Ideas From Real Life

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A hike in the Garden of the Gods, a part of the Shawnee National Forest in Herod, IL was not only an opportunity for pictures, but as I continue to work on illustrations on the picture book, it gave me ideas.

I wonder if anyone else can look at the photos and let their imagination run wild as it did as a child.  Do you see the faces and beings that could be a part of a scary bad dream?  This hike shifted my viewpoint from an adult to that of a child again.

How I look at the illustration of the story has shifted a little.  On the right track, but really couldn’t see how to make it come together.  This little adventure proved to be a compass to help me find the right trail.



Writer versus Person

I was confronted with a choice.  It was a difficult choice.  One I didn’t want to make.  One of those no win situations.  Deciding either way was going to bring with it regrets.

I chose not to go to the Spring Junque Jamboree in Vienna, IL.

One of the toughest decisions I have made thus far.  I had another pressing obligation that was so dear to my heart that made my attendance impossible.  Still, I know that I am missing out.

Writing is not only a part of who I am but it is also what I do.  That makes the line between work and life very thin at times.  No matter which way I went, someone wasn’t going to be happy, including me.

I had looked forward to this weekend for months.  My expectations were at the tippy top.  I let me down.  We all have unforeseen events occur that make up change our plans.

I hope everyone has fun today! ( and have a little bit for me too!)

Junque Jamboree

In the spring in Southern Illinois, there is a town that has a Johnson County Junque Jamboree.  It is Vienna, IL.  This year it is on April 18th Junque Jamboree

I was hoping to be there for the event, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I can’t.  However, I will tell you that there should be a booth down there with pre-signed copies of Snowball.  (Maybe I can do a signing later this summer, if there are some people interested in me doing so.)

Plans are at this point for my eldest son, the indie filmmaker, to man my booth.  What and who all he will have helping him at the booth is in the works.  So please stop on by.  Find the film’s Facebook page Terrible People.  There is an Indigogo page  as well.

Since I will be missing out on a really awesome event, I wanted to apologize ahead of time. I also want to encourage everyone who can to plan on being there April 18th. Be there early!

There are some wonderful places to eat in Vienna, and am sure there will be food on the square as well.  If it is a drive and overnight stay for you, I can tell you there are some wonderful places in and around Vienna to sight-see.  Tunnel Hill bike trail is one right near the square. About a nine mile bike ride up the trail takes you thru the tunnel.  Keep your eyes ahead to the light at the end (isn’t always the way?) to keep from riding into the sides. Don’t ask me how I know, just know that I know.

This wonderful event is the Ginger’s doing.  I really think you should make sure to stop by Vienna Town Square Mall Antiques and More,  tell her what a great time you are having.  Give her staff a big ole thank you, too!  If you get a chance to see the Mayor Simmons, you will know him by his hat and white beard, tell him ‘Hi!’ as well.

If you do get the chance, go, it will be a wonderful day!

Does Writing Keep Me Busy?

This question was asked of me recently. My off hand answer was ‘yes’.

The true answer is much more complicated than that. The sarcastic spirit in me wanted to ask in return, ‘Does breathing keep you busy?’

Life without breathing? Not possible. Same without writing for me; breathing/writing, interchangeable.

It isn’t a matter of busy. It is a matter of having the time to study and work. I unfortunately frustrate myself by chasing goals and letting myself become preoccupied by obligations instead of putting my craft at the top priority. That I did to myself, again.

Having taken a course of study that required dedication to progress and accomplish, I learned what dedication means. My own self doubt has given me the easy out in being wishy washy with my writing, studying and effort.  Not that the last couple years passed without lessons learned. I am constantly learning. Most knowledge gained has been about voice, style, and a tidbit about genre. Niche and finding it   perplexed me.

I am an analytical soul. I like to dissect and put things in categories and boxes. Not being able to discern my own predominant style was the ultimate brick wall head bang. Without being too long winded, let me just say in time we will all see. The proof is in the end result. Not what I say or decide now. That could change as my skill improves.

It will be a while before the next children’s book. There will be five, as of right now. When? Can’t honestly say. What is going on now? A group of  eight short stories that will be under J. Kolb. My way of distinguishing if you are picking up a child suitable story or mature audiences. As a parent and grandparent, that line of distinction is important to me.

First drafts are finished in four, working on the fifth as of this moment.  Three more concepts to go waiting in the wings. There are two stories that have enough beyond the short story category to be worked on for novels down the line.  Interspersed in there will be the children’s stories.  Eclectic is way more my style.

I had planned on being back at the prescribed course of study this spring. Something more than one person told me to study on my own and not get caught up on the piece of paper pursuit.  Begrudgingly, those are people that have some first hand knowledge about me personally.  They are probably spot on about that.  My own self study is pretty intense when I take the time to do so.

So, while it was a flippant answer I gave – yes, writing does keep me busy.  Very happily so, it pleases, and fulfills me. This is not just what I do, it is who I am. I write.