Firsts for September

September was filled with plenty of firsts:
1. We have our first terrarium in the house, and in a strange case of life imitating art (since my next picture book is about a family of snails), the girls wanted to have snails. We now have three of them. We also had one temporary tenant: a caterpillar that became a moth and fluttered off into the September sky.

2. First look at ZOE'S ROOM! The unbound galley arrived last week. It's always a treat to page through the book and see all of the art together after many, many months of work. The colors are striking and rich.

3. First visit to the Lake Shrine here in Pacific Palisades. We explored the meditation gardens that surround an exquisite lake. Turtles, dragonflies, and koi abound. The girls don't even mind that they have to be quiet.

4. First approval of sketches from Candlewick. This is my first book with Candlewick, and the process has been so enjoyable. I'm very eager to start painting.

5. First listen to the music for the SNIPPET trailer from my brother! May I just say—awesomeness.

6. First visit to Safari West on a full moon night. Is there anything better than being serenaded by wild critters while roughing it in a tent (okay, luxury cabin) under the harvest moon?

7. First set of sketches submitted for the new project I mentioned last month. Lots of nail biting here. It is both terrifying and exhilarating since the finished pieces will be done in a style unlike any of my picture books to date.

8. First offer for a book that I have not yet written. (Again, lots of nail biting.)
9. First time at the Casa Madrona in Sausalito. It was fun to be tourists in our home town.

10. First time my purchases of vintage books can be written off for a project. I think eBay is calling me now...

Happy October!