This year, I was able to complete my illustration “road map” for book 3 using story-boarding, something I had not done for books 1 and 2. I also tried a new workshop format at Charles Beatley Jr. Central Library, which allowed me to learn first-hand just how fascinated kids are with writing stories. They also embraced drawing as a tool to help them write. They weren’t self-conscious about what their pictures looked like, and frankly they didn’t need to be, because their drawings were comprehensive and liberated. Kids just want to tell their stories and have someone really listen to them.
I was hoping to be well on my way with the actual illustrating part, like maybe have more than half the illustrations completed. But then there are family issues, or an all-consuming job that leaves you sapped at day’s end, and many moments when I needed sweatpants, potato chips and TV.
Then, I receive just about the greatest present I could get for the holidays, pictured here. These letters are from two kids who got my second book, Centipede Dragon a Benevolent Creature versus the Rascally ReptilLion. I was particularly impressed by the imagination inspired by my illustrations, that of his own hybrid creatures. I can't even describe the feeling I had when I saw them.
You see, as someone who has stories constantly swirling in her head, you really just want to tell your story and have someone listen to it. But when you inspire someone to be creative enough to spin off your ideas, you cannot imagine how overwhelming and rewarding that feeling will be.
So, onward to 2019, when I hope to complete the drawings and have a publication date for book 3, which is shaping up to be a rollicking good adventure!