Sunday, September 27, 2009

Possible Cover for Hobbes Goes to South America

A friend of mine, who asked to be nameless, is helping me with the cover of the book as he has a Mac (of which he is very proud) which can do some arty manipulation of photos. So, I am posting the photo of one possibility, not the final choice of course. Bret, my son offered to do a sketch, but he is so busy with school that it would not be possible until next summer. I like this one as it clearly shows South America. The writing process is very strange as in my mind, I am jumping all over the story, I already know how I will end it and will add a few tongue-in-cheek imitations of real published books: the way the authors write about the print itself on one of the back pages, which will be "comic sans" a print without the swiggles, and of course the dedication and the thank-you pages. My grandson, Brenden, has already asked about the dedication pages.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy, Snowy days are good for writing

Today, September 21, it is snowing here in Castle Rock, and since I am over a week behind in this blog, this will give me an opportunity to write a few more chapters. I showed the grandboys what I am doing, Joshua was not interested, he is more into the actual Hobbes. Brenden was trying to be polite when I asked him if he would like to write a comment--"Good luck on your book" was his answer. Not exactly the enthusiasm I was looking for. So, my question to myself today is: Who are you writing the book for? Wonder if authors ask themselves that question and is it different for different authors. I guess I am writing the book for myself, to write down the experiences I had on our cruise to South America through a more creative vehicle, Hobbes a stuffed lion. But authors do use this technique, although in a much more sophisticated way--think Kafka
and others.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fonts and How to make HGTSA less "computerish"

So far, photos and story have been printed up to Hobbes Tai Chi lesson and his disappointment in not being able to "swim with the Dolphins." But, I don't like the look of the story. I like the way this blog looks, tan "paper" and "scripty" print. As I was writing the Dolphin story, I wondered if lions actually swim, so there was Google and the ability to research anything quickly. And, I found out that they do but not everyday, like tigers, and if they have to, they will. There are some great photos of lions swimming. And, in Africa, there is a danger of being caught by a crocodile while swimming, the lion would not do well in that situation. Might add that to the story. What is difficult for me is to go from our files of hundreds of photos and easily transfer them to word perfect.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dolphins, Coffee Plantations and the Volcano that Wasn't There

In the last chapter, Hobbes was in Cabo San Lucas where he was quite unhappy because he was not allowed to swim with the Dolphins and had to spend the afternoon, stuffed in a locker! But then it was on to Costa Rica and a visit to a coffee plantation and the Poas Volcano which was shrouded in clouds. "On this exhilarating excursion, journey through one of Costa Rica's most magnificent natural parks and discover a crater that is alive with clouds of steam," said the description of the shore excursion. Well, not quite, as the volcano was completely obliterated, nothing. We learned later that it is visible only 10% of the time. "Tasha and Rod were very disappointed, but I took a very long nap--it was cozy on the bus," said Hobbes, who loves to sleep.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tenses are Tricky

As of today, Hobbes is in Cabo San Lucas! So, I have made some progress writing the book. But, I discovered, tenses are tricky--I have Hobbes writing in the past and present, so I have to decide how to do this. Does he write as if he is writing a diary at the end of the day or as he is doing things? Also, getting the pictures takes time. What I would really like to do is print all of them, there are dozens, and then choose. But I did take notes on the trip and that does help the writing. It does bring the trip back, and makes me want to travel again, soon!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Are there lions in South America?

Since this is the big question that Hobbes asks, I thought I had better do some research. There were lions in South America and North America for that matter, but thousands of years ago. Today they only exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Google is amazing! Pages and pages of information on lions, every aspect of their behavior which will be fun to somehow include in the story, especially the fact that they sleep 20+hours a day. But they are the most social of the Big Cats, which fits in with Hobbes personality.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Lines

"It was a dark and stormy night"...Or "Once upon a time and a very good time it was". . .I have thought of one. . .
"Are there any lions in South America? I am going to find out!" This could be a good start, so with that line I have written the first page. The next question is: what do I call myself (and Rod) in the story. Gamma Tasha and Papa Rod sounds too cumbersome. Natalie and Rod, too formal, Tasha and Rod? Perhaps that would work, it's not like I cannot change it. Our stewardess on the cruise called Hobbes, Mr. Hobbes, so when I introduce her, Hobbes will say, "Alice called me Mr. Hobbes! It makes me feel so important!"

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday, August 28th

As I tentatively attempted to begin this blog, I realized how non-techy I am.  But, I have begun and that is always the hardest part.  I won't write Hobbes Goes to South America here, but write about writing the book.  I cannot compose well on the computer.  I have to see my handwriting and the best handwriting I do is done with a very fine tipped pen on blank paper.  Yesterday I bought the paper and pens so now---no excuses.  Thinking back to my favorite books from childhood helps.  Babar was one, Madeline another--"In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines. . . ."  First lines are very important, so the beginning step is to create the first line for Hobbes, which is my goal for today.