Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Basically that is the point of the story Bad Dream.

It also has turned out to be a lesson I relearned in the last twelve months.

Bad Dream was not the story I set out to write as the followup after Snowball.  Bad Dream is the story that came out of sharing my gobbledy goop to a sharp critique group of published and soon to be published children and y.a. writers.  They picked up on this story within the struggling effort I shared while trying to find my writer’s voice, again.

That voice is within me, but my ability to use it consistently and for any desired length of time has been near nonexistent.  I don’t have control of it, and am insecure when it comes to using my ‘writing voice’ when it is active.

That is one of the reasons I have returned to running (well, almost running, walk/run) and participating in race events.  Trying to gain confidence by doing that which is scary to me.  For instance, running in public.  Running in a race leaves me with the same anxiety as sitting at a booth as a vender to make the public aware of my writing.

It is a pretty sweet solution.  For one, I get in better physical health, and confront a fear. That’s a win-win.

So now besides working on the artwork, I am working on working out.  Ah-Oh, I just made my schedule a little more complicated.  This is going to be a good thing, because I have all that time on the dreadmill (stole that from a running friend) to work out in my head how I want the illustrations to look, and a way to work out all the frustration from not being able to make it happen on paper like it looks in my head.

One fourth of it is done.  Accepting it wasn’t going to get done by the end of the month has been difficult. Making the choice to do the best I can, that was/is a no brainer.




I have a few pages completed.  The actual illustrations are turning out better than I expected.  Rather happy about that.

Decided to include a secondary story on the end pages for the adults.  I will leave that as a surprise as to it’s storyline, but fits within the story.  So far the responses of those who have seen bits and pieces as well all the whole thus far has been positive. THANKS!

I really do appreciate the comments and critiques.

If you have read Snowball please leave a comment or critique where you purchased it from, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook, CreateSpace.  If you purchased it at a vendor fair from me, then by all means Goodreads is a good place. Goodreads is good for where ever you purchased it, too. Would appreciate any and all comments.

Here are some pages I am currently working on.

FullSizeRender IMG_6774

How Much Got Done?

I am going to laugh, and laugh.

Not much. I have hardly put pencil to paper or even wet a brush and don’t get me started about mixing any watercolor. Other things have presented themselves as priorities so far.  Hoping next week proves much more productive.

I think last week there were some end pages that might be close to finished.  I decided to make a story within a story by putting some sketches and writing a little dialogue story in the end pages.  The dedication page and the copyright page are complete.

The number of photos taken? Not a one.  My free trial for Adobe has ended and I am going to have to sign up for the real deal to do illustration tweaking.

I had previously spoken to some people who have read the story about helping me with pagination of the story. So far no takers.  This one is going to be a whole lot of me and not much outside input, so how polished the finished storybook will be is a mystery.

Let’s hope next week I have some work to show you on the progress.

Have a wonderful Saturday.  Read a little and then get outside and play.  It is the weekend!



Checking Mail

Checking mail and email is kind of important, even during the holidays.  Maybe I should have keyed that in bold, italics and the largest font available.  Why? Because I did not adequately check my email over the holidays recently.

Did something drastic happen?  Only in my own mind.  There was this reminder that I have to have the next children’s book done by end of June.  At least in the form for the publisher.  (It is tricky when you are partly your own boss.)  Sigh.  The word part of the book is done, and has been.  It is the drawing  part that is now way behind schedule.

Today I got one of the liner pages done.  What? did I hear an imagined snicker from the peanut gallery?  Yes, the liner pages of this picture book will have sketches.  Oh, and some dialogue as well.

This whole project is going to end up being thrown together last minute with the deadline looming ahead and only three of the thirty-two pages done.  There are four weeks, with four workable days a week available to me.  A twelve day total to get basically thirty pages done.

I say that even though I just told you there were three pages done.  One of which I am not at all happy with, because I rushed it today and it looks more like a rough draft version.  Which means I wasted prepped paper and have to re-prepare another sheet of watercolor paper to use in its place.

For those uninitiated, such as myself, when you use watercolor on paper the water saturation tends to make the paper curl.  So, you are supposed to prepare the paper by saturating it with water and there by swelling the fibers.  Then you tape the wet paper to a flat surface or some other form of maintaining pressure on the edges and corners to keep them flat until the paper dries.  Once dried, you removed the paper and can now paint away with no fear the paper will ripple or curl on when painting with watercolors.

Add to this I have to cut the paper to a size that is larger than the finished page so reduction will make them seem crisper and much better looking that their originals.  In other words, improve on my novice mistakes.  This is not top notch artwork.  This is what I am going to call, ‘granny art’.  The kind of art only a grandchild can love.

You are aware of refrigerator art?  Well, granny art is the same thing in reverse.  This in contrast to what I am sure is out there somewhere ‘parent art’.  Those homemade gifts bestowed that may or may not (generally NOT) have street value to even the most generous art dealer?  That kind of art.

Yes, I am creating that kind of art and the popping it in a book written for a grandchild and selling it to the masses.  Crazy, right? Because this is the contract I could sign.

But, I digress.  I have at least thirty pages to get done. Wish me luck.