Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Build the Bridge First

One Plank at a Time
I bought canvas board to finally start
my first painting for my next endangered species book, "Through Desert Eyes." I have been looking for a nudge, a push, a kick in the butt, to get started and now that I am, I'm so excited! I'm still trying to decide which one I should do first. There are 16 to work on and they are all visually exciting (reading that last statement back sounds so pornographic.)

As I sit here staring at the screen, wondering what else to write, Greg Mortonson's journey to build schools in Pakistan popped into my head. Greg promised to build a school in the Pakistan village that helped him survive only to find that he must first build a bridge. I wonder if this is how it might happen for me and my journey to make a living doing what I love. Perhaps, to become a successful writer/illustrator I must figure out how to build the bridge first. The number one key to this process is not trying to rush it.

So, I am walking dogs, doing graphic design for a vacuum company, teaching kids art, and selling as many of my books as possible, to lay the planks of my bridge. I can see the other side, but I have a lot of planks to put down to actually get there. Once I get there-- man what a story that will be!

Friday, September 10, 2010


I have a tendency to pile things on my plate. I am not sure why I have the urge to be busy. Perhaps it is so I can complain about how busy I am. Maybe I am more efficient when I'm busy because I don't have time to lolly-gag (gosh I love that word.)

All the things I have added to my life to keep me busy ultimately benefit a lot of people, including myself. Volunteering for my kid's classes. Teaching a kid's art club. Writing. Painting. Helping the local zoo. Graphic Design.

No matter how I cut it, I still go to bed too late; I long to read more; and I wish my toes were a priority to paint because all the other important stuff was achieved.

The one beautiful thing I can say about my life right now, that I honestly couldn't have said two years ago, I get to have my biggest chunks of time with my kids and I love it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Circus Ringmaster - a 10 minute exercise

My writing exercise today is to write something using the following information: a ringmaster from the circus is knocking on my front door, I am a small town cop looking through my peephole. I must start the exercise with the cop saying "If you know what's good for you..."

"If you know what's good for you," I said immediately throwing my door open, "You'll go back to your circus, pack it up and head out of town."

"My dear lady, let me introduce myself," he said with a grand bow. "My name is Arnold Puffenfleffer. I am the ringmaster of the Puffenfleffer Jabberwalky Circus. I have free tickets for you and your family to attend my show this weekend."

There was nothing I hated more than a circus -- a place with creepy clowns and abused animals. It reminded me of when I worked at a New York City precinct.

"Mr. Puffenfleffer, this town doesn't want your circus. I'm sure me and my boys can find plenty of laws you're company is breaking, and we might just be bored enough to look. So, my advice to you is to move it along."

Mr. Puffenfleffer's eyes became wide. He shuffled backwards and...