Friday, June 28, 2013

An (illustrated) children's book by Heddi Goodrich (Italian - English)

El Negro era proprio figo. (illustrazione di una pecora nera circondata da ammiratori) Pecorino non lo era. Era uguali agli altri. Banale come una nuvola batuffolosa.

Black Dude sure was cool. (illustration: suave black sheep surrounded by admirers) Sheepy wasn’t. He was just like everybody else. As boring as a fluffy white cloud.

“Quella assomiglia ad una nave,” disse l’amico Pecorello. (guardando le  forme delle nuvole nel cielo)

“That one looks like a ship,” said his friend Sheepish. (looking up at the cloud shapes)

“Che ne dici, mi tingo di nero?” chiese Pecorino.

“Do you think it would work if I dyed myself black?” Sheepy asked.

 “Onestamente? No.”

“Honestly? No.”

E allora un giorno… Pecorino decise di agghindarsi di rami.

So one day…Sheepy decided to dress himself up with branches.

Era la pecora più elegante di tutto il pascolo. Attirò qualche ammiratore. (uccelli) Ma gli altri non lo compresero.

He was the fanciest sheep on the paddock. He had a few admirers. (birds) Most of the other didn’t get it.

(le altre pecore) “Stavi meglio senza quei rami.” “Così ti rovini la lana.” “Ciechi un occhio a qualcuno.” “Ti pungi.”

(the other sheep) “You looked better without those branches.” “You’ll ruin your wool like that.” “You’ll poke someone’s eye out.” “You’ll prick yourself.”

Ma erano solo invidiosi.

But they were just jealous.

Un picchio cominciò a beccare uno dei suoi rami. A Pecorino non dava fastidio. Era un ritmo quasi musicale. A Pecorino piaceva la musica.

A woodpecker started to peck one of his branches. Sheepy wasn’t too bothered. It was almost musical. Sheepy liked music.

Pecorino inciampò. Un ramo gli si conficcò nel fianco. A Pecorino non dispiacque poi tanto. Soffriva comunque di prurito proprio in quel punto.

Sheepy stumbled. A branch poked him on the side. Sheepy didn’t mind. He had an itch just in that spot anyway.

I rami erano fighissimi. Ancora più del nero.

Branches were cool. Branches were the new black.

Altri uccelli gli si appollaiarono sui rami. E altri ancora. E ancora.

More birds landed on his branches. And more. And more.

“Secondo me, stai scomodo,” disse Pecorello.

“You look uncomfortable,” said Sheepish.

“Non sto scomodo. Non sto mai scomodo.”

“I’m not uncomfortable. I’m never uncomfortable.”

Gli uccelli non capiscono niente di musica vera. E allora Pecorino si incamminò con eleganza verso il granaio.

Birds know nothing about real music. So Sheepy strutted elegantly into the barn.

Pecorino decise di radersi a zero.

Sheepy decided to shave himself.

Era l’unica pecora tosata in tutto il pascolo. Attirò qualche ammiratore. (scoiattoli) Ma gli altri non lo compresero.

He was the only shorn sheep on the paddock. He had a few admirers. (squirrels) Most of the other didn’t get it.

(le altre pecore) “Stavi meglio con la lana.” “Dovevi aspettare la primavera per tosarti.” “L’inverno è alla porte, sai.” “Ti becchi l’influenza così.”

(the other sheep) “You looked better with your wool on.” “You’re supposed to wait till spring to shave.” “Winter’s on its way, you know.” “You’ll catch the flu.”

Ma erano solo invidiosi.

But they were just jealous.

Cominciò a piovere. Gli altri corsero al riparo sotto gli alberi. Ma Pecorino no. Non gli dava fastidio la pioggia.

It started to rain. The others ran for cover under the trees. But not Sheepy. He didn’t mind the rain.

Cominciò a grandinare. Agli altri si appiccicò il ghiaccio alla lana. A Pecorino no. La grandine gli scivolò di dosso.

It started to hail. The others got ice caught in their wool. But not Sheepy. The hail rolled right off him.

Zero era fighissimo. Ancora più del nero.

Short was cool. Short was the new black.

Il vento cominciò a tirare. Tirò. E tirò.

The wind started to blow. And blow. And blow.

“Hai freddo,” disse Pecorello.

“You’re cold,” said Sheepish.

“Non ho freddo. Non ho mai freddo.”

“I’m not cold. I’m never cold.”

Gli alberi non servono a niente quando c’è vento. Allora Pecorino si incamminò con tutta rilassatezza verso il granaio. (tremando, con gli inizi di un raffreddore)

Trees are useless when it comes to wind. So Sheepy wandered casually into the barn. (shivering, sniffling)

Un paio di giorni dopo uscì con un nuovo taglio. (una specie di mohawk con i rasta)

A few days later he came out with a new do. (a type of body mohawk with dreadlocks)

“Che fine ha fatto il look a zero?” chiese Pecorello.

“What happened to the shorn look?” asked Sheepish.

“Quello? Beh, è così fuori moda.”

“Oh, that? That’s so yesterday.”

“Vuoi dare un’occhiata alle nuvole?”

“Wanna go check out the clouds?”

“Idea fighissima,” disse Pecorino.
 
“Cool,” said Sheepy.

Friday, June 21, 2013

An (illustrated) children's book by Heddi Goodrich


Black Dude sure was cool. (illustration: suave black sheep surrounded by admirers)

Sheepy wasn’t. He was just like everybody else. As boring as a fluffy white cloud.

“That one looks like a ship,” said his friend Sheepish. (looking up at the cloud shapes)

“Do you think it would work if I dyed myself black?” Sheepy asked.

“Honestly? No.”

So one day…

Sheepy decided to dress himself up with branches.

He was the fanciest sheep on the paddock.

He had a few admirers. (birds)

Most of the other didn’t get it.

(the other sheep) “You looked better without those branches.” “You’ll ruin your wool like that.” “You’ll poke someone’s eye out.” “You’ll prick yourself.”

But they were just jealous.

A woodpecker started to peck one of his branches. Sheepy wasn’t too bothered. It was almost musical. Sheepy liked music.

Sheepy stumbled. A branch poked him on the side. Sheepy didn’t mind. He had an itch just in that spot anyway.

Branches were cool. Branches were the new black.

More birds landed on his branches. And more. And more.

“You look uncomfortable,” said Sheepish.

“I’m not uncomfortable. I’m never uncomfortable.”

Birds know nothing about real music. So Sheepy strutted elegantly into the barn.

Sheepy decided to shave himself.

He was the only shorn sheep on the paddock.

He had a few admirers. (squirrels)

Most of the others didn’t get it.

(the other sheep) “You looked better with your wool on.” “You’re supposed to wait till spring to shave.” “Winter’s on its way, you know.” “You’ll catch the flu.”

But they were just jealous.

It started to rain. The others ran for cover under the trees. But not Sheepy. He didn’t mind the rain.

It started to hail. The others got ice caught in their wool. But not Sheepy. The hail rolled right off him.

Short was cool. Short was the new black.

The wind started to blow. And blow. And blow.

“You’re cold,” said Sheepish.

“I’m not cold. I’m never cold.”

Trees are useless when it comes to wind. So Sheepy wandered casually into the barn. (shivering, sniffling)

A few days later he came out with a new do. (a type of body mohawk with dreadlocks)

“What happened to the shorn look?” asked Sheepish.

“Oh, that? That’s so yesterday.”

“Wanna go check out the clouds?”

“Cool,” said Sheepy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Short and sweet

           
           As promised, this week I’m practicing succinctness. Short and sweet.

Cool news: I’m published! OK, I mean self-published. But because the book was published online not by myself but by two of my loved ones as a surprise gift, I’m technically not self-published. In any case, ‘published’ is an adjective I’m enjoying throwing around this week, a bit like ‘succinct’. Last week it was ‘contingent’. (Don’t ask. Or I’ll have to delve into details from a parent committee meeting at my eldest son’s preschool.)

In any case – remember, Heddi, succinct, succinct, succinct! – this is possibly the best present I’ve ever been given, better even than a year’s supply of apricot white tea unavailable here in New Zealand. My self-published book is a selection of blog posts from Confessions of a Wannabe Writer, from the last two and a half years of pouring out my heart to you on my ongoing journey to publish my memoir: the excitement, the rejections, the laughter, the tears! Remember, O my Best Beloved? And then all the musings about language and all the fun writing in Italian too…Week after week, how we have laughed and suffered together! And it’s all there, in full color with shiny cover.

When I first unwrapped the copy of my own book – so thick and book-like – honest to god my first thought was, “Who wrote this?”

Funny how while trying to publish my book, I ended up writing another one.

…But I’d promised I’d be brief. The best short and sweet adjectives I can find to describe how I felt to receive such a gift? Blown away, grateful and a little bit famous. A few adjectives to describe the book itself: funny, heartfelt, sometimes witty and decidedly (for this struggling author) inspiring.

Confessions of a Wannabe Writer by Heddi Goodrich can be purchased on lulu.com at http://www.lulu.com/shop/heddi-goodrich/confessions-of-a-wannabe-writer/paperback/product-20844675.html.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Economizing


            To keep good on my renewed promise to write in my blog weekly, I have to be realistic. I’m a time-poor mother of now two boys and I no longer have the luxury of writing whenever I want. Or as much as I want. The same, of course, goes for showers.

            So how to manage editing my whopper of a memoir, copy-editing academic articles, collaborating on a film project and writing blog entries? As it is, many simpler tasks seem nearly impossible to squeeze into everyday life: keeping in regular touch with family in the States, sending emails, cleaning the toilet, reading books.

If I want to write, then something has to give. The first to go is obviously sleep, but from experience I can say with certainty that that sacrifice barely covers the more urgent (and bill-paying) copy-editing. I’m unwilling to sacrifice the showers altogether. And skipping meals is pointless: as it is, I already eat standing at the kitchen counter while serving a finicky four-year-old, washing dishes and answering calls from time-share pushers and soul-savers.

            Clearly, one obvious solution is multitasking. It’s no exaggeration when I say that as I’m writing this now I’m also rocking the baby, eating leftovers for lunch and ironing my husband’s shirts. But what I gain in efficiency I seem to lose in quality. The baby doesn’t fall into a deep enough sleep, I drip salad dressing on my pants and possibly the business shirts, and the writing…well, the writing. You can judge that yourself.

            Another solution is to be less of a perfectionist. Laxer with punctuation, less fastidious about synonyms, a bit more flexible with grammar. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen.

            This leads me to the only logical conclusion. Brevity. Economy of words. And some incomplete sentences. At least when writing my blog.
 
Fewer words. Lord knows it would do me good…and possibly be a relief to my readers. Unless you have any other tips?