I have been a dreamer for as long as I can remember. Trees in the backyard came to life with magical fruits and unicorns lived in mom and dad’s azaleas. Aside from drafting grant and project proposals for my husband’s growing art production company, I stopped writing for awhile and focused more on visual creativity. BUT… I am a storyteller; like my grandmother, like my dad…it’s just in my bones. Each illustration and painting I have done has a back story that remains largely untold. It occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, those stories are worth telling. I sat, one warm, almost-summer morning in far-south London’s Richmond Park in a little noon called the Poet’s Corner and wrote a few short blurbs about the various balloons my husband and I had created over the past few years. They were Templar Knights, pirates, and a cranky Scotsman. They were freedom fighters against slavery. Some were posh and flashy aristocrats. But I noticed that each of their stories wove into the next one. As I walked along the path toward the pond in the distance, followed closely by a noisy goose after my dried strawberry snacks, I decided that these characters deserved something much grander than a simple character description and rough sketch in a tattered notebook from the Cass Art clearance bin. They deserved something epic. That is the day that I decided I was an author.
First disclaimer, there isn’t an image with this blog because the hotel wifi won’t upload anything other than text. Today’s events have brought me to a serious realization; sometimes writing and life don’t gel.
I have the day off. I am prepared to write, update my Kickstarter campaign, do some work on social media and cook a great dinner for my family…with laundry and dishes done. My apartment starts to smell like I mopped the floor with acetone, particularly in my son’s room as I am laying him down for his nap. I see workers leaving my neighbor’s apartment wearing respirators… well, poop. I decide to head with my son to Circle (known to the rest of the world as Target) and kill some time, hoping the noxious fumes will dissipate and I can resume my daily tasks.
After 2 hours at Circle (spending an undisclosed amount of money on things I don’t need) and 45 minutes at Donald’s (known to the rest of the world as McDonald’s), I return home to find the smell worse than before to the point my son starts complaining that his head and stomach both hurt. Yay! My neighbor has apparently decided to have her bathtub refinished and walls painted with oil-based paint without proper ventilation. I could A. stay home and start hallucinating about purple donkeys and listening to my refrigerator sing Smiths songs or B. Get my son out of a potentially dangerous situation and get a hotel room. I chose B. We have a large retail buyer’s market going on this week, meaning there are virtually ZERO hotel rooms available near home. After a bit of travel and four chocolate chip cookies, I am here in our noxious fume-free hotel room. My son is currently rolling on the floor, refusing to sleep.
Writing is a very complex action. It comes to some quite naturally but still requires a modicum of effort. Life always seems to insert itself right in the middle of the creative flow. I applaud writers who can work while being stay-at-home parents, who write after working a full or part-time job all day or while attending school. All the dishes, extra shifts, trips to the grocery store, or inconsiderate neighbors can be taxing and most definitely be stifling. On the upside, having completed a novel despite relocating back to the US from England, having a difficult pregnancy, postpartum depression, a full-time job with opposite hours than my husband, and a fear of rejection, makes me all the prouder of it. The Adventures of the Flying Furniture: The Return of the Great Flyer was no modest feat and I am truly, truly excited to be on the cusp of publishing. No re-enameled bathtubs or slow hotel wifi can take that away.
The Kickstarter campaign for the first novel reached it’s goal of 20% funding in the first week. There are three weeks left and I want to keep the momentum going. Feel free to share the campaign with friends and it you have not, take a look at the campaign yourself. It’s definitely worth a look. FLYING FURNITURE ON KICKSTARTER
I’ve gotten the same question over and over again… what inspired the Flying Furniture. In the beginning, Ryan and I had the sketches. The artwork was representative of two things that just don’t seem to belong together but they work. There were a lot of “what if’s.” What if furniture could fly?” “What if the ordinary, could become extraordinary?” “What if there was truly magic in this world?”
Through random doodles, dreaming, traveling, etc… The Union Jack was born. I know Ryan used the British Flag as inspiration because our recent trip to London had changed so much for us. For him, it was the kick in the pants to stop working for the man and start his own business that would grow from small graphic design accounts to fabricating 10 foot lighted pineapples (he’s a prop-builder and fabricator).
I LOVE London and had the pleasure of living there for a little over a year while I attended graduate school. It has this aged beauty and an energy that I have never felt anywhere else. I love all the Victorian infusion in the architecture and remaining elements in the tube stations. I learned quite a bit about the city’s history during the Industrial Revolution. While I appreciate the “modern,” I cling to romanticism ( and YES, I do realize that Victorian London was dirty, people had loads of STD’s, and child labor was pretty standard ) but there was this element of beauty in the stone masonry, ironwork, parties, furniture, fashion…they were artistic, fantastic, unique and very inspiring. I am also intrigued by the Steampunk movement. Fans and followers create magic through machinery. The brass cogs and gears are almost otherworldly but also echo the mechanisms of the Industrial Revolution. I love how folks can put on their quirky top hats, goggles and corsets and escape reality for just a bit. Steampunk fans are passionate, creative and welcoming. I have enjoyed adding those elements to the first novel, The Return of the Great Flyer and look forward to learning more about the Steampunk movement so that I may add more elements to future novels.
I am also a ridiculously HUGE Harry Potter fan. I love the idea that magic might exist in the world in some form or another. During our time in London, my husband and I had the chance to visit the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studio Tour. It was AMAZING! To see how JK Rowling’s words on a page could be transformed into something so fantastic and real. I crave that for the Flying Furniture; to create stories that are rich and robust; to create characters that are loved and feel real to readers. The Flying Furniture has continued to evolve and will continue to evolve. I remember telling Ryan, in an alleyway next to Selfridge’s amist that beautiful Christmas lights along Regent’s Street and Oxford Street, that I wanted to write a novel. He told me to go for it… and so I did.
I have launched a second Kickstarter Campaign for the first novel in the series. It took quite a bit to revamp and launch another campaign after the first one fell a bit short on funding. It is exciting and daunting. Kickstarter gives me the advantage to have my book published sooner. I invite everyone to take a look at the new campaign and give feedback. Share the campaign with friends and family and on social media. It’s tough to ask for support but I am truly proud of the novel and am ready to be able to share it with readers. The Adventures of the Flying Furniture on Kickstarter