Saturday I am speaking at the Bay area SCBWI Oktoberfest. One of my talks is titled, Get Radical! Why Radical Thinkers Are Needed in the Children’s Book World. Apparently my reputation precedes me because I didn’t come up with the title. I simply and happily slid into place upon arrival. I was planning to talk about my nonwestern, holistic approach to children’s books and how as poc, disabled and lgbtqi2s folks, creating children’s books can provide an amazing opportunity to heal the effects of silence and exclusion at the same time as we create strong powerful stories for our kids. (wow, talk about an elevator pitch!)
Buuuuut, I’m feeling the pull to talk about something more. I’ll touch on that stuff, but I LOVE to listen to my pulls. I also love it when I’m invited to speak specifically because I can talk radically to the radical. So I’m thinking this talk will have more to do with following our desire and owning our power and agency. In other words, I’ll bring the creation of Whaleheart into the convo!
I’m realizing Whaleheart was a doorway for me. The opportunity to feel completely free to do what I wanted to do, to publish who I wanted to publish, to write what I wanted to write, make arte the way I wanted, everything was mine to decide with Matthew. It was exhilarating. The only thing that comes close to matching that feeling of pure power and joy, was sharing it with the 23 artistauthors we published.
It’s a small and simple book. But for many of us writing and making art are acts of noncompliance in a world of silence. I want to revel in that moment of noncompliance, that break away feel when you realize nothing can hold you down and you’re writing everything and drawing everything, unfurling the layers to make room for the true. It feels contagious. I don’t know where this feeling stops! If we’re lucky it’s unstoppable because it sounds like the kind of thing that could completely remake the children’s book industry. Our children deserve nothing less!
NOT SUPRISING, this is totally the spirit of the interrupting chupacabra! Beautiful, loving noncompliance. As I share installment 5 of WRITE NOW! MAKE BOOKS, I interrupt this moment to invite you to monsterize yourself! You can see the creation from start to finish of The Interrupting Chupacabra through the videos. OR if you need, you can go straight to interrupting if you like! Just download this chupacabra and go at it! Draw yourself as the interrupter you are! Knock, Knock! Who’s there?
There’s some good monster in everyone and it’s time to come OUT!
In the spirit of total interruption and new ways of thinking I’m also including a link to two free coloring pages from Gender Now:
THERE’S A LOT OF PLAYING TO DO! Better get to it!
Rock on in the revolution! xomaya