news writers schools contact kid books teen books about


Project Runway, Project Barbie and Project Revision

The new season of Project Runway has begun! If you are not convinced that this is not your typical reality TV show, then listen to this!

Okay, good. Now that I'm preaching to the choir we can get on with things. I can't quite decide who my favorites will be this season. Maybe Rami and Victorya.

I just love seeing everyone's different creative process unfold right before my eyes. And of course, I love finding the ways in which writing is similar to designing. A designer will have an ideal dress in his or her head. Maybe the sketch comes really close to that ideal, but making it out of fabric is another story. It doesn't drape the way they thought it would. They can't figure out how to construct it.

Just like writing a book.

Before I begin I hold that ideal book in my head, but it never quite drapes on the paper the way I thought it would. (Thank goodness for revision.)

Author Alan Grantz and his wife, textile designer Wendi have made Project Runway a participatory experience. Over on their blog they are playing along with each weeks challenge using Barbie doll as models...Project Barbie. I read about this fantastic endeavor on Sara Zarr's blog. (As well as reading about her exciting experiences as a National Book Award finalist. Congratulations, Sara!)

So, a part of me would totally love to participate in Project Barbie. (I have a sewing machine. I sort of know how to sew, and I totally also have pictures of halloween costumes I've made to prove it, but, uh, my scanner isn't working?)

Anyway, I am about to begin a different, rather large project.

Project Revision--in which an author takes 65,000 words and tries to rearrange them, add and subtract from them, hem them, add topstitching and maybe a little ruching and hopefully come up with a book that more closely approaches her mental sketch and also the mental sketch of her editor which she can't really see because it is inside of her editor's head but her editor has tried to communicate to her with helpful thought-provoking questions penciled all over the manuscript as though it were muslin. Oh, and also it must look fabulous on and fit all sizes!

If only Tim Gunn would show up at my house, read my manuscript and cheer me on with a "Make it Work."