Back to Basics

Every year, my father and I participate in our town’s chalk walk. We pick a picture and then transfer it to a sidewalk stone “up town” while hundreds of adults and children draw around us. It’s a fun event, and over the years some of the drawings have been quite elaborate.

This year we were battling against the weather. The event was supposed to happen on a Saturday, but it rained, so they moved it to Sunday. We decided to draw something simple – to go back to basics like when we first started this process years ago. Attached is the finished product. Not too bad if I say so myself 🙂

And this got me thinking about my upcoming novels that will be released in the fall. The first book is all about Misha who was a huge part of my first series. In many respects, I am going back to basics with my books as well. But the fun twist was adding in Misha’s always overprotective and often hysterical family into the mix. And so the fun began and it gave me enough “story fodder” for brother stories!

So going back to basics isn’t a bad strategy after all.

 

Trying Something New

If you have been following my blog for a while you know that my father and I participate in our small town’s annual chalk walk event. Over the past 10 or so years, we have stuck to classic cartoon characters from Snoopy, to Sylvester & Tweety, to Winnie the Pooh, to name just a few.

This year, my father wanted to do something different. So we tackled 3-D.

While it was definitely not our normal genre, it was an interesting change from what we have done in the past. And it got me thinking.

What if I wrote something that wasn’t paranormal? I’ve been tinkering with maybe trying my hand at a romantic suspense, or perhaps a sci-fi romance…

You never know where inspiration and a new world will come from. But I’m open to the possibility…

So here is this year’s pic! What do you think?

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Creative Avenues

Each year, my father and I participate in our town’s Chalk Walk. This is an event where kids and adults (who still think they are kids) go to town and draw on the sidewalks. Think of it as a legalized graffiti day!

For my dad and I, it’s a time to do something together. We enjoy the idea of picking out the picture and then figuring out how we’ll resize it and draw it on the sidewalk. My dad has a whole process worked out now on what we do (now you know where my OCD comes from, right?).

He is the true artist. He draws the design and then I add the color and depth. We make a good team and since we are both creative, it’s a wonderful outlet for us.

And ultimately, that’s what matters. Are the pictures perfect? No. But the experience is the key. Are we having fun along the way?

That’s an important lesson I need to tell myself with my writing and with my life.

So here is this year’s design….what do you think?

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The Experience is What Really Matters

Every year my father and I participate in our city’s Chalk Walk event. We have gotten pretty good at it over the years, if I do say so myself. We take our supplies with us, including knee pads, water, brushes, paper towels, etc. And then the city provides free chalk for us to use on the sidewalks.

This year I was upset to find out that I was going to be out of town on Saturday when Chalk Walk took place. VERY UPSET. So we came up with the idea to do our own chalk walk on Sunday (or I should say I came up with the idea and convinced my father to play along).

So here was our plan:

  • Choose picture to draw
  • Dad to pick up free chalk on Saturday
  • Draw picture on Sunday

Sounds easy, right? Well…it would have been if we hadn’t had to deal with RAIN. It poured rain at my house Sunday morning and I thought we were done. But it didn’t rain in town where we were going to draw. As I drove to my dad’s house it started to rain. And we thought we were finished, but after a few minutes it stopped and the sun came out.

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Dad drawing the outline

We looked at each other, grabbed our supplies and headed into town, knowing that the rain was coming again and we probably wouldn’t be so lucky the next time. And we sat on the sidewalk, by ourselves, surrounded by drawings from the day before and black clouds overhead. Dad had already drawn a preliminary sketch on cardboard to help speed up the process when it came time to draw on Sunday. Not sure if he was fearful of the rain or the cops coming and asking us what we were doing!

As he drew, I colored and the drops started again. I threw my arms up into the air and yelled ‘no’! Really, I did. It was quite dramatic. We took a quick picture of the partially completed drawing, fearful we were defeated.

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See the raindrops! Thought we we finished for sure!

But my father, brilliant man that he is, threw a blanket over me and the drawing and I finished it while it sprinkled. And we laughed as I knelt on hands and knees over the picture and my dad held the blanket. He would periodically peek underneath and tell me what needed fixed. And this chalk walk will definitely stick in my mind as one of the most memorable!

Here is the final picture. Pretty nice, huh? About 45 minutes after we finished the skies opened up and rain poured down over our drawing. But it was okay, because the experience was what really mattered to us.

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Final Product!!

 

 

 

In some ways this process made me appreciate my writing path even more. Sometimes I have to remember that I can’t let things defeat me whether real or imagined. This weekend taught me that it’s overcoming the obstacles along the way that make the finished product that much sweeter in the end!