Wow, a fresh new year, and the first blog post in 6 months! I didn’t think it would be so challenging to keep with blog updates once a month, but just looking at the date for my last post, I seriously underestimated my time. Not to say that I haven’t been creative, it’s just more of a commitment to actually sit down and write about what has happened when it’s already happened. For now, I’ll start off my once a month blog writing anew for 2019 (just barely squeezing it into January!) with a look back at 2018 and the amazing journey with a little bat.
2018 was the year for Wake Up, Little Bat! and stepping up my writing game.
Working on the illustrations for Wake Up, Little Bat! Felt like running a marathon, requiring lots of time, patience and perseverance. I would know, I ran the L.A. Marathon in 2015, crossed it off my bucket list, and can proudly say I’ve run one, and now I’m done. :) But unlike the grueling the marathon I finished, my writing journey is just beginning.
My debut picture book released on October 1st, just in time for the Halloween season, and we threw the most exciting and most fun release party at the Griffith Park Merry-go-Round that I could’ve ever imagined. It really was a magical night, with an amazing turn-out of friends, family, kiddos to sing songs with, and of course, introduce Little Bat to, all set in front of the twinkly lights and jolly music of the merry-go-round. I was so lucky to have the help of my husband, close friends and family to add the special touches, chock full of Halloween candy in a customized Little Bat bag, delicious alfajores (those delightful shortbread and dulce de leche sandwich cookies so many of you raved out), and hot chocolate. Thank you so much to all of you who came out to celebrate this memorable occasion with me - big thanks go out to Julio Gosdinski (the generous owner of the merry-go-round, my neighbor and close friend) and Brienne Moore (my lovely and musically talented bestie) for adding their special touches to Wake Up, Little Bat’s exciting debut
I was also fortunate enough to share more of Little Bat with young readers, visiting local pre-schools and even participating in a Skype interview with my cousin’s class all the way in North Carolina! It was such a treat to introduce Little Bat and Squirrel to the excited kids (and also an unexpected surprise to see my huge face on such a big screen).
I have to say, after all the hard work and late hours illustrating Little Bat, receiving texts and photos of kids with my book, and hearing how much they love Wake Up, Little Bat has been my absolute favorite! It still blows my mind to hear how many times parents have read my book to their little ones, and how much kids enjoy the story, time and time again. And it was an extra special treat to see my book made it all the way to the Seattle Public Library shelf for new books! (Thanks for the photo, Josie!)
Little Bat’s journey is only just beginning! I’ve got lots of exciting things in store for this new year, and I can’t wait to share them with all of you very soon!
Thank you all for your continued support of my writing and Wake Up, Little Bat! I would’ve never imagined a very persistent little bat who couldn’t stay awake at night would lead me on this incredible experience of creativity. I look forward to seeing where things are headed for 2019!
How do you stay inspired when life throws you for a loop?
What do you do to get back on track and start huslin’ again?
How do you keep the creativity and motivation going when the unexpected happens and you just can’t focus on getting the work done?
I’m not talking about the times when you wake up in the morning grouchy as all hell because your child/husband/dog/ghost startled you from your beauty rest.
Or even when you’re feeling just a little bit lazy and want to put off that one thing you need to do just one more day.
I’m talking about times when something happens to you, your health, your family, and it shakes you up and spits you out again. You just can’t focus on anything else. THOSE times.
You know what I’m talking about. Everyone goes through it. I’ve been through it recently, and it sucks. We all have our own struggles to deal with, the battles we fight against those things we can’t control. What did I do? Besides Netflix and veg out on the couch or take walks to Wanderlust for the most delicious, uplifting waffle cone of ice-cream?
I did absolutely nothing creative. I just let it all go because my brain just said no. No to drawing. No to chasing the next story to write. No to sharing on social media. Just nothing.
And it’s just what I needed. We all need it sometimes. Just un-plug and let go.
Take some time for yourself and start over. Recharge. Refresh yourself. Creativity cannot float through the heavy fog in your brain when your body just won’t let it.
As creative beings, yes, we have to set goals for ourselves. We have to keep creating because if we stop sometimes we can’t find our way back. We have to keep moving. But when our minds and souls have their feet firmly planted on the ground, sometimes it means they just need a little rest. The creative cup is empty, let’s stop and enjoy the shade and a nice cold glass of water before we dust ourselves off and pick ourselves back up to continue chasing that creative muse.
Don’t beat yourself up. Take however long it takes. As someone who just can’t shut off the swirling thoughts in her brain, I broke out the puzzle I bought on a whim and finished it in three days. Yup, a 500 piece puzzle in three days. And THAT felt so good. I immediately went on Amazon and proceeded to buy another 500 piece puzzle, which I finished in a few more days. Then I bought a 1000 piece puzzle, and it’s still sitting on the office room floor.
Not because it was the most difficult puzzle I’ve ever encountered (even though it probably is).
That beautiful iconic wave of a puzzle, the one I am determined to finish one day and proudly hang on my wall, is still sitting on the floor unfinished because my mind is at ease, my emotions have settled, time has passed and the creative muse came calling anyway. Or maybe more like a swirling, twirling girl came dancing my way.
And now will begin a new endeavor, another mile marker on the kidlit writing journey. I, like many aspiring children’s book writers and illustrators also work a full-time job, and I continue to struggle with making time for this new passion of mine. I thought, “I can’t do it all. I need to focus on my writing if I want to get better at it." So, I put illustrating aside for a while. But when that well runs a little dry, the illustrations come tapping on my shoulder. I looked down and said, "Well, hello there new friend!"
A very devious little voice in my head has always told me I am terrible at drawing people, and somewhere I still believe it’s true. So all my life, I’ve very rarely made any art with people in them because of that little voice saying, “no, the face isn’t right,” or “ugh, the proportions are off.” But this little break has also sparked something else…
Why not try to figure out how I want to draw people? Everyone has their own style, why don’t I try to figure mine out? So this summer, I’ll be doing just that, drawing different eyes, noses, hands and limbs trying to figure out what I want people to look like. I call it my summer series, and I will be drawing out my favorite summer scenes as I figure out what my people style is. What are your favorite summer activities? If this goes well, I’ll be looking for more summer activities to draw soon!
Good luck with your spark of creativity or enjoy that much-needed break. Thanks for joining me on this creative journey!
Here you'll find...
a little about me, thoughts on my writing journey, hopefully a spark of inspiration. Enjoy!