Back on track!

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Sometimes you just get off track with a project for one reason or another.  And it’s not always easy to get back ON track.  Especially with a pressing book deadline.

A BED FOR LITTLE CUB is about 5 days behind schedule.  But, I am finally making progress and the artwork really is coming along nicely.  I do love this book.  The story is right where I want it to be and I want the pictures to be the best they can be.   Only 5 remaining drawings to do (all the same scene with variations).   I plan on doing a number of extra spot illustrations that my editor and art director may decide they can use somewhere in the book.

I have enough notes written regarding THE WYTHES so that they won’t intrude in my thoughts and concentration while I finish up the artwork.  The idea for this quirky family saga started in the oddest way—with strange, bizarre sketches on my desk blotter when I was trying NOT to think about Little Cub and his pictures.

Original Sketches

The Wythes started out as The Wide Eyes.  The Wide Eyes evolved into the Wydeyes, then the Wyldes, and finally The Wythes.   These sketches reveal my thoughts about the characters that led me to create an entire family with each character’s personality fully formed and uniquely their own.   I also quickly sketched the map showing where the Wythes live at Wythe’s End.   Everything about this family just popped out as if I had known about them all along.  I think the are the family I always wished I had had as a child—quirky, tall, handsome, strong, well educated, wealthy, big-hearted, great sense of humor and style, etc.

I have jotted down notes on physical descriptions, personality traits, quirks, interests, snippets of dialogue and conversation, funny one liners, family tree, genealogy, the main plot, about a dozen minor subplots, interesting cameo characters that propel the main story line along, and a number of twists and turns (ideas) to keep the story barreling along as the grandson, Phineas, doggedly pursues an answer to the most burning question in his family’s history: WHY did the Wythes miss getting onboard the Mayflower?

Oh, this family saga is going to be fun to write!  

I’ve always loved Gerald Durrell’s books: My Family and Other Animals; Birds, Beasts, and Relatives; Marrying Off Mother; Fauna and Family: More Stories of the Durrell Family of Corfu; A Zoo in My Luggage, etc.  

Another family that I have always loved reading about is, of course, The Addams Family!  I have everything written and drawn by Charles Addams and every biography and essay written about him as well.  

So, I hope to write my own quirky family saga about a loving, but odd, family who missed the Mayflower and how it changed their lives and fortunes forever.

 

Cape Cod dune shack

 

This photo gives you a hint at the setting for The Wythes: A Family Saga.

 

Back on track!

Standard

Sometimes you just get off track with a project for one reason or another.  And it’s not always easy to get back ON track.  Especially with a pressing book deadline.

A BED FOR LITTLE CUB is about 5 days behind schedule.  But, I am finally making progress and the artwork really is coming along nicely.  I do love this book.  The story is right where I want it to be and I want the pictures to be the best they can be.   Only 5 remaining drawings to do (all the same scene with variations).   I plan on doing a number of extra spot illustrations that my editor and art director may decide they can use somewhere in the book.

I have enough notes written regarding THE WYTHES so that they won’t intrude in my thoughts and concentration while I finish up the artwork.  The idea for this quirky family saga started in the oddest way—with strange, bizarre sketches on my desk blotter when I was trying NOT to think about Little Cub and his pictures.

Original Sketches

The Wythes started out as The Wide Eyes.  The Wide Eyes evolved into the Wydeyes, then the Wyldes, and finally The Wythes.   These sketches reveal my thoughts about the characters that led me to create an entire family with each character’s personality fully formed and uniquely their own.   I also quickly sketched the map showing where the Wythes live at Wythe’s End.   Everything about this family just popped out as if I had known about them all along.  I think the are the family I always wished I had had as a child—quirky, tall, handsome, strong, well educated, wealthy, big-hearted, great sense of humor and style, etc.

I have jotted down notes on physical descriptions, personality traits, quirks, interests, snippets of dialogue and conversation, funny one liners, family tree, genealogy, the main plot, about a dozen minor subplots, interesting cameo characters that propel the main story line along, and a number of twists and turns (ideas) to keep the story barreling along as the grandson, Phineas, doggedly pursues an answer to the most burning question in his family’s history: WHY did the Wythes miss getting onboard the Mayflower?

Oh, this family saga is going to be fun to write!  

I’ve always loved Gerald Durrell’s books: My Family and Other Animals; Birds, Beasts, and Relatives; Marrying Off Mother; Fauna and Family: More Stories of the Durrell Family of Corfu; A Zoo in My Luggage, etc.  

Another family that I have always loved reading about is, of course, The Addams Family!  I have everything written and drawn by Charles Addams and every biography and essay written about him as well.  

So, I hope to write my own quirky family saga about a loving, but odd, family who missed the Mayflower and how it changed their lives and fortunes forever.

 

Cape Cod dune shack

 

This photo gives you a hint at the setting for The Wythes: A Family Saga.

 

The hardest thing about writing is…

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NOT writing!

I have a terrific idea for a new novel, THE WYTHES, and I’m dying to write the story, but can’t right now.   Not until I finish the illustrations for A BED FOR LITTLE CUB.   Having a story nagging at the edges of your brain is like having a small dog tugging on your pants legs and not letting up.

I have drafted out the “road map” for the quirky, funny story of this extended large family.   I know each family member’s personality, physical appearance, age, style and eccentric quirk.  I know what the main story line is, the twist, and the “deep dark family secret”.   I even worked out the genealogy for the family all the way back to 1575.   I’ve jotted down notes, snippets of conversation, dialogue, scenes, ideas for scenes, etc.   But, I can’t allow myself to do any serious writing until I can give the story my full attention—guilt free!

WHY do the best ideas always come when I can’t sit down with them and work them out completely?  The one thing I am never short on as a writer is ideas.  I’ve never had Writer’s Block.  But I do suffer from Illustrator’s Avoidance. ugga mugga.

Back to the drawing board.   Hopefully, in just ONE week I’ll be able to sit down with the Wythes and work out their entire story.  And then write about it!

I often ask myself:  Why is writing so easy and illustrating so hard???

manuscript

This is what a picture book manuscript looks like (when I first started out as a writer and illustrator).