'Houston, we have landed, re-entry slightly bumpy but all is well!'
Do you know that feeling when you have experienced something exciting? Something amazing and soul stirring?
I just did. Then I had to come back to earth and come home, trailing that exuberance and energy behind me. Let me share it with you, in the hope that you are hungry for energy too.
I recently spent a week in Sydney, for me that is the big smoke. I went to attend the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Australia East/New Zealand Bi-annual Conference.
Yes, that is a mouthful. Here in Australia we shorten it to SCBWI Conference and we use the hash tag #SCBWISyd. I will leave you to work out how to pronounce it but it's a fun word to throw around.
Did I just mention throwing words around? Well, that is precisely what we did.
When you pack one hundred and sixty writers and illustrators, along with numerous agents, publishers, art directors and editors into a conference zone, lots and lots of words get thrown about.
On Sunday evening, we began with a welcome dinner. Much chatting, eating lovely food we didn't have to cook ourselves, touching base with friends we only see on social media and once in person every two years, introducing ourselves to new faces and those who were newbies to the SCBWI Conference scene. Then we launched author Deborah Abela's latest book, The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee (Random House Australia) while we tussled in a very competitive spelling bee of our own, the result....we just can't spell good! Well, some of us could and were presented at the front of the room to represent our teams in a spelling showdown. I wasn't one of them. I can spell reasonably well but I am a spelling doubter, so I constantly change things around until I'm totally confused and hit 'spell check'.
So, the creatives had emerged from their isolated cave dwellings and had come together once again to feed off the energy of all things bookish.
The following two days were spent filling our minds with information regarding the current publishing industry, trends, marketing, marketing yourself, presentation and pitching tips, a pitching opportunity as well as one on one folio and manuscript critiques with publishers. Our hungry minds were fueled with master classes and Skype sessions with famous illustrators from New York and Publishers from New York as well (does everyone live in New York?). The information encouraged, inspired, re-directed and motivated us to step away from the world of buzzing bee spelling author gatherings back into our caves to create with new and invigorated energy.
If you are not a member of SCBWI and you are serious about establishing yourself as a writer or illustrator (or both) then I cannot encourage you enough to join up. No, I don't get any brownie points or benefits or even notches on my belt for bringing you into the fold, other than I will feel great about introducing you to the amazing opportunities and benefits this organisation offers.
SCBWI is an international organisation (that means when you travel, you can look up a group where you are staying and visit them, SCBWI groups love visitors and making new connections). It has chapters in all parts of the world and if you type SCBWI into your search engine, it will take you to the International page which will then connect you to the region you live in.
This was my second conference and it has huge personal benefits for attendees. Aside from networking and making professional and social connections, there are the following opportunities on offer:
The Illustrators Showcase.
This is a great opportunity to present your portfolio to numerous publishers and agents and publishing art directors. For a small fee, you are given a space to place your portfolio along with your business cards and postcards for publishers to take away to remember you by. The publishers are given a two hour uninterrupted slot to view the portfolios without the creators in the room with them. They often look at them together, discussing their needs and learning what else is happening in the market place. Many new illustrators have been picked up at SCBWI conference, this year more than one was offered an illustration contract and another was invited to join an agency. This year there was a competition for the best illustration and also for the best portfolio. Each winner received a one on one session at a publishing house with the publisher and art director.
Once the publishers have had their chance to view the work, delegates are then allowed in to see the work and chat with illustrators. This is also a great opportunity, as occasionally, a publisher will ask an author if they can suggest someone to illustrate their work (I will stress 'occasionally') so knowing who and what is out there is of great benefit.
If you miss out on attending the conference, then you are still able to pay to have your portfolio at the conference. Though it's wonderful for publishers to put a face to someone's work, the old fashioned personal approach signs more contracts that the electronic method.
A Writers Competition.
This opportunity for writers offers the chance to enter a manuscript or sample of your manuscript for a chance to win a critique session with a publisher. This year's winners won a session with a New York Publisher, that is an opportunity no-one wants to miss.
At each conference, delegates are invited to submit, free of charge, to the pitch. If you have a manuscript you feel is polished and ready to go, not sitting in the slush pile in a publishers office and are brave enough to face a panel of publishers on stage in front of an entire conference, then this is for you.
To be honest, I applied for both my conferences. I'm an experienced public speaker and I have, in person, been successful at pitching to publishers, so I stupidly thought it would be easy. Wrong! But the knowledge that everyone is nervous and the publishers are not judging you on your performance skills (we are writers after all), then it all works out okay in the end. If you are selected from the many submissions received.
My first year I wasn't selected. I will admit to feeling disappointed. I had a great manuscript and it was funny and I knew it would be memorable. I can't complain. It was also presented in my portfolio as a dummy book and was signed up regardless. It was a good thing someone else had the opportunity to pitch instead of me.
This year, I was one of the eight delegates selected to pitch. I thought I had it all under control until I started to panic about what I needed to cover in my brief three minutes on the stage. Turns out, the scariest thing about pitching live and in public is receiving the feedback: standing there, vulnerable, after sharing your story concept and listening to them tell you what they think in front of a large audience. There was also terror when two of the panel started to smile and whisper to each other during the pitch itself. It was a serious story I was sharing, nothing humorous, I wondered if my skirt was tucked into my knickers and why no one had told me!!
All was good. Turns out the whispering was plotting. At least two of the pitches were successful this year with ensuing contract offers. Yes, mine was one of them. Heck of a way to get a contract but a brilliant experience and learning opportunity for all.
Very importantly, I need to say a big thank you to the Copy right Agency Career Fund who assisted me with a grant so that I could attend the conference. Once you add travel, accommodation and conference fees together, it can make it difficult for many to be able to attend and flying over from Tasmania can sometimes make it difficult. Go to the Copyright Agency website to check out how they support literary creators, the Career Fund is just one way.
Also, a huge shout out and thank you to all of the organisers and SCBWI Regional Advisors, such a great conference and I know you are all exhausted (but I hope, happy).
'til next time,
keep writing, keep dreaming, keep creating,
Too Many Months.....
I finally arrived at my website to update and tidy up. I cautiously, with great guilt and fearing, clicked on the blog page and alas, the blogger had been missing for some time!!
So today, after completing two nine hour days at the illustrating desk in a desperate race to meet a deadline, I find myself blogging, because, well, to be honest, I've gone a little cross-eyed and the paint brush started to waver a little. Back to the desk tomorrow.
If you ever walk into a house that is in chaos then you will know it is managed by a creative person. Which deadline should I complete first, the book contract or the bathroom?......Well, occasionally I delegate, though no one is too keen on the book contract so someone else has to do the bathroom.
So this blog will be brief. It is to introduce you to the new love in my life, my new book (drum roll please)..... Too Many Sheep. It is being released on May the 1st and will be available at a bookstore near you. Scholastic is the publisher and it is my first illustrated book completed graphically on the computer.
The picture above is possibly the end paper (it is yet to arrive from the publishers so it isn't definite until it is here in my hands) and if you managed to miss it, there is a trailer on the Book Trailer page I'd love you to check out.
No need for me to count sheep at the moment, this month is certain to wear me out enough to create perfect sleeping conditions. Two festivals, an overdue deadline, grant applications, a novel to complete and books to read. Notice I don't mention the house work... that's because we are all boxed up after a flood so it's unpacking time now the house has been repaired. Whew, March will fly by, no need to count sheep but I certainly let too many months go by without writing in my blog.
Happy reading, stay creative, visit me at a festival or two and see you at a book launch in May!
Such a busy year for this little writer based on the 'small island'.
The suitcases have been packed, unpacked, packed and repacked, hauled around the country and onto many flights....such an adventurous year.
Since May I have ventured to Canberra to research a new book, spending many hours at the Australian War Memorial and quite a few at the National Library. I also attended the biannual National CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia) Conference for 2014, also held in Canberra. A wonderful three days of mingling, drinking superb wines and nibbling delightful food treats, attending sessions by publishers, authors and illustrators, educators and the new Australian Children's Laureate, Jackie French. A wonderful time to catch up with old friends, meet new friends and also to meet those who are known on social media (ahh, Facebook, what would we do without you?!).
The highlight of the conference being the Conference Dinner, seated under the wings of a Lancaster Bomber to hear from Jackie French (we sat next to each other), a presentation by Morris Gleitzman and a wonderful performance inspired by his new book, Loyal Creatures.
A weekend filled with celebration of books, reading, book launches and also under a slight cloud of budget cuts and extreme measures threatening the literacy standards of our country among the myriad of many other things. We all stood united in our nations capital to discuss, stand together and stand firm for what we do as writers, librarians, illustrators and creators of quality literature for children.
The next journey gave me a week at home to unpack, re-organise, plan and re-pack for an amazing visit to Bundaberg and Gin Gin. I was invited to visit the school in the area for a five day tour and was treated by royalty. The weather was divine (they don't know what a frost is) and I even saw my first live cane toads. Cane fields, pineapples, bananas, custard apples (I ate home grown ones!) were in abundance but not as abundant as my welcome to Queensland and the Bundaberg and surrounding area schools. Thank you all for inviting me and making my visit so wonderful.
A small reprieve to see if my family still recognised me then we packed again (took my family with me this time) to attend the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Conference in Sydney. This was my first attendance at this conference and it was AMAZING (sorry for shouting there, but it...just...was!!!). I was so thankful to receive a grant to attend this conference (THANK YOU CAL) and it was mind blowing. It will not be my last.
Home again to ready for Book Week which was a quieter one this year with two schools visited, I am very grateful for it being quieter, the last few months have been wonderful but exhausting.
I was delighted to be invited back to my old school, Mowbray Heights Primary School in Launceston. My first visit in forty years. Gosh that makes me sound incredibly old. Of course the school has shrunk since then, the playground is much smaller and the toilet block which is still there is also tiny compared to my time there (or did I get bigger?) . In fact, the school population is much bigger than my days there in the 70's, much more multicultural as well which is just wonderful. I attended the school from kindergarten, aged just five, until the end of grade two, aged almost 8. Even among the new buildings and facilities from the past few years, remnants of the school I remembered were still there and I even got to visit my old kinder room as well as my grade one and grade two rooms, which were still there. My first lesson on deciduous and evergreen trees in grade one was held on the oval, which is actually smaller now, but the tall poplar trees that I thought touched the sky and were used as a demonstration in our lesson still stand and yes, they really do touch the sky. Thank you Mowbray Heights for inviting me back, I plan to visit again but it won't be forty years before the next one.
So, happy writing, reading and learning. My suitcases are unpacked for the time being as I settle into work on two new picture books and also a new novel. It's good to be home.
All the best,
A couple of weekends ago I was involved with a wonderful festival right here in my home state of Tasmania. In fact, it was just down the road so to speak, in the small village style township of Beaconsfield. Sadly made famous for the tragic accident that saw the death of a miner and two others trapped after a terrible cave in underground at the gold mine that has been a part of Beaconsfields history for well over a century. I loved attending for more than just literary reasons, for this is where my ancestors come from, on my Dad's side of the family, and I felt like I was coming home. (My great grandfathers house is now the council chambers and my grandparents ran the local store)
The Festival of Golden Words was an eclectic mix of genres and styles of writing all drawn together into one community for three days. It was the first time this festival has been held and was the brain child and vision of talented author Stephen Dando-Collins and his wonderful team of visionaries and volunteers. Presenters and authors from all over Australia were on the program, including Andy Griffiths, Kate Gordon, Nick Earles, Sherryl Clark, Wendy Harmer, Tristan Banks, Maggie Beer and Hannah Kent.
My involvement consisted of running illustration workshops for children, presentations in the school program and also participating on a panel that, after running around from one event to the next, I realise just moments before we went on that, in fact, the bleedingly obvious thing was it was a panel in front of an adult audience not kids. My heart skipped a beat but once underway I had a ball, nothing to worry about at all and I can see myself putting my hand up for panels in the future!!
The topic we discussed (Kate Gordon, Poppy Gee, & Heather Rose, chaired by Garry Bailey) was 'Tasmania, My Inspiration.' We were a mix of genres but with one thing in common: we were all inspired by and wrote about Tasmania in our stories.
Two of my picture books are set in Tasmania. Obviously, Purinina, A Devil's Tale can be set nowhere else with the Tasmanian Devil or purinina if we use the original and proper palawi kani name as the main theme of the story. My recent book, Welcome Home, is also set in and inspired by an event and the history of Tasmania, but it is written and illustrated in such a way that it is relevant in any place in New Zealand or Australia or even overseas.
Many of my other books, whilst not set in Tasmania have a flavour of the state in the use of landscape and light and colour. In fact, I have often been caught out in the subtleties of language and images that differ from state to state when designing illustrations, as Tasmania has some differences to the big island and I am often unaware of them until an editor or publisher points out changes I need to make. For example, in a recent illustration project not due for publication until 2015, I had native Australian's wearing a certain style of clothing when in fact, in the area they came from, they wore nothing at all (historically that is). The point is most of the original images of early colonial representations of Aboriginal peoples (most of which are actually incorrecty adapted anyway and not true to the actual representation of the traditional owners of this land) are from my island state and never has it been warm enough here all year to just wear nothing!!
My latest work, a book inspired by a local story, is another inspired by my home state of Tasmania. It is a journey through history and time and is certainly proving to be a big project with so many possibilities. Whilst it is set in Tasmania, it is relevant to all parts of Australia and any rural community who sent their young people off to fight in wars from World War One to Afghanistan.
I live in a great state that has so often struggled to recognise and act on it's brilliant potential. We have history (some sad, some bad, some great) that goes back well before the arrival of European colonial settlers. So many communities in Australia have wonderful stories just waiting to be heard and discovered, a great source of inspiration and in need of being kept alive as historical fact or even in the form of fiction. What stories do you know?
Changing the lives of children (& adults) one book at a time......
So, again a long time between blog posts. That's life isn't it. Anyway, here are some reflections after a busy book week, 2013.
Book week is exhausting. If only I had to just organise a costume or two, that would be great, but no, my kids don't do costumes for book week anymore (and if they did they could make them themselves, alas, they have grown up). We plan ahead for book week very early in the year. My husband works out his work schedule to fit in around it and we prepare for the busiest week in our year.
Yes, it is busier than Christmas!
As I sit still feeling weary after my last school presentation yesterday I reflect on this busy and exhausting time and wonder why I do it? Well, that's easy.
Because I love it.
This morning I was greeted with dozens of emails from students in Launceston and Hobart that listened to me promote reading, talk about art and heard my stories. It is nice to make a difference in a child's life, enough for them to write to me and ask more questions and share their stories with me as well.
To all the schools I visited, thank you for inviting me, it makes a positive difference in my life as well.
I learn from these schools and children. It is a wonderful privilege.
So what did I learn this book week?
Normally I spend my working year huddled into my studio cave, head down and working away wishing people to leave me alone so I can meet that encroaching deadline. My friends think I'm just a name on a book or a fictional character they once new. Occasionally I emerge to drink beverages with other writers and to attend to family matters. I have become a cave dweller and I wonder if that is good for the soul or for keeping in touch with reality. I suppose that is a necessary thing, if only in small doses.
But this week was a big dose. Each school is so different. The approaches, attitudes and focus in each community quite varied. It is almost like visiting micro-countries. I visited both private schools and public, each catering to a different socioeconomic group and it has made me realise a lot.
Mostly, I take so much for granted.
Obviously, I love books and reading and I promote passionately the benefits of reading as a life time journey. The first item I bought when I found out I was expecting my first child (22+ years ago) wasn't a pram or a grow suit , not even a teddy bear, it was a book, or a few to be honest. When my children were born they had library cards before they were issued an official birth certificate. They were read to in utero, they were read to while they fed, they were read to in the bath, at bed time and we had books on tape for the car. We made up silly stories together, we made up story games and we were surrounded by a myriad of books. Books were as important as air and food.
Books and stories helped to mould and nurture my children. It helped them to develop an independence, they could seek out answers without always asking us. It helped develop creativity, discernment and a questioning mind. It didn't make them more intelligent but it certainly made them clever. What use is intelligence if you are not clever enough to use it and develop it. It meant that when they went to school they had the advantage of already having knowledge, a different way of thinking and an ability to think outside the square.
But what if they had not had books? What if we were not a reading family?
I've been considering this. A terribly scary thought for me, but what if the cost of a book (they are not cheap items) meant no bread or milk that week? I know we would choose bread. What if there wasn't a car or cash to go to the library? What if my parents hadn't encouraged reading and therefore I didn't have that role model in my life to do the same for my children? What if the government had reduced funding to public libraries so they weren't as available as they were years ago (oh dear, that's not a what if!)?
I always encourage reading, am often critical of the way we teach children to read and those shocking 'readers' some schools still tuck away on their shelves. I have had those discussions of how do we get people to read books and why can't they understand the value of it. I've been part of the programs that push reading and try to promote it to non reading families. But this morning I feel a bit like Marie Antoinette.....'let them eat cake.'
We can survive without books, we can get by if we can't or don't read. We can continue to exist so if you are a family that lives in that world, so different to mine, without books, how do you prioritise reading over putting food on the table each night. How do you expand your own horizons with the wealth that reading and books have to offer if you just can't.....
My heart is a little chipped today, pondering these things. How do we bring books into the lives of people who can't afford cake and who find cake foreign as it isn't a part of their culture?
How do we step back and reconsider the way we push and promote an expensive commodity to those who already go without many of the basics and have learnt to survive without?
Big questions. Many are working on it and some great things are happening. Wonderful programs in schools that promote reading in a fun way. Book for babies given to all new parents, all trying to lead this generation into the idea of reading being an essential tool and skill in life. But how do we hang on to them as adults? As they in turn become parents? How do we make cake an affordable and desired thing as important as air and food?
Well, the letters I received this morning from a number of nine and ten year olds has answered that question a little. One young lady wrote to thank me for visiting their school, she had never met a real live author before and she said she was most excited about learning how to draw anything she wanted and finding out that if you don't like reading because you can't find the right book, to write it herself.
So, I don't think I'm going to lose my head any day soon but, as I have my cake and eat it to, I will always remember how privileged I am to be surrounded by books and that life time journey they take me on. I will always cherish the busiest week in the year, knowing it can change our future.
Keep reading everyone, it will change the world!
I can't complain, the last year and a half have been very quiet on the illustration/publishing front. Then, in true fashion, it doesn't rain but it pours. In record time, I have completed the illustrations for two new books before the end of May, both are due out in October.
I disappeared from sight, completely Rapunzelised (my new word for the day) in my tower with my head bowed over sheets of paper, pencils and colourful paints. Slowly and steadily out of the building mire of paper and roughs, possums and devils and whales emerged. Occasionally the cry of 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your paper was heard from my poor and suffering family who, along with friends, were totally neglected and many I'm sure believe to this day I have become a fictional character in their lives and am imprisoned in a tall door-less tower.
I am content. All illustrations are complete and the babies have now left home, as our offspring must eventually do, to become real books. I can't wait until they wing their way home to me across the water and I hold them, fresh, crisp and smelling of new ink in my hands. It is then that I can share them with you all.
So, what next. Other than uncovering the house from ironing, dust and general neglect I have a small break to tidy the studio, a routine I enjoy between books and to see as many of those neglected people in my life as I can before I re-immerse myself into a new book with illustrations due in September. Just one this time. I have also started to consider the new stories that have grown in my head as I illustrated madly and I have started to put pen to paper.
So, look out for Rapunzel and her books in the near future, and don't forget to read, read, read and, if you are like me, draw, draw, draw.
Now, where did I put that prince? He's under here somewhere....)
All the best,
Christina (Rapunzel) Booth
Hello to you all. Yes miracles can happen, I'm actually writing a blog post. Since late last year life has been a whirl wind. So unfortunately, much like car interiors and out of sight bedrooms, blogs tend to suffer.
In October I travelled to Sydney for a retreat with other children's book creators and from there I seemed to enter into a vortex of high speed which has, not unlike Dorothy, landed me at this time and date. So what has happened in the last few months? Fasten your seat belts and join me for the ride.
The retreat was wonderful. A time spent meeting and revisiting friends and wonderfully creative people. We drew, critiqued, visited studios and galleries (and wonderful parks with lovely wine and food). We did work shops, listened to amazing guest speakers and had fantastic dinners together. I felt revved up and raring to go. A good thing as after a very quiet twelve months on the publishing scene things were about to get busy.
I decided to stay on in Sydney for a few days after the retreat and from my comfortable YHA room base I visited publishers with my portfolio and books in tow. They all greeted me very enthusiastically and it was wonderful to catch up with those I knew and to meet the faces of those I had heard of.
I was excited to leave Sydney with some potential work and headed home to the studio with a new creative skip in my step.
On the bench upon my return was a contract for a book from a publisher who had shown interest in a manuscript a couple of weeks before I headed away. Wonderful, a book very close to my heart had found a home and the journey of illustrating my words would now begin. Can you have it ready by March? We would like to publish in 2013. Yes, I can, I'll work over the summer school holidays, that is fine when you work from home.
Only a week later and I had some samples sent off as requested by one of the publishers I had met on my journeys and by the next day another contract was on offer. I had gone from famine to feast. My heart sank as it asked: Can you have it finished by February? We want to release it in 2013. Thankfully, after some negotiations and a wonderfully supportive partner, who booked in some of his long service leave, we had the dates extended to.....March. So, we raced to the local office store and purchased a second drawing desk, one for each project as they would have to come together simultaneously. I am now a full time illustrator/author and the time is flying by very quickly. I haven't had time to scratch myself, and with Christmas, visiting relatives and all children (now getting older) based at home for the summer it has been a creative bit of organised chaos.
Before the contracts had arrived we had booked a family holiday for a week in Melbourne so with sketch pad under my arm I enjoyed a break away from the studio. This time last year it was a place I visited and escaped to. This year I am a nine to five (six, seven or later) girl who is very thankful that she taught her kids to cook and that she loves her job. So, please forgive me if you don't hear much from me before the end of March or even sliding a little into April, the sign is up, 'CAUTION: ILLUSTRATOR AT WORK, BOOKS UNDER CONSTRUCTION'; you know where to find me.
Happy reading and writing everyone
Wow, what a week. I'm exhausted, but in the happiest way I could be. It has been full of creative meetings, workshops and talks and my head is spinning.
There is nothing better for the creative soul than to receive food from those around you who are passionate, living the same dream and sharing their own insights and experiences.
The week began on a Friday. I made it into my studio with the house finally emptied of other residents and found myself absorbed in the task of illustrating for a new book (we hope to impress the publisher with the illustration to create a signed contract!). My alarm kept going off to remind me of the time in so I could attend a talk by Sydney author Chris Cheng on writing historical fiction. Alas, my brain became absorbed with whales and glue and I arrived in my artistic haze, fashionably late. It was a brilliant and inspiring talk. It made me feel normal (normal in the realm of writers that is) as Chris described his emotional relationship with the characters and places he writes about among many other tools and resources he uses to create his stories. A wonderful Spanish dinner followed at Toro's.
Saturday morning saw me braving an early start (my only day for a sleep in) and I headed into town for the CBCA Tasmania branch AGM. I sat firmly on my hands and thankfully walked away without a position but was very pleased to be there in recognition and support of the hard work the fabulous volunteers offer. It was a sad farewell to our well established and hard working leader, Patsy, and we saw the the new President of the Tasmanian Branch, Richard, take the reigns. I know all who know Patsy and her commitment to CBCA, her passion and hard work will join me in a big thank you. I'm very please to say she is still on the committee.
A rush down stairs to the children's library and we were all set for another Chris Cheng presentation. This time e-books, p-books and apps. A very enlightening overview of how they are created, why they are not a threat to traditional books and how they are an important part of literature in the current age. I've always quoted Stephen Fry (I wish I had thought of it): 'The elevator never put the stairs out of business ' and so Chris also stated that 'the TV never put the radio out of business.' I really enjoy the new age of picture books.
A quick lunch with the group that had formed around these events and then off to Fullers Book Store for the final event of the weekend, the SCBWI Tasmania/Victoria Branch Meeting. Hooray. I've finally joined and realise it is a wonderful thing to do. It was amazing how many illustrators came to listen to the wonderful speakers, including Claire Saxby. Corrine King/Fenton, Chris Cheng and our own Sally Odgers and Julie Hunt. More inspiration and encouragement. Wonderful to catch up with so many friends. We are not alone.....
My head is full of motivation and then to top it all off I attended an art workshop run by our local art supply store (& oldest book store in Australia) Birchall's. I was treated to an understanding of how paint is made and therefore how it works for the artist and all the new mediums and paints now available. Those dusty blank canvases might actually see some daylight, I'm revved up in all departments creatively.
So much in only four days. Enough time now to settle down and put that excited energy into action. Then it will be time to head of to my retreat in Sydney, Open Spaces where again I will be inspired, encouraged and will hopefully get to encourage and inspire back. Stay tuned, October is the month of creative motivation. I hope yours is as well,