Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I would just like to take a moment to apologize for the lack of regular substantial updates to this blog over the past few weeks. Suffice to say that summer break from the blog is over now, and we will resume our regular schedule.

I would also like to remind everyone out there that Rediscovered Bookshop has moved downtown! We are still meeting at Rediscovered but at their new location.

And now, our guest blogger of the month, Noelle Veldhouse.

Guest Blog:

My mind is completely directed by my stomach, right now. I should NOT go grocery shopping; but, I will. I should stick to the list and ONLY buy exactly what is on my list; but, I won’t.

Writing, is directed by my mood, or is it? Like many, I come up with fun ideas to write about at the most random times, like when I am driving by myself, tucking my daughters in bed, chopping cucumbers, taking a walk or even shovelling down food during a lunch break. Inspiration, I think it is called. However, to be honest, the times I have been beamed with my favorite inspirations are usually when my head is on my cozy pillow and I am either waking up or about to fall asleep.

A lot of ideas or even rhymes will just come and I have to repeat them over and over or write them down quickly to remember them. Moving forward from this one line or one idea is where the challenge or the work comes in! Sometimes it just flows, but then you have to edit and reedit and sometimes it’s just an idea that needs substance. I have heard so many people say, “Oh, I have a great idea for a book/children’s book/way to make a million dollars!” Hey, I’ve been in that boat for the past 20 years! It wasn’t until last year when I decided to actually pick up a pencil and my sketch book and start writing and writing and writing. I could now quote many famous people from Henry Ford to Arnold Schwarzenegger about making ideas become reality, believing in your self, and persistence. The point is, “just do it.”

Making dinner from only what you have in the freezer or the pantry reminds me a lot of writing when you don’t feel inspired or are in the mood for it. I find if I just get started and go, I get warmed up and then all of a sudden, I’ve created a yummy masterpiece, a questionable looking yet delicious whatchamacallit or a pile of “no thanks.” Yet, I am proud of myself because I ventured out and achieved something, or at least I tried and practice makes perfect, right? Or practice at least helps you know what combinations do or do not work.

Once again, I am teetering on the boarder of writing about food while trying to write about writing. Nice, I am such a professional. I think instead of fighting it, I’m going to go with it and do a little children’s rhyme about a trip to the beach…. Here goes:

Eating Sand

I want to eat sand,
I know it just ain’t right.
I think about it all day,
And sometimes late at night.

I want to build a sandcastle,
And take a big ‘ol bite,
I want to throw it at my sis,
And have a sand fight.

I want to shake and play,
I want to stomp and roll,
I want to be a sand crab,
And take a little stroll.

And maybe make a kite,
Or a dolphin or snail,
Or maybe a dreaded pirate,
Out for a booty sail.

I think I like sand,
Or maybe love is the word,
I’m sorry if my obsession,
Leaves you a bit disturbed.

Written in less than 10 minutes, I just wrote and it flowed… NOW, I’m sure it needs some help. A rhythm expert, perhaps? Well, that’s what you get when you get a female author who happens to be hungry and pregnant. Now, that being said, you must assume my current temperament and will probably be very kind in passing judgement.

Cheese tortellini covered in alfredo sauce and bacon anyone?
Lovely day!

~Noelle Veldhouse

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Interview with Noelle Veldhouse

When and why did you begin writing? What genre/style do you generally write (fiction, poetry, non-fiction, mystery, literary, etc)?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Recently, I decided to follow a dream and started writing & illustrating children's literature.

Do you ever write in multiple genres?

Yes, no, maybe so.
Where might we be able to find your work?I started doing my own blog on my website, but have been so busy with work, kids, house stuff, and being pregnant that I have really haven't blogged in a while. I need to get back to it! However, I do have a poem published with Boise Novel Orchard's first publication Bites From the Orchard. It is called Piggtoot the Forgotten.

What is success for a writer? What do you do to get yourself there?
Success is defined differently for everyone. To me, as long as you are still having fun, writing and enjoying it, you are a success! Also, deep breathing helps.

Do you have a writing schedule? What works for you? How do you keep up the discipline to stick to that schedule?

I LOVE to write first thing in the morning, before anyone else is up and it is just me and the computer. But, I really also enjoy writing during nap time when I get to sit and relax in peace. My goal is to work on my book several times a week and do something every day, even if it is a sketch or a rewrite on a certain line.

You're walking on a straight line. There's trees and grass and bunny rabbits. The road turns a bit, and reveals a fork. Do you go right or left?

I'm sorry, what? I got distracted. I was supposed to be following a line? I was over on the hill chasing a butterfly.

What do you like to read?

Stuff that makes me think, smile and/or laugh.

Who's your favorite author?

I enjoy children's authors, Ted Arnold, Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss. I do read books written for my own age. My favorite book tends to be the one that I'm currently reading.

Has this writer influenced you and your work?

They all have. Love them all & their creativity!

What about a writer you despise?

I think every writer does the best they can with the knowledge they have at the time. I'm not a fan of certain authors, but I don't despise them. I can say that I have no desire to ever read anything that else that John Steinbeck has written after I read Grapes of Wrath.
Has this person affected your writing at all? no

Where would you take your favorite author to dinner?

I would love to have dinner with Dr. Seuss but since that is not possible, Ted Arnold.

What's on your reading list right now?

I just finished reading Born To Run (LOVED IT!) and up next is The Princess Bride.

Do you have any projects on your table right now? What are they?

Pants on Head and
Princess Piper Pillowey

At what stage are they?
I am sketching my 1st dummy for Pants on Head & am working with an editor on it. PPP is on hold for a bit.

Are you satisfied with it?

It is fun & I love it! It is an ongoing process but yeah, I'm more than satisfied with it.

Have you learned anything from writing that applies to other parts of life?

I know that writing has HELPED my other parts of life.

Do you have any personal advice that you would like to share?

Yes, but one valuable lesson that my husband has taught me is that sometimes it is better just to be quiet and listen. I love listening to what others have to say about writing.

Look out! It's the Zombie Apocalypse, and the only inhabitable place on earth is an island. What do you do? Do what Bill Murray did in Zombieland. But if that doesn't work, I'm off to the island.
What do you take with you?My family, my dog, the Swiss family Robinson boat & all their supplies, and LOTS of guns (to kill the zombies, of course.)

Your computer just died, does this ruin your writing day, or can you cope?

I see it as a sign, I need to get outside and breath fresh air, go play or go to bed... depending on what time of day it happens.

Why isn't the sky red?
One sky,Two sky. Red sky, Blue sky.

Noelle Veldhouse is a children’s author and illustrator who is exploding into the children’s writing/illustrating market with passion. She teaches elementary school in Meridian She is the mother of 2 ½ children, a dog, a cat and a fish named Buster. Her poem "Pigtoot the Forgotten" can be found in Bites from the Orchard: Bridges.