[Maurice Sendak] said he was profoundly influenced by the deaths of some of his extended family members in the Holocaust. "I can't say exactly why....But I am still trying to filter through all that business in my life and turn it into art."
Barbara Gilbert, the curator of fine arts for the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles, where an exhibit about Sendak's work was held, said that Sendak moved the children's book genre beyond amusing pictures.
"Children's books were always very pretty," Gilbert said. "But Sendak wanted them to be honest."
Excerpt from The Christian Science Monitor
Week 8: Spring Break!
Week 7: March 2
Meet in groups: Boss of Lunch and Tea Time .
Room 333 Fisher-Bennett Hall. Not CPCW.
Bring your plots!
Week 6: February 24
In pairs: read each others' stories. Create a plot outline or graph. Present story to the class: For what age? Brief description of characters, plot, setting, point of view.
Workshops: scheduling. Cristo Rey, Saul, Treehouse books.
Class Doodle with available times in two- or three-hour blocks.
Types of plot
From: RhymeWeaver.com, Writer's Digest, Adventures in YA Publishing
Write five one-page story plots, including character descriptions. At least one of the stories must be for elementary, one for middle-school, and one for YA, readers.
If the one of the plots insists on your writing it, then do. Or maybe something you've been messing around with will worm its way into this assignment. Fine. Time to start bundling with your stories. Go out to the barn. Roll around with one of them, where no one can see you. You like?
Artist's date: Visit Van Pelt Library, section PZ. Schedule 45 minutes to browse, and 15 to write about the browsing, reading experience.
Week 1: January 20
In class: Building an intentional community
Who are you as a writer? What are you filtering through your life and turning into art?
Also logistics: 1/2-class times; workshop periods
Week 2: January 27
What's a story? How is a story different from an incident? Aristotle for littles. Action points. What's the problem? How does the character try to solve it? Is this a correct story for you to write? Does it matter to you? Is a child's book the only or best form in which to tell it? Why?
Out in the world: at partner organization Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut Street on Friday, January 29th, 6:30-8:30pm, meet the young photographer of A Beautiful Ghetto: A visual story by Devin Allen about Freddie Gray's Baltimore and the rise of the New Activist.
Week 3: February 3
Field trip: Slought/"A Beautiful Ghetto" with host, Dr. Aaron Levy
"Reading in the Dark"
Stories speed dating: What's the best thing about this story: Setting, idea, character, event/plot? Write it on author's sheet.
Week 4: February 10
Investigation of our individual aesthetic and obsessions. What do you NEED to write? Where do you start?
Irwin: Is there a formula for good writing?
Penn Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology: To let the art of centuries from across the globe lodge in our imaginations.
Preview of workshops with younger students; beginning scheduling and preferences. We'll figure out more on email.
Let the object form a story around itself. Play with it. Look online to find its specs or its history, if that interests you. Or go back and enjoy it some more. Then write.
Watch your process; respect it. Don't wait for Tuesday night. Tuesday night is not your friend.
After class, my friend, Hannibal Lokumbe, a composer, called, and I told him about our assignment, how I wanted to make this class an oasis for creation. His response" "Well, the great thing about creation is that you always learn." Even or especially when the project fails.
I'm intrigued by How Not to Write a Novel. Have ordered. You might be reading it soon.
Week 5: February 17
In class: Read from object lessons. Discuss process. How does this story connect with last week’s question: what do you need to write?
Read “Girl,” by Jamaica Kinkaid, and discuss the strategy of direct address.
Hmk: Re-read “Girl." Without trying to imitate her style, but noting the strength of this strategy, write a direct address story. Know your speaker and voice.
Decide to whom this story is directed.
Begin reading John Hough’s Craft of Dialogue
Let's talk about: Leo Tolstoy, The Hedgehog and Fox, John Gardiner, The Art of Fiction