Sunday, July 17, 2016

Where our hero sleeps and dreams up new mysteries

Here is a crop of the art for the toddler's bedroom - where the story begins! This was completed a couple years ago. I'm very busy with a 2-3 week gig right now so I might have to mine from the past for a couple weeks. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Busstop Apology

This is an apology to the man I was waiting for the bus with this morning.

You were smartly dressed in a grey suit with a briefcase; probably late forties with short salt and pepper hair. You said good morning to me as I arrived at the busstop — a kind and rare gesture.

A couple minutes later, I asked if it was supposed to clear up later today. He  hadn't checked, didn't know. He didn't need to know, he explained. He worked in a cubicle investigating credit card fraud. He said this as if he were dismayed with himself. He said he spent some of his youth working outdoors. He turned back to himself perhaps reminiscing about those times. Taking a page from my ex-wife's playbook of interacting with strangers, I asked him the big question.

"What work do you really want to be doing?"

He paused not long at all. "Something with plants and dogs." He brightened up at the thought; at saying it out loud.

"That sounds pretty chill," I said, inwardly cringing at using the word "chill". And not sure how to encourage him without sounding trite or unrealistic. My ex would have said something encouraging and hopeful, but I was not practiced at this. Instead I said something not encouraging.

"...although, I know from experience, dogs can be difficult to work with." My heart sunk after I blurted these words. Just then the bus pulled up and we got on saying no more.

So, sorry man waiting for the number 2. I too need encouragement to follow my dreams. I, too, go to work at a job that doesn't inspire me or utilize my skill or passion.

Next time I see you, I will try to encourage you. I will share my goals and passions, the ones I am working towards, and maybe tell you about this blog.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Shedding Attachments

At that first meeting there was Steven, Keith's very close friend, Keith and me.  I knew Steven from back when I got to know Keith. Steven had impressed me as a guy with a wonderfully droll sense of humor. He could make me laugh because of his timing and dry delivery. Steven both speaks and writes like someone who loves language. Also, Steven loves movies.
After catching up on life, family, work and current events, we commenced our meeting. Keith shared the sprout of an idea that I mentioned in the last post  and what the thinking was as far as how the book would be interactive.
As we held more meetings, soon Keith brought Chad aboard, a graphic designer friend that played music with Steven and Keith almost weekly. Chad, I had never met before but right off the bat was clearly a genuinely friendly, refreshingly sincere man. I would learn of his graphic design talents later.
In those early meetings the story emerged. The case was centered around a broken cookie jar. How did it break? It happened unexpectedly in the early morning, it's resounding crash waking up the protagonist, arousing his passion to solve a mystery no matter how puzzling.
After Chad was brought on it wasn't long before we had a fifth member, Matt Jarvis. Keith met Matt while working at Zipper Interactive. Matt was brought on to do the programming, to make the pictures and words interactive.
He came to several meetings but because of family demands he had to stop coming. Also, it's fair to say, because of our slow progress he decided to give us some time to get our assets together. Not sure if Matt would still be interested in coming back — it's been a heck of a long time and we are still not done creating our assets. Again, that is mostly if not entirely my doing.
Because of the slow progress and lack of a programmer, Keith proposed the idea of focusing on a printed book. I stubbornly resisted this notion. I took a stand against it.
This was conceived as an interactive book and we were all inspired by that original concept! It's our take on the interactive kids book that will make our product stand out! It's our angle! -I complained. I was afraid of losing my passion for this project. I was afraid of settling for less than the dream. (Yes, a procrastinator can be passionate. It's just a lack of praxis that has got me in trouble.)
Later, Keith made another pitch to focus on the printed book and by that time I had softened, I agreed. Now I feel silly for not trusting that this book is not sufficiently special without interactivity.
These are the reasons to focus on print first:
Books are wonderful. We all love the printed book.
We couldn't rely on Matt to program the interactive book and hiring a programmer would cost too much. We would have to raise the programming money.
If we had a physical book we could use it, leverage it, to raise money for a programmer or acquire a publisher that wanted to sponsor the digital interactive version.
Creating a book and an interactive book at the same time was difficult, time-consuming and messy.
Nevertheless, I am excited for the day where we make this book the digital masterpiece that we envisioned.

Dad the culprit(?)- Page in progress, pre-color, detail