I’m thinking that this guy named Slab may be the Potter, but I’m not sure yet. I’m just trying to gather all the writings that I have about the hillock characters and see what other character clues unfold. Oh, dear!…

Slab&OneWingedBirdSlab’s legs were tired after a long day in the tunnels looking for a very special kind of clay for a very important commission by the Hillock Queen.  He had been commissioned to create a tile for her outdoor kitchen that could withstand even the hottest fires of dragon’s breath. And on top of that, it needed to have qualities that would resist smoke damage and discoloration. Where would he EVER find clay that would be so impenetrable and so resilient? His four legs dragged him toward ground level and the light he saw shining through the tunnel opening. Even the light was almost gone now. Evening was approaching and twilight songs began to echo through the tunnel walls. The crickets were especially loud tonight.

As he neared the round opening just below the Owl’s cedar tree, he felt a droplet of water land on his scorched lips. Aaaaahhhh he sounded as he swallowed the refreshing evening droplet of dew. As his last leg pushed him out of his hole onto the cool ground, he sighed out the last bits of dust in his lungs and breathed in moist mist of and emergence of the first stars of the night.

From dawn to dusk he had been on his hunt for the treasured clay, and with no success to show for his diggings and dark explorations. So NOW what do I do? Do I dare risk new tunnels in the unknown hillock or do I start all over again through the same tunnels tomorrow? Whatever shall I do? He lay his dry aching body on the warmth of his bedstone, leaning he head on the squishy moss pillow, hoping for some dream to solve what he couldn’t on his own four legs and a whole days work.

Many a night’s dream had guided him to resolution of a days problems as he would awaken the morning. Tonight was one of those nights he heavily counted on to bring such resolution….his lids closed the last bits of light from his consciousness as he eagerly drifted off to sleep.

….across the CobbleStoneWay on the eastern slope of The Hillock, some clicking sounds were competing with the rhythm of the crickets’ chorus. Clickeree! Clickeree! Clicke…….out crept two shiny black beetles.

The Setting: Working on the Hillock Map

HillockMapFor some reason I need to see these characters where they live…who lives near who…who are neighbors…which ones live up high, which ones live underground or underwater…oh, the whole community of it all!  I have barely scratched the surface with this map! And who ‘sees it all’? From whose point of view? Impatience cannot be a virtue here! I don’t think it will get me anywhere faster! What a process! Who’s voice will tell this story? And how will they relate to all the other characters? Hmmm…something to sleep on a little more…perhaps tonight I will hear some whisper from somewhere?HillockMap

Slug-ish Character Development

Let me get right to the point and waste no time about it! I will start with Studying the Perseverance of the Slug. There seems to be much we can learn from this little hermaphrodite. He’s nocturnal, moving from his powerful foot muscle, and mostly made of a huge sex organ when he/she feels moved to use it. A very sensitive creature that needs lots of moisture, not drawn to sunlight, and loves dark places. Yet the simple slug is endowed with a ever-available sticky substance that sparkles even in the dark. This slimy stuff is STRONG and shiftable…it serves both as a surface for slipping and sliding along in life for the snail and a substance that’s stronger than gorilla glue when such strength is needed…for instance, when it is securely suspended by it from a branch along with its sexual sister or brother.


CASTING CALL! HELP! Hillock Characters: Too Many Possibilities!

Calling ALL Quakers, Editors, Writers, and WiseFolk Who Know How to KEEP IT SIMPLE!

My two other books already had text I’d been working with for years. I had something to start with that had made it from my head/heart to my pen. This Hillock creation started differently. It started with creating and tending a concrete landscape. The characters have been ‘behind the scenes’ that I’ve been creating. I had NO IDEA that there were SO MANY characters involved in this little Hillock Community! I guess ‘it takes a village! to create a life!’ I’ve tried to jot down as many as I could bring to mind at this time…but even now, I’m realizing ones that I left out on this list!  Spiral Lady with the Tressel, Pig in a Tree, Root Faces, and the ones that just floated in and back out of my head before I captured them on paper!!!!…Lots of Musing and Pondering to be done!HillockCharacterList HillockCharacterExploration1

The Root & Heart of the Matter

Today as I stepped over the roots of the big old oak tree near the house, the roots that usually present a variety of face images…this is what I saw for the first time. It says it all…once again…THANK YOU to all of my friends who send messages of support and suggestions for new approaches to old problems that manage to present themselves. To you all I’m very grateful and honored to have you as friends! (and that includes family, too!)

The Root & The Heart of The Matter


I’m trying to find ways to support myself while I write. Here’s my thought process: I could sell some of my little paintings but I’d rather keep the originals until I find a good way to publish hard copies, at least of “What Makes a Jingle Ring.” So I took a break from the Hillock character development time to play around with some miniature paintings of pieces of some of my book illustrations. This is just a little frame I had, and I used pretty cheap paper, but I just wanted to see how it might work to make some small paintings. I’m open to any suggestions. FramedTwigs

Shh…moss whispering!

Down at the bottom of the meadow past The Hillock at the edge of the treeline, is one of my favorite places to go! It’s my ‘wannabe moss farm’ where the moss whispers and where the moss tender listens with an eager ear. I love to be near it and listen as well. The light show that accompanies the whole symphony of sounds is equally as compelling to the eye. The palate of colors changes in an instant as the light dances on the cushy floor. And I get to marvel at it all! I love to close my eyes and feel the different textures! The Hillock is also covered with mosses, but somehow, this moss seems to speak the loudest to me! The best kept secret of the meadow! Shhh…listen! and enjoy!


High Above The Hillock

Most of my visits to The Hillock are in the daytime, between dawn and twilight. So I don’t see any Twig People that are down on the ground exploring and going on various adventures. Yet when I look up, I can see hints that they are there, waiting for their time on earth from twilight to dawn. It’s hard to see their heads but their ‘limbs’ are pretty clearly visible. The only movement I see is rhythmic swaying with the breezes.

I’m wondering if the Twig People will show up as characters in the stories of The Hillock as well? I’m feeling very impatient and eager to know how this story and the characters will evolve!   I also wonder if I should come to The Hillock at night and see what’s happening then? At around twilight, I DO hear a couple of owls talking through the darkening skies. Hmmm… 


The Slug Presents Itself Even More!

I’m so grateful when characters continue to present themselves in life until I finally pay attention! Today, our grandson, Oliver ate his first, and hopefully only SLUG. On the phone (FaceTime), he seemed quite proud at age 13 months with his accomplishment. Of course his mom and I did the google-proper thing and researched ‘slug-eating’ for any potential toxic effects. While I was researching, I thought I’d makes some notes about these creatures! They are hermaphrodites, able to reproduce with or without a partner, thus able to procreate exact likenesses of themselves, or ‘branch out’ to expand their gene pool a bit. And as far as I know, there are no laws banning samesex marriage, uni-sex marriage, etc. in the slug world.


They basically slide around on one muscular ‘foot’…takes me back to the character Lowly Worm. And they are nocturnal, except on overcast, rainy days. Their ‘slime’ provides both a road to slide upon, and a sticky substance that can even hold them onto something upside down. Moisture is important to their existence. They eat everything from our treasured plants, to manure, and more!

 Another interesting tidbit is that in terms of eating a slug. American Indians found that they could manifest slight hallucinogenic results. Also, the slime can be numbing to the mouth, causing brief neurologic 

So how would this Slug character be? I know the one I found was about 3 1/2 inches long, grey, with mottles of black on his back. When he stretched out his body he could practically reach 4 inches in length. That’s all for now!


Ladies Tresses, another character?

As I’ve further explored The Hillock and its Meadow neighbors, some tiny flowers keep showing their faces as well! This little lady seems to be ‘following me’ on my walks, and getting much bolder in her appearances. Here she is in the grasses that surround The Hillock! She’s quite tall, slender and strikingly graceful! I’m not sure if she is just one flower that I see following me, or some of her sisters as well! I introduce to you through photographs, Spiral Lady Tresses! Or is she Nodding Lady Tresses? Truthfully, I’m not yet clear on what she prefers to be called. What I DO know is that she will provide quite a lesson for me on painting ‘negative space’ or whatever that process is called by ‘real painters’!


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