This is me with Merrill Rainey at the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference last May. I asked Merrill in 2018 about finding an illustrator for my debut book NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. He loved the idea, gave me great advice, but couldn’t do the illustrations himself. His story – his agent would have had a fit! I believe it . . . I can’t afford Merrill’s prices!
But at the conference I got this illustration of me . . . FOR FREE! On Saturday night, the conference set up a carnival midway with games, and prizes, and charicatures. Guess who did mine!
I still have it. I just gave it a frame, and a home at my lake house.
I found the perfect frame. It’s a dark hunter green. I put Merrill’s caricature inside and closed it up.
Now it’s easier to read the words, ‘It’s THE POOP DECK!’ There’s a story behind them. While Merrill was busy drawing me, I was telling him about the darn ducks at the lake. They think the boat dock is their personal poop deck.
NOT! It’s THE boat dock. I’d love those ducks if they would just stay in the lake. They don’t, and when they land on the dock – they POOP! Someone has to clean it up, and sometimes it’s me.YUCK!
So that’s why Merrill added in the caption, but I edited his words because it’s NOT the poop deck!
Here’s the display I promised you in the title. I took the first photo a few months ago when I added Merrill’s caricature. The ducks and the giant wine bottle were already there.
I got the idea when those darn ducks decided my dock was their poop deck. I added Merrill’s caricature third. I never see possibilities right away, but as soon as I did, I framed his work. It belongs at the lake with those ducks!
Last week I had another great idea. I thought about the hidden compartment and how fun it would be to put something inside. I looked around our lake house and found these two characters. One is a doll made with buttons from my favorite antique shop. The owl came from a critique partner’s store. He’s so cute he didn’t even have to give a hoot to come home with me!
There’s room in the bottom for two wine glasses. I thought about putting them in, but glass breaks so I didn’t. Also I have a new granddaughter. I’d rather put in things that she can play with. How fun would it be for her to open the bottle and find treasures inside, just for her!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!