Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Halloween Children's Book

In the Fall of 1997, I carved a pumpkin while we were living in our very first home. As I walked by this pumpkin throughout the season, an idea began to germinate. I drew a pumpkin headed character with spindly and viny appendages. Leaves and twigs shot out from its elbows. Every year since, I would pull that old idea out and polish it. Every year, thinking a little more about who and what it was. What was its story? Who did it become? As the years went by the story got a little more defined in my head, adding a paragraph here and a single line there. Mostly, I draw, or said better I create. Create stories, drawings, characters, ideas, etc.... So many that will never see the light which live inside my brain. Finally after rolling around in my head for years, the idea came bubbling forth on October 11, 2007 in Ancona, Italy. We only had a few weeks left living in our apartment in Ancona. I was already feeling nostalgic about leaving it, and yet my creative juices were flowing. I had been exercising my creativity through many different outlets of work and personal life. I have taken Thursday's as a day off since 1995, at least. That Thursday, I felt the story coming out, so I sat down and wrote what had been captive in my head for ten years. It flowed generously. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I didn't always write straight through. In fact, more often I skipped from the middle of the story, to the end, then back to the beginning again. I wrote without stopping. Then I stopped typing. I had finished the first draft. I showed Angie and then made corrections. I read it again, then made corrections. I read it to the kids on the Ancona team and then made corrections. We returned to the states October 3oth, and I read it to our nieces and nephews, then made corrections. I sent it to my story/idea partner, Milton, then made corrections. I sat it aside for several months, then picked it back up a couple weeks ago. I went through and tightened the story some more, editing here and there. Then tonight I went through and planned out the pictures. I sketched through each of the pages of the story. It looks like it will have about 52 pictures in it. Fat Baby, the book that Milton and I did a couple years ago, had only 32 pictures. So this will have even more. I am excited to start drawing the pages and I hope to have it done within several weeks. I would love to put it in some area shops in time for the Halloween season. Who knows, I might sell one or two. I am just excited to get to this phase.