In the past months, my newsletters have been encouraging all of us to create. There are so many ways to create and it is a part of life that brings joy to so many. In this busy, computer-crazed world, it is so refreshing to stop. Think your own thoughts. Breathe. And to create.
So, why create? Besides the joy of making something that came from your head and hands, we create to connect with other people. How do people make connections with other people? By sharing truth with them. It could be a personal story or a passed-on story that we have seen proven, or even a made-up story that proves the truth we have seen in our own life. We share these things with each other and suddenly, there it is, connection.
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
Just a few weeks ago we had a playdate with one of my child’s friends, his mom, and his sister. She had an uncommon name, Elinor. So I asked if she was named after the character in a Jane Austen book (who is one of my favorite authors). The mom replied that, no, although she loves Austen, her daughter was actually named Elanor, the name of Samwise Gamgee’s daughter in the Lord of the Rings (another of my favorite books!). Just by finding out her daughter’s name and where it came from, I found a connection with another mom who is interested in the same things as I am. How did we connect? Through the story she told me.
Whatever you create: an email, a painting, a meal for your family or friends… think about how it can connect you to the other person. I would love to hear a story about how you connect. Let me know!
Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.
I did it! I finished updating my dummy and made 3 of the images finished pieces, ready to send out into the world of agents again.
While I was looking for ideas about how to finish the illustrations, since I’m working digitally and haven’t nailed down my style, I was contemplating different things… and I came across these lovely illustrations:
Which led me to search for more cut-paper collage kind of illustrations. I loved looking at these, and I was inspired to create my finished pieces digitally so that they look like paper collages.
What do you think? I am pretty happy with how they turned out.
And because this style doesn’t look like my other portfolio pieces, next up on my docket is to create some new portfolio pieces in this same style because I’m having fun creating these and it is not as time-consuming as my previous digital painting trials.
Books I’m Reading and Recommending:
Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate
by Brian McDonald
An easy read and yet so packed with how to structure a story. This book covers a lot of the things that are talked about on Brian McDonald’s podcast, You Are a Storyteller.
Invisible Ink is a helpful, accessible guide to the essential elements of the best storytelling by award-winning writer/director/producer Brian McDonald. Readers learn techniques for building a compelling story around a theme, engaging audiences with writing, creating appealing characters, and much more.
by Vesper Stamper
This book was an interesting journey between two brothers in Berlin right as the Berlin Wall goes up. I learned a lot about that time from this book, and the characters and atmosphere are so real.
Berlin, 1961. Rudi Möser-Fleischmann is an aspiring photographer with dreams of greatness, but he can’t hold a candle to his talented, charismatic twin brother Peter, an ambitious actor. With the sudden divorce of their parents, the brothers find themselves living in different sectors of a divided Berlin; the postwar partition strangely mirroring their broken family. But one night, as the city sleeps, the Berlin Wall is hurriedly built, dividing society further, and Rudi and Peter are forced to choose between playing by the rules and taking their dreams underground. That is, until the truth about their family history and the growing cracks in their relationship threaten to split them apart for good.
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Complete Series
by M J Thomas
These books have been our read-alouds at night since we started the series a few weeks ago. Each book is short, and my third-grader could easily read them on her own, but my five-year-old loves them as well. They are adventurous, but never too scary, and teach the kids Bible stories in a new way that makes them more relatable and real to young kids.
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls is an adventure-packed chapter book series for readers ages six to nine. The series follows siblings Peter and Mary and their dog, Hank, as they discover ancient scrolls that transport them back to key moments in biblical history. There they find a world filled with wonder, adventure, and danger. They must search for clues to solve the secret of the scrolls . . . or they will be stuck in time forever.
Swashby and the Sea
Written by Beth Ferry, Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
A sweet book about an old grumpy sailor and a young girl who meet by the shore. It has good surprises, beautiful pictures, and a heartwarming ending. What else could you want in a picture book?
Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene.
One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them.
When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?
Until next time,