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 .
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.
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!
What are you doing between Christmas and New Years? Myself? I am working on catching up those things which will make 2017 easier. Specifically, I am working on my drawing skills. I picked up Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. This is a part of my effort to create better illustrations for the picture books for grandchildren.
Not only did I purchase the book at Norfolk’s Prince Books, but I also ordered the portfolio with all the equipment (a list of these items and instructions on creating them exist in the book) through the DrawRight website. After reading the introduction and first two chapters, I decided that ordering the portfolio would save me time and be worth the money for me considering the book and exercises were starting about Thanksgiving and into Christmas.
Here it is after and I am only in the sixth chapter of the twelve contained in the book. I am letting the information seep, in as well as making time to execute the exercises and watch the video that came with the drawing materials. I still plan on starting work on the BD picture book the first week in January. I have the pagination worked out and a concept of the illustrations. Now I have to do some price checking to decide the size of the book.
Why is that important? First, I want it affordable. Second, I need to know final size so that I can discern the size of the original illustrations. There is a ratio that makes mistakes seemingly disappear when reduced. There will be mistakes, with me being an amateur artist. (That there is an enormous stretch of the word artist).
Here is a sharing of the doodling thus far. I have to admit, I am rather impressed with the method.
Figuring out how to illustrate the story and then practicing drawing that illustration until it is just right is a learning process. It has been hard to figure out when and what can be done. My husband keeps telling me to stop over scheduling. (He knows me so well.) His advice has been to just do what I can do each day and be happy with that. Tough advice to follow.
Ready to be finish. It is frustrating not to be faster. Minimal experience drawing, or painting of any kind other than by the numbers is leaving me feeling intimidated. It is scary and exciting to do something new and different.