Friday, June 3, 2011

Creating on a winter's afternoon

One thing I don't understand is why people have a blog and do not keep it up-like me and this Snarly Sally Blog! I could say I've been busy but that's no excuse. What I can say is that I am back and hope that you will stick with me as I go forward. I realize I have been among the missing-but no more!

Snarly Sally was created one winter's Sunday afternoon in a small upstairs apartment. I was sitting with my two-and-a-half year old daughter at her child-size, red and white table as the wind blew and the snow swirled. We'd just returned from the nearby park where she'd stood atop a nearly frozen in place merry-go-round and took a few runs on a swing. We didn't stay long at the park.

As we sat together thawing out with some hot chocolate she began coloring as I grabbed a pad of paper and started to write. I had a story idea about a little girl who never liked getting her hair brushed-which was actually my very own child sitting across from me intent on filling in every space with a red crayon. As she colored, the story flowed right out of me. I'd been mulling it over for some time. That would be the first version. Later I felt Snarly Sally needed a little friend to go on adventures with her so I gave her a puppy named Tangles. They became the best of friends.

Since that wintry afternoon Snarly Sally has evolved. I first illustrated her wearing a dress; in the 3rd book I put her in jeans and a pink t-shirt. Being the novice that I was I never realized that once I illustrated her-that's how she'd have to look every time after that. Think of Dora-the Peanuts Gang-the Grinch-they look the same whenever you see them but if you research many of the well-known characters, they started out looking a little different. The creative process is never-ending, especially when you give birth to your very own character.

I thought I'd find a publisher right away. Little did I know how long and twisting this journey would be. I finally found a publisher in 2000. She loved Snarly Sally; instantly saw a line of children's picture books and accessories. We signed a contract to begin with two Snarly Sally books. Plans were in place to promote the first title, "The Really, Really Hairy Flight of Snarly Sally." Unfortunately none of that happened. The book's release paralled the horrible timeline of 9/11. After that tragedy, the publisher changed her focus to publishing only home arts and crafts books. The 2nd book, "Snarly Sally's Garden of ABCs" followed the next year as planned but as with the first title, there was no accompanying marketing. I did what I could but I am not Random House!

Long story short, I waited for my contracts to expire and last Christmas I published what I call the first Snarly Sally book, "The Really Hairy Scary Butterfly Rescue". It will soon be up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There will soon be funtime pages for kids to download on this site. Sometimes the actual journey is opposite of the plan. Sometimes we have to take a break from that journey to realize how much that journey means to us. Snarly Sally is like a child to me. I look at her and think back to that cold winter's Sunday afternoon when putting a pencil to paper while the original litle Snarly Sally colored, sipping hot chocolate. I'm still writing Snarly Sally's story and I will contiue to write this blog so please stick with me; please tell your friends. In the words of Snarly Sally herself, it's just "so pretty happy out"-and I am happy to be back!

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