I've realized over the years that, with rare exceptions, most writer's block isn't writer's block at all: It's necessary time that allows the unconscious mind to do its deep work. The great Ah-Ha! moments don't usually come at the keyboard. They come when I'm lying on the floor, staring into space (or banging my head against the wall in frustration). All of a sudden the Unconscious Camera turns on, a movie starts playing in my head-and there it is: The Big Moment. Or the Whole Damn Story. And, in many ways, I had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Drawing is giving yourself up to an exercise with no immediate application. It is a form of communion with your subject, be it in front of you or in your head. Expertise and skill go hand in hand with your desire to express feelings, to tell stories, to create and share worlds. It's personal.
The blackbirds are in this book, they're both pro the kids and against the kids. Just like fate. Sometimes it goes your way. Sometimes... and also a blackbird is from my passion for Schubert songs and his blackbirds and his birds of doom or birds of good. … some people were baffled that in the last big picture of that book, there's a crucifix on the wall of the children's house. Everybody assumes the hero and heroine are Jewish and the mother is Jewish. They're not. They're not. — That was my point. Those kids were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And all children were in the Holocaust. Everybody was in the Holocaust. So, I made sure my hero and heroine were not Jewish children. That was too easy. That was too easy.