Monday, April 30, 2007

Seven Impossible Things

This marvelous book blog has been interviewing all the Blue Rose Girls as part of their series, Seven Impossible Interviews Before Breakfast, and today was my turn. The wonderful profile Jules and Eisha wrote is of a person so exciting and adventurous sounding that I wish I was half so interesting. A thousand thanks to them, and to Grace who hooked us up! Be sure to read the other articles, they are fascinating.

the Tropicana

On Thursday we return to the Tropicana showroom.

The large portion of the stage which is the load in elevator takes us up from the basement

and onto the stage, which turns out to be the second largest in the country

with a house of a couple thousand seats.

The Tropicana crew quickly begins to put our set together.

I work on setting up the dressing rooms and repairing costumes.

The mountain of dancers' tights.

I repair the rubber butt costume for Floyd, the plumber who is not "crack- free".

Upstairs on stage the set goes together in just a few hours. Projected illustrations are by our friend Tony Baloney.

The cast hurries for a last run through of the show. Matt, the musical arranger, keyboardist, and "Floyd".

Karl "the Crack-Free Handyman" naturally strikes the title pose even when he's stressing out.

I have to pull cables on stage right, I watch the show on the backstage monitors. It goes off terrifically.

We are all relieved when it's over. I celebrate by watching the sunset from a comfy bed in the hotel room. Then I sleep for 12 hours.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Atlantic City

On Wednesday we drove to the Tropicana, moved into the hotel, and unloaded the show onto a giant elevator to be taken up to the stage and set up the next day. Afterwards, a walk on the rainy boardwalk.

loading out

Packing up our set, loading it out the back door of the Garde stage and into a 16 foot Budget truck.

the Garde

The Garde in New London. Karl's production company opened his latest original musical, The Crack-Free Handyman, here last week. I love this quirky theater. I filled in as a stage hand on stage right.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dr. Youtube

Though it came out of a practical need, I realize how ridiculous it is to have videos of one's hand all over the internet. But it turns out I'm far from the only one showing off injuries, filming pin removals, and uploading clips of my recovery. Injured bodies all over the world are doing the same thing. The interesting part is people watch these things, and find each other because of it. I now have friends with broken hands to share information and sympathy with in multiple countries thanks to Youtube. Here is my latest. Sorry about the dreadful death rattle of my camera.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


This was my hand on 4-9-07, and it looks about the same today. The scars faded fast, though they are still tough, sore, and thick like leather. I have to keep moving it all the time so it doesn't freeze into a claw. Drawing is getting close to feeling normal, with only mild limitations in subtle movements, and I can do it for longer periods of time without pain and numbness.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Big Read

The drummers of the Hill School marching band after some raucous fanfare to kick off The Big Read.

This year the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas is sponsoring this NEA project to "restore reading to the center of American culture". They've invited Connecticut children's book authors and illustrators like me to read their books on the opening weekend of the Festival on June 9-10. Yesterday they began giving out hundreds of copies of To Kill a Mockingbird on the New Haven Green.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

5th graders rock

This morning I did my picture book presen- tation for 3 classes of 5th graders at the Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School. It was incredible. The library was decorated with big prints of my paintings. The students had read my books and came prepared with the best questions I've ever been asked by anyone, young or old.

I went through the steps of illustrating from manuscript to printed book. I showed the endless notes and revisions. I drew animals based on my audiences descriptions. I threw in a little baton twirling, and surprised them with the fact The Pig of the Pig took 2 1/2 years to illustrate. They are an unbelievably attentive crowd. They give me their own drawings they hope will inspire me, and beautiful thank you letters.

And in the end, I got donuts to boot! Many thanks to Erik Brown, and Steph Kelly who has been helping me develop and organize this program (and took the photos!), as well as Mr. Naples and the awesome teachers of BRAMS, and especially the students. More pictures here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter eggs

I made these for the Blue Rose Girls' Easter party on Sunday. It's been a long time since I dyed eggs, I almost forgot how. Hiding them for the Blue Roses in Libby's Mystic garden was even more enjoyable.

It was all in childish fun, but I take to heart the symbolism as I look for the first steps out of my wintery hibernation.

Friday, April 06, 2007


My hand is doing great. I still have to tend to it constantly, and it hurts more as it heals more, so I continue to be under the spell of pain medication. I'm having a lot of trouble remembering things, keeping a train of thought going for more then a minute, following directions, or making it to appointments at the right place and the right time. I apologize to everyone and beg your patience a while longer.

But slowly but surely I'm making my first steps back into the world of the functioning. With it comes a lot of reorganizing, catching up and making decisions. I am relearning how to write and draw, and how to speak again, which strangely I couldn't do while my hand was stuck. The blog is taking a backseat while I figure all this out. Please stand by.