It’s amazing how working in one area spawns an idea in another area. I’ve been researching Maine artist Dahlov Ipcar, whose children’s books(Hardscrabble Harvest, The Calico Jungle, My Wonderful Christmas Tree and others) are being reprinted by Islandport Press and who is still painting at age 93. It’s wonderful immersing myself in her gorgeous art, full of geometric patterns and lively colors. Her passion for jungle animals sparked an idea in my mind for a Christmas book.
I wrote a Christmas story during my first semester at Vermont College. Eric Kimmel was my mentor. Eric read my manuscript, critiqued it and said, “Now go write me a Christmas story worthy of the subject.” Hard to swallow, but he was right. Now I think my new idea might be worthy. The trick is to write it!