A new hobby during trying times

I, like everyone, am feeling the strain of an isolated life caused by the social precautions related to helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. I can’t help but feel irritable and frustrated and completely unmotivated. It’s partially why I have gotten a little lax with what used to be my regimented Monday posting schedule. However, I didn’t want to offer excuses or laments in this post. Instead, I want to share a new hobby I’ve started that is hopefully both helping me through the frustrations of isolation and helping to keep me writing creatively.

In this monthly writing update I am excited to share a new writing and creative hobby.

As you may have guessed by that graphic I designed, I have started writing, drawing and assembling children’s books as my new hobby. I have always had ideas for children’s books and now the increased solitude of COVID-19 inspired isolation has spawned the hobby of actually crafting/creating children’s books.

It started when I was inspired to create a little book for my friend’s two young daughters. I had such a fun time doing it and realized it was a really great little hobby to help get my mind off the news and get me away from the computer or iPad.

After constructing the book out of blank greeting cards I had been using to draw messages on for family and friends, I used a combination of colored pencils and colored fine tip gel pens to write the story and draw the pictures. As is typical with me, I came up with the story rather quickly. I then wrote it out (using a gel pen) and planned what pictures I wanted to draw on each page. The story is about a visit to the zoo and each page features an animal (the girls each told me their favorite animals). Since I had to draw things I hadn’t drawn before (and I’m not an artist), I looked up illustrations online using Google Images and then referenced those pictures when doing my drawings. After I was done drawing I used craft glue carefully applied to the “binding/spine” of the “book” to attach the pages to each other. Before I had started writing and drawing the book, I had cut down the blank cards that were making the interior of the book. Just to make them slightly smaller so the interior wasn’t the same size as the exterior so it appeared more book-like. Since I had used mailable blank cards to construct my “book,” it was easy to slip it into a regular envelope and mail it.

Now that I’ve come up with the format for these handmade books, I’ve planned out two more for now. However, I am always coming up with stories and ideas so I see this being a hobby I can carry on far after COVID-19 is no longer keeping us socially distanced. I could even see turning some of these into actual books if I was ever lucky enough to have that happen. And then a real illustrator would likely take over the illustrations. But in the meantime I’m very happy with my new creative little hobby. I think when I have a project and am being creative I’m a happier person! And since I have quietly put the finishing of my memoir on hold, it’s good to be writing for fun again.

Memoir Writing Update

I haven’t mentioned my memoir in a while. The reason is after I hit 50,000 words I knew I needed to really focus and edit. However, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and has scared the pants off all of us. (Literally. I read an article saying Wal-Mart had said they were selling way more tops than pants as people work from home and only worry about looking presentable on their top half during business video chatting. It’s like we’re experiencing the mullet of business attire dressing: business on top, party [or PJs] on the bottom!) 😆

Anyway, I found it hard to focus on my memoir since it’s about a serious time when I was focused on survival (my memoir is about my recovery from an accident, coma, and severe TBI), and that’s exactly what we’re all doing now. So I’m formally putting a hold on the memoir and will get back to it when things seem less dire in the world!

CreativityForDays and a @selbysweetie Conclusion

I have been drawing pictures and messages on our windows with some liquid-chalk pens. My latest one is a message to the delivery people who deliver things to our front door. I’ve seen this phrase used frequently especially to thank healthcare workers right now. So I added my drawing of Selby and put a delivery cap on her. We haven’t received a delivery since I put this on the door but we will be shortly.

My door artwork to thank delivery people 📦 and my muse, Selby 🐶.

I also put a quote on our driveway in chalk but it’s been raining, so it got washed away. ☔️ If it stops raining and isn’t supposed to for a while I might draw on the driveway again in chalk. Probably just a giant picture of Selby next time since the quote took a lot of energy and chalk!

The quote is a Dr. Seuss quote, “Don’t give up, I believe in you all.” And my drawing of Selby is saying “Me too!

I am excited by the creativity I myself am feeling and seeing in others. I think this time might just spawn massive amounts of creativity. Let’s just hope a vaccine and treatment is also created during this time. A vaccine and treatment for COVID-19, not creativity! 😉

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