Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"There and back again"

Rebecca Beatrice Miller

Still feeling worn from a lingering cold and travel, but I'm back from a day at The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, where my daughter Rebecca and I attended Portfolio Day. (She is currently on extended leave after her sophomore year at Bard College, doing some writing and film jobs this month, and will probably finish up there some year in the future.) We stayed at the Coolidge Hotel for a week for one of their workshops five years ago, when she was a mere sprat of 15. Now she's turning in an application for a 2-year certificate.

We met faculty and staff, Rebecca enjoyed a portfolio review with Jon Chad, and we had a marvelous, jolly private tour with first-year student Josh. The students seem wonderfully pleased with their first year "boot camp" and more advanced work--there's a lovely mix of unleashed imagination and hard work on premises. Evidently they locked any angst-ridden students in the courthouse vault. (Maybe it was a bank once?)

The school seems to be in a fair way to transform the town and give it some much-needed support. Physically, it consists of three older, re-purposed buildings--right now they are housed in a grand former post office and later courthouse (or vice versa), Colodny's department store, and the Telegraph Office. The Charles M. Schulz Library had to move from a site by the river during Hurricane Irene (books not liking water), and now is housed in a wing of the Post Office.

I'll have to remember to put aside the graphic novels from this year's judging stint to add to the Schulz collection... (Yes, the National Book Award banquet is Wednesday, and I am taking Rebecca as my companion!)

14 comments:

  1. The nuts and bolts of leading a creative life can be exhausting, but fun! Sound like there are some rather shiny nuts and bolts at the moment, too.

    The National Book Award banquet will a wonderful thing, I'm sure. You have worked incredibly hard in assessing so many books, Marly. Have a good time and... congratulations on a job very well done!

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  2. Paul,

    That's so sweet, I think I'm going to have to go blow my nose!

    xo Marly

    P. S. Yes, I'm very happy that she liked it so much... And I hoping to be over the cold and have a wonderful time on Wednesday.

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  3. P. P. S. Looking forward to our next collaboration!

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  4. i'm hoping you beat the bug, sooner rather than later...and that you are served a scrumptious repast as a tasty reward for all that critical reading (which still leaves me cross-eyed, just contemplating).

    What a fun self-portrait by Rebecca. Does she blog? i would be very interested in following the musings and work of a young, aspiring cartoonist, if she does.


    i'm totally naive when it comes to graphic novels...

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  5. Sounds like a creative family indeed! Love the self-portrait(?) cartoon, congrats to Rebecca and much luck in her future path.

    Graphic novels, cartoons etc are one area of visual arts that I've never explored, though my brother had more of a flair for that.

    Oh, and get over that cold now, won't you and enjoy the banquet!

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  6. Hi Vicki,

    My blog is at http://quazdraws.tumblr.com/ . So far it doesn't have very many posts on it I'm afraid, but maybe you'll like it?

    --Rebecca

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  7. Marja-Leena,

    Thanks for the good wishes of all sorts... Yes, a little self-portrait, though she has just chopped off her curls and is now a pixie.

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  8. Sounds like you had an exciting time! Rebecca's artistic apprenticeship sounds wonderful. I envy her that journey! I hope it goes great for her there.

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  9. Vicki,

    She is a filmmaking major at Bard, so she is interested in a lot of things--also wants to know more about set design and creature-building-makeup.

    Thanks for the wishes!

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  10. Robbi,

    You're counting an unhatched chicken! I expect she'll find out soon after she gets her transcripts in.

    It did look like a whale of fun! Also work, but the kind that invigorates...

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  11. If the bullfrogs eat me, it's all your fault, then, because I haven't got a drop of Viagra to sell.

    I like the sound of this school, and hope Rebecca gets her two year apprenticeship there, and then becomes a famous cartoonist in the New Yorker and in children's books and other venues so she can support you in yer old age.

    Eat well and sleep as much as possible and beat those cold germs up with mucinex.

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  12. Marly, this all seems impossible and wondrous and enchanted.

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  13. Mary Boxley Bullington:

    Greetings, you were spared by the bullfrog Balrogs. Just don't sell any one those drugs (which I shall leave unmentioned because it probably attracts more peddlers or wear the boots that start with "U" and end with "gg" plus an "s."

    Had seafood for dinner and shall try and go to sleep before the Time of the Snoring.

    Thank you for the good wishes!

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  14. Richelle,

    I can just imagine you would especially love this idea because you are the absolute queen of re-purposed materials! It was, indeed, lively and charming in its own quirky, geeky way.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.