Today was quite amazing! Francklin and Lacy, our Springers, romped in the rain with me down to The Hillock. As usual, I quietly strolled the CobbleStoneWay, keeping an eye out for any pieces of the unfolding mysteries of this magical place. Frogs, caterpillars, snakes, and a turtle or two here and there are a few from the past. Today I could hear a few feeble cricket sounds and a bird warble here and there, but nothing that struck me. Until… I came to The Castle of the Heart. One part of the castle had fallen, and I didn’t see the iron fairy girl anywhere. As I looked more closely, I saw her legs upside down between two cliffside rocks. I quickly rescued her, rebuilt the rock platform, and re established the fallen castle turrets. To my surprise, when I lifted one of the stones, there was a very large slug. I marveled at its grey colors and slimy skin, carefully avoiding touching or smushing it as I replaced the rock and fairy. What happened next, actually, is what surprised me…the large slug began to slime up the replaced turrets, and seemed either to be kissing the fairy or whispering into her ear! I actually got their interaction on camera! And I PROMISE, I am not making this up! Nor did I stage any of this! I just kept clicking my cellphone camera button as fast as I could so that I wouldn’t miss a thing!
Truly, I see forms and faces everywhere! I remember once having some neurological tests done 3 years ago to check my ‘brain’ to see if my chronic Lyme disease was causing inflammation in my brain. The whole series of tests lasted for 7 hours! By the end of the process, I don’t know who felt the most crazed, me? or the woman that was testing me? When I returned to learn from the results, the neuropsychologist had very positive things to say about my intelligence, and very much agreed that it took a huge amount of my energy to stay focused on the tasks at hand. Though I was able to do them, I think it took me about three days to recover! One question she was curious about was when I said that I saw images and could hear different voices. I explained that the voices were characters in my books and that everything I saw seemed to have many ways to be seen or interpreted. She seemed relieved to hear my explanation and ready to help me cope with the challenges of Lyme to my central nervous system.
This ‘pig’ looking at me from the bark of a tree is just one example of the characters just waiting to be discovered and allowed to have their voice. I’m thinking that many of these ‘characters’ might appear in the story about The Hillock, which is in ‘the works’.
As I debrief from working with the Twigs at Twilight and let them sit on their branches for a rest, I’m back to walking the meadow, living my life as it goes, and listening to the MossWhispers that come my way. Part of my listening comes through my eyes as well. On my way up from the Hillocks (for there are many in the meadow), I usually make my final winded steps over the roots of a large oak tree near our house. As on many tree trunks, wooden floors, and just about any rough surface, I see faces…and each face immediately shares part of its story. Most of these stories roll around in my own head, and perhaps sift through my own facial expressions. Here are just a few.
I’m making this the last page for now. . Later I might turn the ‘at twilight’ into its own page at another time. Now to let this book sit for awhile and then I’ll come back to it.
Whew! The all made it home! And here’s my biggest block about this story. The two main characters are NOT the ones who resolve the problem. An outsider does! The Old North Wind. Somehow I feel the reader gets cheated since the main characters don’t solve their own problem! Hence, this, plus too much rhyme, are my two reasons for wanting to rewrite this whole story. Oh, well, there are a few more issues I have with this story. Once this first try is finished, I’ll give it a shelf break and come back to it later. As for me, I’m going to catch a few ‘winks’.
This illustration is the other half of the tree on the previous page. I would need to work these two pages to be a double spread with the text divided between the two pages, to make the words match the illustrations. I also need to work on making it clearer as to which twig character is talking or being described. Clear to me that there’s lots of work to do on the text and the storyline. Then I think the illustration will have more detail and relevance. Just need to get them back on their branches before dawn! Whew!
I’m realizing that I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with two things about this story. One is the rhyming text and the other is the resolution of the main conflict. At this point, I think I will continue with the last few pages and then come back to it with a rewrite in prose.
As I push to finish this first adventure of the Twigs at Twilight, I am learning so much as I go along. I need to break away from the rhyming texts on my next story and trust that I can switch to prose. Also, I need to let go of pushing to post a painting each time with the writing. This causes me to rush through, just because I’m trying to pack in a lot in a short amount of time. I do find merit in writing and painting with an end point in mind. There’s so much to learn all at once!
Getting back into painting has been very challenging! Two things I learned: don’t cut myself with a serrated kitchen knife right before I start to paint! 2. After taking a month off from painting, perhaps it would be better to start with a fresh palatte of paint! These colors look a little washed out! AND it’s good to get back at it. Now to go to bed before dawn!
I’m still working on my drawings of crickets making music just before dawn and of Big Twig who is struggling with his choice of whether or not to leap back to his branch or to keep searching for Lacey Leaf and Little Twig. Getting ‘inertia going’ is very fatiguing!