Monday, April 14, 2014

Norfolk Academy Art Show 2014

Penguin and Balloon © 2014 Sylvia Liu
 Just Chillin' © 2014 Sylvia Liu
 Butterfly Dreams © 2014 Sylvia Liu
 Spring Bunny © 2014 Sylvia Liu

Each year, I exhibit four pieces in the annual Norfolk Academy Art Show. These are my pieces this year. The penguin paintings feature a character that may end up in a children's story.

This year, I was in a rush to get these paintings finished by the deadline, so I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the titles. My family was quite disappointed with my lack of imagination, especially Penguin and Balloon. If you can suggest a better title for that piece, I'd love to hear it. 

If you are local, feel free to stop by for the opening reception, on Saturday, April 26, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Unfortunately, I won't be there, because I will be away for the second and concluding conference of my Nevada SCBWI Mentorship program. The show runs until the first weekend in May.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Should Authors and Illustrators Form an LLC (and Other Business Questions)?

© 2014 Sylvia Liu

Once you start taking your writing and/or illustrating seriously, it may be time to treat your work as a business. This can include keeping track of expenses and income and reporting them on your taxes, obtaining a business license, or creating a limited liability company (LLC).

Although I was once an attorney, this post does NOT constitute legal advice. Instead, it raises some of the issues you may want to consider when treating your writing/illustrating as a business.

FIRST ISSUE: Should I treat my writing/illustrating as a business for tax purposes?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Little Red (a short short fairy tale)

© 2013 Sylvia Liu

This is my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill's fractured fairy tale contest (The March Madness Writing Contest), clocking in at 164 words.


                Little Red ignored the village worrywarts who warned her about Nail Forest. She would risk the nasty scrapes from rusted ridges and the stinging scratches from metal flakes. It was the only way to get to Nana’s house before dark.
            “Are you lost, young lady?” called a kindly, raspy voice.
            “No. My Nana’s just through the spikes and past Chainsaw Canyon. Thanks for your kind concern.” Little Red smiled at the strange man with long ears and bushy tail.
            The man started forward, but then furrowed his furry brow. He scratched his head with long, sharp nails. Then he smiled, showing long, ugly teeth.
            He should really get those cleaned, Little Red thought.
            Twenty minutes later, she hugged Nana.
            Nana said, “I’m so glad to see you. The Grimm Daily News says that Lone Wolf is roaming Nail Forest and preying on young girls.”
            “Oh, don’t worry, Nana. A really nice fellow also hangs out there. He’ll keep us safe. Here, have some bread.”

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kidlit411 Giveaway and David Diaz in the Spotlight

This is a super short post to encourage you to head over to Kidlit411 and enter into our giveaway for a free picture book critique with Susanna Leonard Hill or a chance to submit a picture book, middle grade, or young adult manuscript to agent Mira Reisberg of Hummingbird Literary. The giveaway ends on Friday, March 7.

Also on Kidlit411, I've interviewed illustrator David Diaz, the 1995 Caldecott winner and the 2013 Pura Belpré winner. David is my mentor in the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. One my favorite books of his is the biography of Frida Kahlo, ME, FRIDA.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

New Work: Logos and Banners

I've been making logos and web banners recently. I enjoy doing these logos because it is immediately gratifying to see my work on some of my favorite kidlit websites:


Elaine Kearns and I have been working on Kidlit411, a website gathering information for kid lit writers and illustrators. Here's the website banner:

© 2014 Sylvia Liu

Friday, February 14, 2014

How to Create an Active Sub Page in Blogger

Recently, a blog reader asked me how to make an active sub-page in Blogger instead of the default static page. The example she gave was my Portfolio tab (above), which links to a page that acts like a blog or website rather than a static page.

I haven't figured out a way to do it within one blog, but here's my very simple workaround.  My portfolio site is a separate Blogger blog, and my page tab in this blog links directly to the URL of that separate site.

How to Link a Page to Another Site to Create the Illusion of an Active Sub Page

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Poetry Friday: Cephalopod Dactyl & A New Poetry Class for Picture Book Writers

© 2012 Sylvia Liu

My friend and children's poet Renée LaTulippe is hosting Poetry Friday today, and thanks to her, this is the first time I feel brave enough to offer my own poetry.

I have been part of a beta class for her new online class, THE LYRICAL LANGUAGE LAB. In this 4 week course, Renée teaches the basics of poetry for picture book writers, whether they plan to write in rhyme or not. The classes cover basics such as meter, rhyme, and types of poetry, as well as techniques to bring poetic and lyrical language to one's writing, both rhyming and prose. Renée will begin monthly classes in April 2014, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.