Tuesday, July 30, 2013

book Idea Sketch

Doodled out an idea yesterday afternoon of what the pictures in my book might look like. This might be more detail than is practical in the time period but i like it.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Personal update

The Race went well. I had a lot of fun and i made it the whole 5 miles in a vehicle made from a porch swing, an airport bike and an exercise machine. Now, as of Friday night, i am back in Colorado

B3. Bookstore Observation

behold, the back of a bookstore.

On Saturday of the 27th day in the 7th month of the 13th year of the new millennium (of which there have been 2 that matter according to people long dead) I went to Barnes and Noble and investigated the young readers section. I have been in this bookstore many times dating all the way back to my childhood and, for some reason, the children's section does not look smaller despite my being somewhat larger. In the construction of this place, someone must have thought it a good idea to make picture books over a quarter of the inventory because this space takes up almost a third of the store and includes a gazebo, a wall, a stage, big wood cut outs of classic book characters that i seriously doubt any of the kids in there have actually heard of, and large wood pillars disguised as trees made out of paper and ink. Why tiny people need this much space is beyond me but it does make for an open and inviting area that was remarkably pleasant even though, as i sat at a tiny table on a tiny bench with a tiny tea set laid out before me, i kept feeling like i should be expecting a singalong number about a strangely tinted highway and any moment.

all good books. though it just occurred to me 
that there are no Dr. Seuss books in our reading list.

I was not offered assistance at any time during my visit but i suspect this was less about the attitudes of the store employees and more because of the strange imbalance of customers. The adult section of the store was bustling like i have never seen it before excepting the week before a fat man climbs down peoples chimneys and trades toys for calories. There were people everywhere in the main area but as i strolled calmly into the young readers area it struck me that there was a distinct lack of youth and, to a greater extent, reading. in fact, there were only two women chatting, a baby that was too young to read and one young boy playing with erector set toys from the far wall. There were lots of good places to play and comfy chairs to sit in but, despite the high demand for reading spots outside of this miniature bastion projecting into the store, i seemed to be the only person brave enough to come in here to read. i was sitting in the huge comfy story-time chair on the stage reading "William Shakespeare's Star Wars" and it made me wish that there were other people around to read it at.
I see adventure time coloring books on that shelf.
 Seriously, what kind of horrible parent lets their 5 year old watch adventure time? 
awesome show, not for kids.

i have bought books here on occasion in the past but i have a rich history of being poor and B&N is notoriously expensive as bookstores go. There was a huge selection of classic and new books that all looked remarkably appealing and were arranged in neat little displays around and on shelves that were, sadly, probably too tall for anyone under 7 to reach the top shelf.

B2. Library Observation

B2. Library Observation
exterior of the public library. Very shiny.

For this assignment i visited the Council Tree Public library located in southern Fort Collins, CO. The Library is located on the second floor in a shopping center area and requires you to pass through a text/font related art piece on the way up the stairs. It is an orange room with text hanging from the ceiling in such a way that it appears to be swooshing around like a swarm of angry, literate hornets
Gah! ive been stung by a B!

Once at the top of the stairs i zigzagged my way to the far back of the building to the children's section and discovered that it is much more than what i expected. This space seemed to be both about reading and a great deal of other things. There were places to play, educational kinetic things with gears that you could crank and learn something about mechanics or electricity or optical illusions, computers along the wall loaded with all sorts of education programs and a very child oriented shelving system. All of the shelves appeared to be sized so that the target audience of the books on them could reach the top shelf. picture books were only 3 or four feet tall, young adult about 5 and adult about 7. 
Observing the visitors revealed that that the parents were much more interested in the books than the children. There was about 4 children (all under 6ish), two dads and one mother in the area but the fathers and one boy were the only ones actually looking for books. The mother was simply hanging out texting while the other three children were either watching cartoons or playing on the playground stuff. I was, however, impressed by one boy about 7 who actually used the pc search engine to find books and was carrying around about 12 books (actually more than he could carry. he would move the pile in segments) almost all about music. He had books like: Jake and the Philharmonic, Great Musicians, Intro to Music and more. he also had one Star Wars book.

The space was well lit and there was even a room in the corner that was filled with little tables for reading and working on crafts and even had a tiny entrance door for kids to use. it was a good space with large windows but i did not see any comfy chairs in the area for just sitting and reading.

I would and did borrow a large amount of of the required books for this class from this library. the ones i couldn't get there the librarian offered to put them on hold for me at the other library downtown. 

B8. B. What is your relationship with reading now?

B8. B. What is your relationship with reading now?

My relationship with reading is a bit complex. I genuinely enjoy reading and i am a reasonably fast reader but my interest fluctuates on a long term basis. I hadn't read a damned thing of my choosing for months near the end of last years quarter and it was even difficult to read the pieces that had been assigned to me for classwork. Then, suddenly, I had the urge to read Sherlock Holmes. When I say "read Sherlock Holmes" i mean i acquired every short story, novel, and other material Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever wrote in his lifetime and plowed through over one thousand legal size, double column, single spaced, 8 pt font pages in just over two weeks. I hardly did anything but read for that entire period. Then i read the rest of Conan Doyles work including his collaborations, political works and various short stories. Now that i have moved on to reading the children's stories for this class i must admit that it is both very strange and very enjoyable to read something simple and straight to the point with copious quantities of pictures. I even began doodling ideas for pictures in the book we are required to write in a week or two.

B7. A. Learning to Read.

B7. A. Learning to Read.

While I don’t remember well the actual act of learning to read, I do remember that it was not much of a challenge for me when I started. I had a lot of time on my hands with my parents always working so I pretty much taught myself to read and write. I was reading proficiently by the time that my school decided to teach me to read and I remember being horribly bored because I wasn't really learning anything for quite a long time. This was a big source of tension in my classroom because I was kind of resentful that I could already read and there was no room for going on to harder things before everyone else. Things only got worse when they tried to teach me to write as well. I had taught myself remarkably flowing cursive (I’m still impressed with how good it was when I find an old box of school stuff) simply out of interest and then suddenly I was  forced to go back and learn to write in print. Sad to say, this pretty much destroyed the legibility of my handwriting though my spelling and sentence structure survived reasonably intact. I kept on reading for fun all the way through elementary before I started losing interest. I’m not sure why but my interest in reading for pleasure has really fluctuated year to year but i go through phases of non-stop reading followed by periods of reading only things i have to. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


1) Illustrative summer photo of me:

Hello dear friends, acquaintances, admirers, classmates, and strange internet relations, my name is charlie (or Charles, either is fine) and i am apparently starting this blog to write about fairy tale morality. Hopefully i will discover what that phrase actually means before i get too far into this literary escapade. I am writing to you, whoever you may be, from glorious San Francisco the city of...uh..hills..and fog and stuff. Soon i will leaving the bay to head back to the crime ridden streets of Vallejo, then on to salt lake city( home of the Mormons, tall white men with naturally neon orange Afros, and ihops that close at 8 o'clock) and finally, in a few days, back to Fort Collins, Colorado where i shall continue this one sided dialogue. (which i suppose contradicts the definition of a dialogue unless one of you actually decides, god forbid, to post a real bonafide comment which would be great because it's no fun writing for web bots)

I am a senior in the last stages of a Bachelors of Fine Art (BFA) and i am taking this class because i like children's fairy tales, i like reading way farther into things than can possibly be healthy, i enjoy writing silly things and i desperately need the credit if i am to graduate from the illustrious University of Denver this coming fall quarter. I am taking it online because i am currently in California to build art cars and various human powered contraptions with obtanium works and, since i have recently moved my place of residence from Denver to Fort Collins, the 90 minute commute every day would be just plain silly. I have not taken any online classes previously and i have no idea how i'm doing so far but i am fairly confident that i'm already failing in some respect. I promise to try harder in the future.