I am not an artist. I attempt to be an artist. Like the old commercial about not being a doctor but portraying one on a tv show, that is how I feel about drawing, sketching.
My frustration at creating a picture book last year burned me out. That is why I switched back to writing stories that I actually intended to write when I started blogging. Only now, I have hit a snag. My current ‘work-in-progress’ (aka ‘WIP’) is requiring some research and auxiliary writing that again, my knowledge level requires more reading and leg work style research.
Leg work research means you go to locations or have interviews with experts who can answer questions. It is time not sitting behind the computer or with pen and paper. It means not progressing on the writing part of the story much at all.
In a way it is kind of a block, not unlike writer’s block. It can be just as frustrating, but also inspiring — which writer’s block never is. I have been keeping my fingers nimble on the keyboard by posting daily on the pen name that the particular WIP will be published under. (This will not be a children’s story.)
I still have another children’s picture book with several pages started. The concept and a very rough outline are completed. Last night, rather than search for a copyright free illustration for the other blog, I sketched a very basic image and took a picture and used it. Doing so, reminded me of this other picture book that I could be dabbling in. Forward progress with one story.
My hope is that following the grownup story being published later this year, this WIP picture book will be making its appearance in 2019. There are still several children stories waiting in the wings for their turn at being the work in progress. The struggle with the last one, and my own disappointment in it aside, I am not done writing for children, yet.
When they said writing for children is difficult, they weren’t kidding. Illustrating isn’t either. Why again am I trying to do this? Oh, yeah, I promised my grandchildren. Motivation found.
Mom was usually the one sitting on the bed as Aimee ran around the room pulling clothes and things to pack into the two bags she would take with her to her Other Gs. A week of summer break from school would normally be spent at the Other Gs with her cousins. Not this year. This year, the week everyone could make it was not the same as anyone else’s. Some had scout camps, sports camps, or extended family vacations. There was no way for everyone to be there the same week. This year, everyone was still going, but for a different week — boring. Aimee sat on the bed to put the items her Mom was busy picking out for her to pack. This was not going to be fun. What was there to do without her cousins? That was the only thing on Aimee’s mind. There wasn’t even going to be much time with her Uncle Tyler. He was going to be either working or taking college classes, plus he had football practice, too. There would be no one to play hide and seek with. No one to chase around the yard with squirt guns. Sure the Other Gs would be willing, but they are, well . . . , old. They don’t move fast; they are easy to catch. And Grumpa? He cheats at squirt guns! He uses the hose! That is all well and good when you have cousins to team up with. Someone distracts him while another sneaks up behind him with the hose from the back yard. When you are all by yourself, how can you be in two places at once? Aimee listened to her mother talk about what fun she was going to have as they finished putting the last few items in the suitcase. “Really, Aimee, it won’t be that bad.” “That’s what you say.”
An audiobook snippet –
Snowball, for those just coming to my website is a story about a granddaughter and her grandparents mischievous puppy that keeps escaping the fenced in back yard. Aimee is enchanted by the scruff of a pup and makes it her mission to help keep the puppy, Snowball, safe.
Or, if you would please comment, (which requires your email address to do so) you can enter to win a drawing for a free download link with 5 winners. (An email is necessary to send the download link and instructions to the winners.)
BAD DREAM – a picture book about a bad dream and learning that things aren’t always what they seem .
As I have said before, Snowball is now an audio book. Very exciting Christmas for me, getting it all uploaded and available. Now I am finally getting around to playing at marketing. All trial and error on my part, I do not have this all figured out.
But that plays into your hands, because I have free download links to give away. So for the next 14 days you can enter here at the blog. That’s right the entry time is from February 1 to 14, 2018.
RULES OF ENTRY –There are some rules you have to follow. The more rules you follow, the more times your name goes in to get a code. SO READ THROUGH THEM ALL BEFORE YOU COMMENT.
Comment on the blog – see below how this can be a ‘2for’ by sharing my blog on your blog and leaving me a link to your blog in my comments. (your email address is required to comment so the code to download the audiobook and instructions can be sent to the winner). Without this first entry all others are null and void.
Follow the blog! – WILL NOT COUNT UNLESS YOU DO NUMBER 1
Share the blog – Tell me where in your comment you shared the blog. Yes, a lot of checking on my part, but there will be verification. This can be your comment in #1 but you have to leave your blog link in the comments showing you sharing my blog for it to count as two entries. Not that you can’t also link a blog post of your own you would like to share with others, that would be great as well! And if you just comment and don’t repost or link back to my blog you get an entry but only one. Is that clear as mud for you? WILL NOT COUNT UNLESS YOU DO NUMBER
Conditional entry — Like my Facebook page. You will have to let me know if your name and email address match or not. If I can’t match up your Facebook name to the email address you used to make a comment, you can not get additional entry. Either send a private message on Facebook with your email address that you used to make the comment or link to your Facebook on the comment (great for those of you who have pages and blogs). (Here is the link JulieKolb). WILL NOT COUNT UNLESS YOU DO NUMBER 1 AND NOTIFY ME EITHER IN YOUR BLOG COMMENT OR SEND THE PAGE A PRIVATE MESSAGE WITH THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU USED TO COMMENT.
Now about what you can win, a code. It lets you download my audiobook Snowball, narrated by Anna Grace Conover, a really wonderful actress, voice actor, who took a chance on my story and brought it to sound. Here is a little audio taste of what you can expect to hear –
Thanks for reading, and now listening!
OH! Almost forgot. You do not have to have audible – you can get a free trial offer of audible at the amazon site
If you purchase Snowball as your first Audible membership purchase – we get a kickback (FULL DISCLOSURE).
I came across a contest by Boho Berry. A blogger/artist/entrepreneur that is paying forward. Some way I would like to do the same and hope at the very least by sharing my path of practice and development as a writer – mistakes and all, I do that, too.
Kara, aka Boho Berry, has a contest on for small businesses. The first place winners (3 first place), second and third place (That is a total of 5 winners!) will receive cash prizes to use for their business.
As we move from Spring into Summer, there are changes here as well, starting June, I will not be posting on every Saturday. I have mentioned that my illustrations are dragging along for the picture book scheduled for this year. After discussion with the boss and musings on my part, it has come down to cutting back time spent elsewhere so that I can be focused on finishing this project on time.
Using the email list, I will notify followers of coming blog posts and other updates as needed, so don’t think this will be another one of those email lists to send to the junk/spam folder of your email. Listers will be in the know when the book is going to test print, and when the ebook goes live as well as print copy. (Working on a giveaway for the picture book publication and email listers will know about this first. We are talking about a giveaway just for the those on the list.)
It was while planning this project some time was spent considering hand lettering; an idea that was dropped because it wasn’t apparent that I would be able to do that type of fine work without considerable practice when I broke my forearm. Thankfully in the last four months things have changed and I am currently revisiting that decision.
To be honest, the idea of making more of it by hand, instead of using so much computer programming seems far more appealing. So in addition to learning a bit more about painting with acrylics, add working on lettering. (My mind might change again before the final galley.)
This is a labor of love. As much as I want to finish it quickly, and still put forth my best effort, I have found myself outside my comfort zone. Invading skills that others I admire have is a bit awkward. They have studied and accomplished abilities that are far and above necessary for this project; I have doubts as to how much of what I have learned will ever be used again. My appreciation for their talents has increased and that will remain even if I never take up another brush or sketch pad again.
Something that has come through to me this last year is that no one has to be exactly like anyone else. Every piece of art has the right to have appreciation, even if the only admiration we can muster is appreciating the effort that has gone into the creation. We aren’t all going to like every painting. Not everything will speak to everyone.
There are beloved writers that just don’t make me devour their words- while others I can’t find enough by them to read to satisfaction. My favorite writers someone else just might not like at all. We all have preferences.
My preferences are priority in my own writing, and as I move forward with illustrations, that too is heavy handed with my likes. Even if sometimes I struggle to try to create images on paper that are merely ideas in my head, I want everyone to like what I do, but that is not how this works.
Remember that your best may sometimes be considered less than by others and not let it get to you. That is a tough lesson, I am still learning it.
Looking back over some sketches I did while waiting at various places. Some are not bad at all. Deciding how to incorporate those images and finding the best ones for the story at hand is above my skill level at present. This is proving to take more time than I realized.
Children faces aren’t easy. Found some that were done while practicing new techniques during a picture book course. Very pleased then, and now with some of them. Whether or not I can produce better will be determined in the coming weeks, so it maybe a mishmash of old and new sketches that are pulled together to complete the story.
Taking pictures of the sketches I like before I begin painting or should I say attempting to paint incase they don’t turn out well. That way the decent sketches can be used as a back up plan or even maybe try computer generation coloring. It really boils down to what appeals to me.
This is hard and sometimes I want to quit or postpone my project. I have accomplished far more than I thought was possible. In a couple of weeks coloring the illustrations will start. Practicing with paint mixing and using the brushes is my secondary task each day now.
My respect for artists who can create the images in their minds for us all to view on canvas and paper has grown tremendously. They are amazing. Now, looking at real art, my response is, “WOW!”
So I am working on this drawing course, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (http://drawright.com). I bought the book, dvd, and the supplies because for me it was just easier.
I have to tell you, I have been shocked at what I have accomplished thus far. I am no where near all the way through the book or dvd. I had to stop to take care of administrative duties and to complete a project on deadline. However, I have resumed and will be completed in the next few days if I am not already by the time this post goes live.
Here I share with you a couple of the photos of what I have done. (See picture file to upload.) This is outside my comfort zone. I am growing!