Friday, February 13, 2009


As the title implies, this blog post is not of the one-note sort. Instead, it carries the musical variety and emotional range of a High School Musical showstopper. So, I'll divide this post into 3 parts: The Bitter, The Sweet, and the So Sweet I Think I Might Be Sick.

The Bitter:

If you've been following the publishing market, you know it's as unsteady as Zac Efron's singing voice (yes, all of my analogies are going to be HSM-based). HarperCollins had a round of layoffs on Tuesday, and the ax fell on yours truly. Many others, much more talented in their jobs than I, also lost their jobs that day- and their absence really is a great loss. I have no doubt that everyone who was laid off will bounce back stronger than ever- but it was still a very difficult day around the office. Many, many talented people of course remain to keep producing great books, and I will certainly be watching the Greenwillow list in the years to come when looking for great books for my friends and, someday, family. So to everyone at the Greenwillow and HarperCollins families: it was an honor to work with you, and I will certainly miss everyone.

Pretty bitter, right? What could possibly taste sweet after this bitter pill?

The Sweet:

Believe it or not, I was heading in to work that very day to hand in my notice! My husband and I are packing our wagons and heading out west! We're moving from New York to Portland, Oregon! For a visual reasoning as to why we're moving, please see the following examples of our experiences:



Yes, we're pretty excited, and we've been planning this for about the past year and a half. And now it's only two weeks away!!! I will, of course, keep a running commentary on this blog, as we move into Ramona Quimby and Twilight territory.

And last but not least, the sweet pit of sweetness inside the already sweet Everlasting Gobstopper (new analogy):

The wedding was fantastic, and thanks to everyone for your warm wishes! Because really, jobs and location don't really feel all that important, when you have love and happiness in your life.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Another trip down Memory Lane!

The time: the early 2000s. I was a fresh RISD graduate, back in my parents' house in Florida, when I read the following ad in the Classifieds of the Tampa Tribune (that statement's a time capsule in itself): 

WANTED: Portrait Artist for Carnival Cruise Ships

Well, I had nothing else going on, I thought I'd give it a shot! After some training sessions with "the best portrait artist in the Walt Disney World complex", I was given my assignment aboard a ship (the...Destiny? Celebration?... hmmm) sailing from Miami to Jamaica, St. Croix, San Juan, & other exotic locales!

While the portraits themselves were rather cheesy (they were on velvet paper, after all), to this day I think it was an immensely valuable experience. I was drawing people! 8-12 hours a day, seven days a week! Mostly from photographs, but sometimes people wanted to sit for a live portrait, which was always a) fun, and 2) somewhat panic-inducing.

It WAS a cruise ship, I had to have some sort of celebrity portfolio! This was, if you can imagine, a time when Harry Potter was NOT a household name! The first movie hadn't been released yet, and when I dressed up as Harry for Halloween, barely anyone knew who I was.