Thursday, January 16, 2014

And So It Begins...

In the fall of 2012 I decided to write a short story for my niece as a Christmas gift to her. Writing it, I thought, would be a unique present but giving such a thing would have to be worthwhile. I did not want to waste my time or hers, so I took this venture seriously. I made every effort to put together something unique. I wanted to it be worth keeping, and found myself engulfed in countless hours of writing. It was more creative work than anything I had personally involved myself in before, and as the story developed from idea to words on the page I began to enjoy the experience. I felt a great sense of fulfillment in my personal project. I even went so far as to finding an artist to help me design the main characters to add to the title page and bring the fictional tale more to life. They were a cute rumpled boy and girl, full of curiosity and wonder. When the book was finally finished I bound it in a red hard cover and packaged it for under the tree.
It was a success! I breathed a sigh of relief, and I hadn't even embarrassed myself. My niece to this day still keeps it as a prized possession.
But one question surfaced after giving it to her that ran consistent: When would I do another?
It was a nice and thoughtful compliment but I never thought about giving it a second shot. It was a project I probably went too far in pulling together anyways. Admittedly, I did miss the dedication. It was a labor of love and something that filled the gaps and downtime in my very average life. It gave me something to look forward to working on each day. It was a fun commitment, and one that’s never been convincingly replaced.
I told my family and friends if I had another idea I would do it, and I would use my rumpled kids again. But next time I would do the story a little shorter and illustrate it all myself. It was an easy answer that would satisfy anyone who cared. It left the door open but the possibility remote because they all knew I genuinely couldn’t draw.
Then, after some time, a light bulb went off above my head. I could write another story and I had an idea of what to do. I didn’t try to think of anything, but an inkling really came to me. I didn't worry about the words, that would be fun, but what about the illustration? That was something I was still completely incapable of accomplishing. Even if I said I would, it was an impossibility. Trust me, it really is that bad.
I initially attempted to skip out of illustrating by taking a stab at finding an artist, and I met a few sincere ones. But there was never more than a few emails or enough consistency to develop something substantial. I even had one artist email me off the bat calling me a thief for trying to steal his talent! And that was all he wrote!
It was then that I decided the only way to really do this was to make the folly of doing it all myself, like I promised I would. So here I am. I have an idea, and I can’t draw, but I have a scrap paper story in my head.
I created this site (blog really) as a journal of sorts, as I try to wing it and teach myself how to draw a straight line, a curved line, sketch up arms and legs, color, and illustrate for what will eventually become a finished product of a illustrated yarn. I don’t have a time table, but I have a plan… to learn-learn-learn as much as I can, and put this thing together. I will post my progress, laugh at myself, and keep this new thing together until I bring those kids back.
I promise you will meet them.
Until then, I'll just keep this thing going forward.

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