As we write, sometimes the journey sometimes takes a bit of a side trip; that happened to me about three months ago. I was writing the ‘how to kindle’ book and got side tracked by a creative adventure. It started when I was writing the chapter on formatting for kindle. I wanted to show the difference between unformatted text, and how it looks when you add a bit of structure such as Chapter Heading, first paragraph with no indent and subsequent body copy. It happened that I needed a couple paragraphs of story to use for that section. Out of nowhere, the start of a children’s story sprang to mind and I scribbled it down. That began a side journey that has involved a lot of steps.
The Big Race
The wild bush animals gathered at Billabong Flats, a place where everyone has fun.They met in the shade of the big gum trees.They would race to the big hill and back. Emu was there, along with Magpie and Kangaroo. Wallaby and Cockatoo, Possum and Flying Fox were there too.
End of unformatted text
Didn’t mean to procrastinate finishing the kindle book, though that’s been on hold while I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind. Finishing the story fragment above has led to learning about kids books, taking up drawing again, and writing a dozen kids stories. Sometimes, as an author, it feels like you are just along for the ride.
Billabong Flats, an imaginary place in the Australian Bush.
Australian animal friends – Kookaburra, Koala, Kangaroo, Echidna, Cockatoo and Flying Fox, Dingo and Brolga and all the critters that run, swim, jump and fly.
A place where everyone gets along and has fun.
Those of friendship everywhere. Things are lost and found, curiosity leads to new discoveries, new homes need to be found, visitors become neighbors and scary monsters are avoided or defeated, friends are supported in times of loss, and adventures and fun is had along the way.
After searching through thousands of photographs, it came down to around 200 images as inspiration. From that. pen and ink drawings were embellished with watercolor and digital brush work.
The web site?
It felt like the stories needed their own web site, so I started one at BillabongFlats.com. When friends said they wanted images of the characters, I began to set up some materials for Billabong Flats Art on Cafepress. The first image, of KoalaDreaming is ready. I’ll be asking folks who join the Billabong Flats mailing list to vote on which story and which character I put up next on cafe press. I have images of many of the animals ready to go.
The first illustrated children’s book?
It is called Billabong Flats: The Big Race. It will be out on amazon in a couple of weeks.