My Book Writing Journey: Leaving a Legacy of Laughter

toddler wearing purple sweatshirt

The recent death that has hit my circle of friends and acquaintances got me really thinking about several things. One of them is the idea of leaving a legacy.

I guess we don’t often think about our legacy or what we’ll leave behind when we’re gone from this life. We’re focused on the here and now. Nothing wrong with that. Here and now is where we live, so it’s good to pay attention to it. When death happens close to you, you consider what things would be like if you yourself passed on unexpectedly. What will you have left behind to benefit humanity?

I’m a strong believer in laughter. It has the ability to flood in and replace things like sadness or anger. In the worst of times laughter can lift us up, even if just for a moment. Besides love, laughter has the most power in this world for good I think.

As I’m writing my book and drawing illustrations for it, my thought is “What is going to make people genuinely laugh out loud? How can I make this drawing even more funny?”. It’s a desire to bring positivity into a world that can never have enough positivity injected into it. Funny trumps a bad day and it can rejuvenate a tired, bitter soul in a very unique way.

I’ve always looked up to the people who’s biggest ambition in life has been to make people laugh (Red Skelton, Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, etc.). While not everyone understands every joke, laughter is universal.

I think that’s what I love about comic art, you can create something that transcends any language barrier. It’s the expression on the character’s faces, the movement you create in the image that everyone can understand, because most body language and expression is universal.

This is what I hope to create with my book. A legacy of laughter. Something that will inject that positivity into the world long after I’m gone. Fingers crossed.

Illustrator’s Block

pexels-photo-1076339.jpegI’m an artist. Not really a writer. So the fact that lately I’ve been having an easier time writing than I have been coming up with ideas for illustrations is just silly to me. It’s just silly.

As I mentioned previously, this book is all about the journey, rather than the destination. So this must be the silly part of the journey. I basically have to just keep writing until the writer’s block kicks in and the illustrator’s block eases up. That’s totally how that all works I’m sure. It’s just going to be a wild game of “red light. green light” with the writing and illustrating for however long this takes me.

Another thing that I’m trying to do with this book is ask for my husband’s opinion and actually use his advice to some degree. After all, I’m no ask-hole. The thing is that he’s not a writer or an illustrator. So why bother with his opinion? Because he knows funny. He’s also just one of those generally intelligent people, so that’s gotta count for something.

Fingers crossed that I survive this whole process.

 

Chugging Along on My Book Writing Journey

pexels-photo-891674.jpegThis last weekend was a pretty busy one. I wished that I had more time to write and maybe begin to illustrate for my book, but life got in the way. I managed to write a couple of short stories and came up with more topics that I can write stories about, so it hasn’t been totally wasted time as far as the book is concerned.

This whole thing has been good for me because it’s the first time that I don’t feel compelled to rush through things to get a complete product. I really want this book to stand a chance at being successful, so i’m making it about the journey instead of the destination. Once the book is finished, that’s it. It’s out there and there’s no changing it.

It’s funny how this book has been evolving along the way. My original idea was to make it almost exclusively about my marriage and why I think my husband and I have lasted as long as we have from such a young, clueless age. It would have been about humor and how important it is in life, but especially in marriage. The book has had other plans for itself it seems. I’m now writing more about all the funny experiences that I’ve had in my life that lend themselves well to cartoon illustrations. When I started thinking about it and when family members started to remind me of stories that I’d forgotten about, I realized that it was the perfect content for this book. So that’s what it has become. A humorous book about my life. The thing I have going for me is that no one besides me has lived my life.

The biggest challenge now is remembering all the stories I have to tell, but that’s what friends and family are for. No writer/illustrator is an island.

Interested in seeing excerpts and illustrations from my book before it’s published? Check out the Facebook page for it:¬†https://www.facebook.com/thisisfinewerefine/

Good Luck and Stuff: Writing and Illustrating a Book

bookCover002

(Book cover draft for my upcoming book “This is Fine. We’re Fine.”)

I’ve been creating comics about my life and about other things I find funny for about 3 years now. I started out drawing comics on paper and scanning them (yuck). Now I use a tablet and illustration software (yay!). Like most artists, it’s taken me a long time to find my style. There are infinite possibilities when it comes to art, which is simultaneously awesome and intimidating. Not that I can compare myself to Picasso, but I feel like i’m going through the same sort of thing that he did. I began my artistic career doing very realistic work. Horses in particular have always been some of my favorite things to paint. Now i’m primarily a comic artist, drawing pretty unrealistic things for the sake of comedy. Obviously Picasso didn’t draw comics so much as he painted whatever the hell he wanted to because he didn’t like being told how to create art (go, Picasso!), but you see my point. This is not where I started.

So now I’ve decided to throw myself into the deep end of the pool by attempting to write and illustrate a book. It isn’t so much that I think the whole world will love what I create and I’ll become famous, but that I believe humor has great power to change people and brighten their day, and I have the power to do that through something as simple as a book.

This is going to take me a lot more time than I’m accustomed to taking on a project. I am impatient and work fast, and I wont be able to do that with this book. Writing and drawing with quality takes time, so that’s what I’m going to give this project. Fingers crossed that I come out of this feeling like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to, even if only two people (probably my parents) buy the book. Wish me luck and stuff.