Writer AND Illustrator… That’s Hard

I accepted the challenge from the high school English teacher standing opposite me.  I didn’t know her. The stack of papers she head lead me to expose my idea to a stranger. Not even catching her name, the statement, “write and illustrator… that’s difficult” echoed in my mind.

Fear and Uncertainty

Doubts and determination have gotten me through the winter. I plowed forward with my sequence of short stories. Pausing to work on the accompanying illustrations.

Most of my previous writing has been for for business and marketing. In the past, I have written occasional stories about family and speeches for storytelling events. This was going to be different.

Stumbling across a movie profiling the career of Beatrix Potter, who broke with most (if not all) Victorian-era expectations for a woman. She created her own life and income based on her own storytelling and watercolor paintings. Her profile stuck with me. Pick up any Beatrix Potter book today and it’s still as fresh and entertaining. Her works are still being printed to the standards of design she insisted upon. That’s a notable legacy.

Cecelia’s Garden

My book, “Cecelia’s Garden”, is a series of stories, not about the antics of rabbits in a garden. instead, the garden plays a central role for continuity of theme.

The essence of the work is about creative thinking and problem solving and how my mother, Cecelia, was probably the most influential creative mentor of my life; the garden is a metaphor for how she invoked the core principles of creative thinking via her garden.

Procrastination and uneasiness have crept in numerous times. Are these just stories of my childhood? Memories? Sure, but shaping the storyline into the core principles of creativity, I’m able to cast sunlight on my mother, deserving it, and passing to the next generation the legacy of a woman who was very incredible.

A Preview

Here’s an excerpt from “Dandy-Lion Extraction Perfection”. Please do NOT tell or share with my family. They’re not aware of this project.

Our do-it-yourself front lawn, grown from seeding year-after-year, was not immune to the pesky dandelion. Brian, the youngest and only boy in our family, and I were assigned the chore of eliminating the dandelions from the front yard. Cursing the blown dandelion puffs from our neighbors’ yards for the infestation and tedious work on a warm summer day.

This was one of those chores that Cecelia took great pleasure to oversee our progress. All the tools in the garage did not make the task easy. Squat, pull. Squat, pull. Repeat. The traditional weeder was no help.

“Be sure to get ALL the root. Or, it will grow back in a few days.” Yeah, right, mom!