One dream I have that won't go away is to do more books for children. I loved working on Counting on the Woods and the opportunity over the years that it has given for speaking with kids in schools. Even though illustrating with photos is not wildly popular within the children's book world, to put it mildly, how boring life would be without tackling major challenges!
In the meantime, George Ella Lyon has drafted a picture book to use with our new grandchildren. A sweet friend! Her idea is that I would then provide the pictures from ones I have made over the years on our 100 hilly acres of forest and waterfalls plus some from nearby. Such a "job" has seemed like a daunting task until a few weeks ago. For one thing, I couldn't figure out how I could set aside the time to work on it.Recently, however, I had the idea of using this blog for next few weeks to try out some possible images. I could experience how the connections feel between her ideas and my particular images. In addition to the fact that I love doing this blog, which makes things fun, doing a bit of her book in a weekly format takes the pressure off tackling the whole at one time. This is not how a book is usually assembled, but the heart of the process is the same -- digging ever deeper for what works and feels right. A whole that comes from bit by bits.
So here is the deal. Her framework uses the alphabet, not necessarily to teach letters but as an organizing principle. Hmm, maybe I should talk about this less and just do it, to let you all figure some of this out on your own!
TITLE: APPALACHIA, BLUEBIRD, CREEK [a grandparents' ABC]
A a -- Appalachian mountains Appalachian spring
B b -- barn bluebird boat bugs branches
|Binion barn, with spider web quilt square|
|beneath the branches|
C c -- chickens creek cardinal cave cliff
|the creek bed, during a dry spell|
|A deer was here!|
our driveway, in winter
As always, in these posts I enjoy sharing my process. Not all the photos I post are the perfect ones, not all my ideas are fully formed, and I never intend to imply that anyone has to do as I do. This creative stuff is all about each of our particular paths, not just the destination.
Also, this weekend I am away from home. Therefore there are a few other photos I will be adding to this A-B-C-D section when I return. I am thrilled to have started this project, and any comments will be appreciated. In fact, when the book words are in italics, it means that I added them to George Ella's draft. Once a lot of bits are in place, she and I can keep what we want, see each bit within the whole, and go from there. Welcome to this journey!!