter for the following 3 prizes
1. A critique with Kaitlyn Sanchez of your work.
2. Website building help from Dani:
The third prize is 3 pieces of promotional material for your book!
If you have a book coming out soon you might need help with making post cards, bookmarks, posters, book plates ect. I will do the set up and design for these with simple art if wanted. (If you have a different business I can help with that as well).*
To enter: Comment below to tell me how you liked Spring into Writing!
Please comment on as many posts as possible!
*If you would rather me help you set up a website I can do that. Prize winner must contact me 30 days after winning. Prize must be redeemed within 6 months after prize is announced.
It’s sadly the last full week of Spring into Writing! Since there is not much left to do after Saturday I’ll be going over the rest of the month through June 1st!
Monday, May 25th: Dawn Young starts off the week talking about fun with writing. Yes, she’s taking on the spirit of our event here and putting it into post format. Lots of fun little tidbits here you wont want to miss. Dawn’s Website: https://www.dawnyoungbooks.com/
Tuesday, May 26th: A list of some books released in 2020 from different authors!
Wednesday, May 13th: Lisa Chen-Wing shares a powerful post about the reasons to start a webcomic. She creates her own autobiographical webcomic called “Whiny Whiny Pancakes”. This comic is hilarious. Check it out and fall in love with Lisa’s comic: http://whinywhinypancakes.com/
Friday, May 15th: The superpowered Cyndi Marko talks about her life as an writer/illustrator. Her book collection just released in April. The fifth book in her Kung Pow Chicken series coming out in September 2020! She’s also got a lot of other books coming out, so you wont want to miss this interview! https://www.cyndimarko.com/
Monday, June 1st: End of Spring into Writing. Lots of crying and one last prize!
It’s always fun finding new writers. While visiting Cythia Mackey’s website I read the most wonderful interview with Helena KuRhee. I fell in love with the idea behind the story of Helena’s new book: The Paper Kingdom! I had to find out more about this story about Helena herself.
To read more about Helena visit her website here: http://helenakrhee.com/
Finding Magic and Wonder Around You
by Helena Ku Rhee
I have a rare gift: I’m never bored. Even as a child, I rarely complained of boredom. I wasn’t born with this gift. Instead, it was cultivated in me by two amazing people: my parents.
When I was little, my parents worked as night janitors in a corporate building in L.A. And on nights they couldn’t find a babysitter for me, they took me with them to work, where they turned drudgery into magic. They told me funny stories about the people who worked in the offices by day, and helped me imagine a fantasyland in that empty office building. Thanks to them, I had early practice in the art of finding fun wherever I found myself. I wrote a children’s book about that time in my life, The Paper Kingdom, and it was released by Penguin Random House in early 2020. More info here: http://bit.ly/2IRw8Ti
NPR interviewed me and illustrator Pascal Campion about our book, The Paper Kingdom. The interview is all about finding magic and inspiration. You can listen to the 6-minute interview here: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/14/815250760/behold-the-magic-of-take-your-child-to-work-night
And I’ll let you in on a little secret: this gift of mine can be cultivated in all of us. How? Well, we hear phrases like “be in the now” or “live in the present.” But the key question is: how do you do this on a practical level, on a day-to-day basis?
I’ll give you one concrete example. When I take my dog Sherwin on an early morning walk, I explore the neighborhood like a writer, hungry for sensory details that I can later use in my stories. I stop to observe the shape of shadows on the sidewalk from a neighbor’s tree. If my dog yanks on the leash to chase a squirrel, I take note of the burn of the leash in my hand, the strain of the muscles in my arm (these descriptions could be used in an action scene). And I try to listen for different layers of sound – the birds gossiping in the trees, an airplane flying overhead, music filtering out from a home. I smell lawns being mowed, the roses blooming near the sidewalk, the exhaust from a car zooming past. I’m hungry for these details because I know they’ll be useful when I sit down at my computer. In other words, my brain is engaged and I’m not bored.
While I write this, our world is going through a very tough time due to Covid-19. We’re all so grateful for first responders and all those keeping our cities safe, clean, and livable. But people stuck at home may be bored and restless. Perhaps they’re stressed and filled with anxiety. So I get it. It’s not easy to fend off boredom when you’re trapped inside day in and day out. And it’s not so easy to take great interest in the shape of clouds, the sound of rain, the taste of dark chocolate when your mind is filled with worries.
But I hope that no matter the circumstances, you manage to see magic and wonder in this amazing world. If you’re an aspiring author, that ability is a gift that’ll serve you well with your stories.
Helena Ku Rhee is a writer based in Los Angeles. You can read more about her books and writing process here: http://helenakrhee.com/
And if you want to keep posted about Helena’s events and news, subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cPRrL5 All new subscribers will receive a free dreams-to-reality worksheet Helena put together to achieve her writing dreams. (You can use the worksheet for any goal you may have.)
Each link has a list of places to buy Helena’s books!
The Paper Kingdom: http://helenakrhee.com/books/the-paper-kingdom/
The Turtle Ship: http://helenakrhee.com/books/the-turtle-ship/
Some writers get all the luck. Intisar Khanani has the luck of being given a magical name! Her name (pronounced just as it looks) is perfect for a fantasy writer. Intisar loves writing fantasy books with strong female leads. She had me at her name. Today she’s going to talk about mighty girls and I’m so here for this post!
You can read more about Intisar and her work here: http://booksbyintisar.com/
Look below this post for a prize!
Writing Mighty Girls
When I was a young teen, it was almost impossible to find stories in my chosen genre—fantasy—with strong female leads. When I stumbled across Tamora Pierce’s Alanna books, and Robin McKinley’s Damar books, it was like I had finally found stories that called to me. These were girls who stood up and fought for themselves, their people, and those they loved. I was over the moon, and continued to eat up stories of mighty girls as the years passed. I’m forty now, and YA fantasy is still my bread and jam: what I always come back to, and what I write.
But my conception of what makes a girl mighty has developed over the years, and in many ways departed from where it began. The idea of a girl being mighty because she excels in a man’s world by doing what a man would, only better, is one conception of mighty, and frankly, it’s needed. Absolutely women can kick butt as well as men, in pretty much any given sphere, whether it’s politics or sorcery or sword fighting (admittedly, if she’s of a smaller stature, the type of sword and her technique will differ).
The trouble is that we’re still playing by the male perspective; creating a valuation of “mighty” as excelling in a male-gendered conception of power. In such a world, being kind or compassionate or merciful are considered feminine and weak. And that does all of us a disservice, especially our young people. Why can’t you save the world, or yourself, through compassion? Through non-violent resistance and a nuanced understanding of mercy, rather than by the sword? Can’t both be considered mighty?
In my novel, Thorn, I have a young girl who must face both betrayal and a terrifyingly capable magical enemy without herself turning into a ninja or a sorceress. Instead, she must lean into her own personal strengths, and learn to carry the day through her courage, kindness, and intelligence. She is mighty, but not in the typical sense. And her story, I hope, will speak to all of us who can’t hope to win by turning into something we aren’t already.
As you go forward in your writing adventures, I urge you to consider writing mighty girls who are mighty in who they are—whatever that means for that particular character—gaining power and the ability to influence their story through the inherent might in being true to one’s best self. This is how we win each day, this is how we build better lives, this is how we change the world.
Let’s get writing!
Buy Intisar’s books:
For other links to Intisar’s Thorne and other books start here: http://booksbyintisar.com/books/
One lucky winner will get some website help from Dani Duck. I will review your current website and give you tips to make your site better. If you don’t have a website I’ll help you in setting one up! This includes a 1 hour zoom/email chat to set things up.*
Comment below: Let Intisar know about your favorite fictional (or non-fictional) mighty girls! Or comment on anything she’s written about in this post.
Also let me know that you want this prize!
*Prize must be claimed within 30 days of it’s announcement and used within 6 months.