Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oh No! And, Picture Book Marathon, Day 8

Yesterday I broke my posting every day streak, which was unbroken since January 14. Sigh. See, what happened was, yesterday was the first day of swim season. So I went to practice, and swam, and came home, and fell asleep. Until the morning, when I overslept. So my homework didn't get done, my picture book didn't get done, and I didn't write a post for yesterday. I thought about semi-cheating and writing a post today and time-stamping it for yesterday, but I didn't have anything to say. And also my brother needed his computer today, and since it is his computer, I gave it back (and realized how computer-addicted I was). But I did write a story for PBM that I transcribed onto this computer, but I don't have any names for anything yet. My name-creating inspiration was missing today. But anyway,

Picture Book #6: Untitled So Far
(this turned into more of a short story, but some picture books can be long, right?)

For Ceri

Once upon a time there was a girl named Sara who was very upset that in fairy tales, boys went out to seek their fortune when girls had to stay to home and wait for a handsome prince to find them. She recognized that there were far fewer handsome princes out there than there were girls waiting for them, so she decided not to wait for a prince but to go out and make a life for herself. So she cut her hair, disguised herself as a boy, and went to seek her fortune.
When she got to the nearest large town, she decided to find something to do while she was busy seeking her fortune, because being a country girl, she knew very well that money did not grow on trees. Eventually, she found a job as a blacksmith’s apprentice. But, being a girl, she hadn’t done very much hard labor and tired quickly. The blacksmith didn’t want to put up with that, so he fired her. Then she got a job as a stable boy, but, being a girl, she hadn’t had any experience with horses, so she was fired from that job as well.
For months, she lived like that, being fired from one job after another, when finally, exhausted and almost ready to return to her hometown, she got a job as a bookbinder’s apprentice. She was fascinated by the stories in the books, the beautiful words and pictures. And so she began to write stories, in secret, at night.
Each morning she would go to work and learn bookbinding until the shop closed. Then she’d have dinner, go into her room and start to write. She filled pages and pages with her stories.
One of her stories was particularly interesting to write, and she kept coming up with new ideas for it, so she brought it to work with her so that she could write down her ideas and not forget them by the time she got back to her room that evening. By accident, she put it down on the pile of books to be bound that day and the bookbinder picked it up and began to read it. When he saw her name on the back cover, his eyes widened. He told her to go back home for the day and closed the shop, taking the book with him.

That's all I have so far. That's the story from yesterday. I'm not sure where I want to go with it. The original idea is from a game my friend Ceri and I were playing over the weekend, where we would tell a story in the usual fairy-tale fashion, with all fairy-tale cliches intact, bust making it up as we go along.  This particular story was a variation on one I told, but fixed up and edited, and minus quite a few of the inside jokes. The story from today also has roots in that game, but the plot is different from any of the stories we told. Which transitions nicely into....

Picture Book #7: Also Untitled So Far
(this one obviously needs a lot of work)

In the town of ___________, there was an infestation problem. But this wasn’t an infestation of rats, or bugs, or (something else that infests). No, this was an infestation of dragons. Well, there was only one dragon really, but one dragon can be an infestation all by itself if it decides to be destructive.* (List stuff dragon did: burn houses, carry off maidens, be a general nuisance, etc.) In ________ there lived a young man named ___________. Like many of the other residents, he was unhappy with the dragon problem. But unlike the other residents, he decided to do something about it. So he went to the local witch and asked for help to get rid of the dragon. Luckily, she didn’t turn him into a toad and decided to grant his request. So she gave him a sword and three gold pieces and sent him home to kill the dragon. So _________ went home, but not being the brightest young man, he gave the three gold pieces and the sword to the first youth he met and told him to go slay the dragon. The youth left the next morning in the direction of the dragon’s cave and never returned. So ____________ went back to the witch and asked for her help again. Again she gave him three gold pieces and a sword and sent him home to kill the dragon. But __________ hadn’t gotten any smarter since the last time he went to see the witch, so again he went to the first youth he saw and gave him the gold pieces and the sword and told him to go slay the dragon. The youth left the next morning in the direction of the dragon’s cave and never returned. _____________ decided to go again to the witch and ask for help. By this time, the witch was getting annoyed that he kept coming back, so this time she gave him the sword without the three gold pieces, and told him to go slay the dragon himself. So ___________ didn’t bother waiting for the morning, but went that night and slayed the dragon while it was asleep. The next day he went to the witch to thank her. By this time she was really annoyed at him and didn’t ever want to see him again. So she turned him into a toad. The end.

*I got that line from Maurice and His Amazing Educated Rodents, by Terry Pratchett. I don’t think it’s the exact line, so it’s sort of mostly not copying. But I changed it to be about dragons rather than rats, and I’m citing Mr. Pratchett like the diligent English student that I am.

Also, I was really disappointed that I couldn't go more than a week without taking a rest day, and then I find these two wonderful comments on my last post that helped cheer me up and get me back in the game for the marathon. So thank you so much, Literally Lynne and Shaunda!

One more thing and then I will go to bed: I finally got around to scanning and coloring my sketches from the last few days. So first, here is my fully finished drawing for Green Yarn, which I may want to turn into the title page later. It didn't turn out the way I was expecting, and the girl looks a lot more like how I imagined the girl from Untitled So Far (book #6), but I like the way it turned out.

[UPDATE: I just realized I forgot her hands. Gack, I hate drawing hands. Oh well, if I ever do anything with this drawing I'll add in the hands.]

And here's the sketch for Untitled So Far (#6) which somehow got flipped horizontally.I'll fix that when I color it. I'll color tomorrow or the day after, depending on... well, depending on everything. On how my life works out tomorrow. Right now, I'm figuring out every day as it comes. Stressful as it is, it makes a nice change.
[UPDATE AGAIN: I just realized I forgot to do Teaser Tuesday. I'll do a double Teaser Tuesday next week to make up for it, once my life gets organized again. I'm super busy and not reading as much anyway.]
Until tomorrow, hopefully with two more picture books,

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