Be Moved

23 02 2010

I want to start this blog post by encouraging you to allow yourself to be moved by the things that excite you.

I spent the past week swimming through a flood of creativity and exciting ideas. Some are for future blog and novel ideas. For example, I emailed Chris M and am currently brainstorming with him co-wring a kids’ chapter book. Then, there was the YouTube story game idea, which you can watch and join over at Marvelo’s Marvelous Adventures.

You’ll note that I didn’t just have the ideas, but I acted on them: reaching out to another writer to collaborate, which will keep both of us accountable and productive, and making and posting the video. This comes back to what I said earlier let your ideas and dreams move you. Don’t just say, ‘someday I’ll do such and such,’ make plans now. Set aside time now. Find an accountability partner, do some research, whatever first steps you need to take: take them. If you wait until you have more time, you’ll probably find that you never do.

Alright, so enough of the pep talking, time to update you on my picture book project. I mentioned last week that I’ve been thinking about the purpose of the project. You see, from the start, I’ve really not wanted this project to be about me. I want it to be about the kids I’m writing it for, and about building relationships with people across the barriers of place and culture. I want this project to be a blessing to others, and not something that feeds my ego.

In light of this, it occurred to me, that, if I am able to find a publisher for the book at the end, I would like to give any monetary gains away to a good cause. I’ve been sort of secretly planning to do this, and wanting to make a public dedication of the project, but being held back for a couple reasons. First, I don’t know if the book will be a success, if there will be any monetary gains to be given at all. And second, I didn’t want to appear showy, or as though I’m looking for people to help me, just because it’s for a good cause.

But I’ve been inspired by Chris Guillebeau’s message of the only worthwhile things in life being things done for others. I’ve also talked with my advisor, and been pondering the issue in light of my relationship with Jesus Christ, and his clear self-giving message.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I should go ahead with dedicating my project to a charity organization, despite my uncertainties. So now, I’m in search of some sort of charity, or school program for children. My hope is to find something that is along the fortieth parallel, so that it could make an appearance in the book itself. What better way for my characters to engage with the people around them?

Do you know of any orphanages, schools, or other ministries to children that are near the 40th parallel?

Jack Rubashevskiy's Picture (Japan)

As for general progress updates: I’m working on sketching an actual size story-board for the project, and am beginning a draft of the text for the story.

I’ve also been developing my ideas regarding the themes I should focus on. I think an overarching theme that will draw all the pieces together and also be beneficial for my audience is the theme of being a good traveler and really engaging with people and caring for them.

So often we have a shallow, consumerist, tourist perception of travel, and I want to help kids see that traveling can be so much more rewarding and edifying for them, and for others.  I also would like to encourage kids to live life not just as a tourist, but really engage the world.

I’ll close off with a few cool finds:

I discovered the Author/Illustrator Meghan Mccarthy’s excellent website. She writes fun educational picture book and has all sorts of tips and advice for writers and illustrators and I’m still reading through the many valuable articles posted on her site.

As I’ve been writing this blog post, I’ve been in contact with Jack, and he’s inspired me to include a Haiku in the picture book, when the characters visit Japan. He also sent me some great pictures, including the one featured in this post.




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