Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Boston Cream Doughnut Theory

We can now add to the list of potential platforms another radio program, this one called The Story on APM (American Public Media). The format is similar to Outfront, This American Life, and Radio Diaries (see below), in that it's about "the ordinary us."

Wait a minute! What self-respecting program would use the word 'ordinary' when trying to hook an audience? We don't want 'ordinary,' right?! Sounds boring, doesn't it?!

I don't think so. And if you do, I'd like to suggest that you're missing the custard in the Boston Cream. What makes life interesting, after all, is not always visible on the surface. You need to dig for the gold (or in this case, the golden custard). The Story is a fab program, which can be downloaded onto your MP3 or iPod. Check it out at: http://thestory.org/

~ Sherryll

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Back in May I pitched CBC Radio’s Outfront with a synopsis of our quest to write and illustrate a children’s picture book, only to discover that the documentary-style radio program, by and for the average, everyday person, had, sadly, been axed.
The idea behind the pitch was to share with a larger audience the steps we have taken, and will continue to take, in making our dream come true. Like this very blog, broadcasting our quest on a show like Outfront was our stab at self-promotion.

You may ask: But who really cares about two friends looking to make it in kids’ books? To that I answer: Lots. Try googling: writing + illustrating + picture books. You’ll get 56,600,000 results, which tells me that there’s a large group of people – people like Dan and me - who are equally captivated by the idea.

I close my eyes and imagine a child lying on the floor, tummy down, dirty socks up, totally engrossed as he flips through a much-loved book with the tell-tale signs of torn pages, dog-eared corners, and chocolate drippings. The expression of pure enchantment on his little moon face is clear: the child is here in body, but his imagination has been swept far, far away, floating on a cotton ball cloud to destinations unknown.

Life doesn’t get much better. For the child. And for me.

To imagine my words capable of absorbing a pint-sized person’s imagination to the point of otherworldliness… What a thrill! It’s definitely in the top five of my Life List.*

Then I think: How audacious! Really, who do I think I am?! I’m not Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon), Don Freeman (Corduroy), Ezra Jack Keats (The Snowy Day). I’m just me. Once again the venomous self-doubt snakes though my thoughts.

But we won’t know until we try, and try we will. Again. Last night I sent a pitch to two more most excellent radio programs, both along the same lines as Outfront: This American Life on Chicago Public Radio, www.thislife.org, and Radio Diaries, part of the All Things Considered program on National Public Radio, www.npr.org.

I regularly download both of these programs from iTunes – they are amazing! If you haven’t listened to them, I highly recommend that you do.

In the meantime, we shall wait. Will we be successful? We shall see.

* The Life List is a work in progress, but essentially it’s a selection of meaningful goals to achieve over my lifetime. At the top of the list is being a Mmmarvelous Mom to my twins, but the list also includes goals like racing in the Scotia Bank Waterfront 5km run this September – and placing in the top 10 in my age category.

~ Sherryll