How it Started

19 12 2009

It had been an ordinary sort of day until the doorbell rang and a short dark-haired young woman asked me if I minded if she and her friends climbed over my house. I’m sure you can sympathize with my surprise, and hopefully also my curiosity at the strange request. I said,

“Well, I suppose that would be alright, but may I ask why you want to climb up on my roof?”

“You see, my friend is stuck going only east. He would go around your house, but he is unable.”

Of course, I was not right away able to believe her, and had to go out and meet this friend of hers.

He turned out to be a tall, and very skinny fellow with messy hair poking out of his sun-faded hat and a grin that took up most of his face. There was a third friend too, a broader, more serious man. They all gave me a partially convincing demonstration of the fact that the skinny man could only walk one direction. It seemed as if he hit an invisible wall in every way he turned except East.

So I let them climb my house. They were well equipped with a strong rope ladder and clearly had done this many times before. I did make one condition, though. And that was that they sit down and tell me their whole story. And since I’ve always enjoyed heights, and my roof is nearly flat in sections, I made a pot of tea, passed up my plastic lawn chairs, and we all sat on the roof. From this odd vantage, they told me, with much enthusiasm and arguing, the strange story of their adventures. You see, they had traveled clear around the globe, going only directly East.

When they had finally finished, and the sun was low on the horizon, an idea occurred to me.

“Have you considered writing down your story, for others to enjoy?”

“Wouldn’t work,” said the girl. “No one would believe it, unless they had met us, and even then, most people think it’s a joke.”

I could see how that could be a problem, but my mind is one that automatically seeks solutions to problems, so with little hesitation I said, “But perhaps you could make the book for children. Children are much more willing to accept the strange and mysterious things in the world.”

“Maybe,” said the skinny man thoughtfully.

And, being both a writer and an artist, I then and there determined to work on the project of making their unusual and humorous tale into a picture book. The skinny man gave me his tattered journal the girl produced from her bag a manila envelope full of pictures, which she lent to me. And that’s how it all began.

I’ll be making use of this blog to tell you about my progress as I do farther research about the places they went. I will also show you sneak previews of the multi-medium illustrations I am creating for the book.

It turns out that the trio traveled East around the world along the 40th parallel. So, if you live on or near that latitude, please let me know. I’d love to hear your story, see your pictures, and find out about how you met this strange traveling group.




2 responses

9 02 2010
Jeanie Little

Hey, it looks quite fun! I loved the video–good job. I’ve thought about drinking tea in many places, but never on the roof. It must be because I’m afraid of heights.

9 02 2010

Thanks! Haha, that would put a damper on roof tea parties. ( :

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