I am walking the Silk Road to publishing, the trudging, arduous journey through empty dunes and unmarked paths. One navigates by the skies compass and always follows the North Star of becoming a published author. The skies' compasses are blogs and newsletters that try to advise the best road to success.
As the Silk Road journey, there are sand storms of rejections that leave one exhausted and limp, and it takes more than a sip of blessed water to pick up again and follow the caravan.
I am in line in that caravan and weathered some storms, learned, toughened up, and picked up some pieces of knowledge from the wise ones in the caravanserais. Also, as it happens in long journeys, travelers tell stories weaving together truths from their personal journey map.
I bring with me ideas of fiction that materialize in Picture Books, Chapter Books, or Graphic Novels. The category is the vessel for the idea.
Currently, I have in progress a Picture Book, "If I only…" which is the story of every child of working parents with nobody to play with, but with the power of imagination, Sam, the hero of the story, can solve that problem.
A chapter book: "Grigori's Bad, Terrible Week," about a gruff, set-in-his-ways cat, suddenly finds himself responsible for a trio of rambunctious kittens searching for their disappeared mother. The tension builds as they race to find the lost mother-cat through a series of whimsical yet looming deadlines. The story finishes with a bright rainbow and leaves the door open to a possible sequel.
And a graphic novel: "The Castle Halfway to the Moon," which has a STEM heartbeat. The story introduces forces (gravitational, friction, electromagnetic) as life forces and narrates that their perfect tuning makes our existence possible.
These forces are encapsulated in the Fine-Tuning Device. Any slight change in the settings can trigger calamities. The ruler of the land is the custodian of the Device. An evil mother and son pair are set to steal the Device and take it to their castle halfway to the moon, where unimpaired by the effects of the forces, they can manipulate them and control the world.
I love stories that are not predictable that let the imagination fly, and I try to shape mine in that fashion. These are also the stories and authors that grab me. A couple of my favorite PBs are "Tuesday" by David Wiesner, "The Stuff of Stars" by Marion Dane Bauer.
Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Kate DiCamillo, R.L. Stein are a few of my favorite authors. And then there is the wisdom and ingenuity of folk stories, for they continuously amaze and inspire.
I see biographies as geological exploration of personal layers to reveal the colors and minerals that make us, like a unique sedimentation rock.
Hello, my name is Raluca Sirbu.
I was born in socialist Romania and at the beginning I was a reader and a writer. I studied physics and became an educator. My favorite teaching method was blending science and storytelling.
In 1991 I arrived in the US and joined AT&T Labs. I missed my engagement with education and as such I designed and taught a professional development program for math and science educators focused on teaching through stories, games, and unique experiments.
In the recent past I pivoted to more literary forms of expression but still having children at the center.
A transversal section of my professional profile would reveal the following layers: reader, writer, educator, engineer, and forever scholar.
Sirbu, R & Rosell, B. The Daemon as Educator: Ubiquitous Access to a Personal Mentor, Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, Vol. 9, Iss. 4. Pp 6-16, 2011.
Sirbu, R. & Rosell, B. Reaching for the Clouds & Increasing Teacher Effectiveness, Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference, ISBN 1-880094-92-4, 2012