Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Book

Though I’ve sworn off writing fiction and instead have thrown myself into oil painting, I’ve realized recently that maybe there’s a way to do both.

The day after Christmas, my old Schnauzer Anna passed away from complications of dementia and heart disease. My dog Granola was very close to her old doggy sister, though she also adores her middle- aged buddy Scruffy. One day I noticed Granola looking in a mirror, so I photographed her as I often do. I decided instantly to paint it but then got the idea to add Anna in, but only on one side.

From there I became completely pulled into the idea of writing a book about loss for children. I planned out the book on index cards, just like old times. Though this time there weren’t as many cards as an 80,000 word novel needs a bit more planning.

I decided to start the story when Granola was little. These paintings still need a little touching up but they’re a good sneak preview.

Over time, Anna’s age started to get the best of her. One day she got sick and Granola and Scruffy waited and waited. But she didn’t come home… Note my masterful sketches I use as a guide.

After that day, the pups were very sad…

Soon after, in the book, Granola sees Ghost Anna in the mirror, where it all started. She is very excited until she jumps right through her. She runs and hides but eventually comes out again, tentatively. Again, not to worry, these paintings are drafts. I’d never post drafts of writing online but with paintings I think it’s fun to see the process. I’m grateful my dogs are so good about picture time.

After that, when Granola saw Anna’s ghost wasn’t going to hurt her, it made her happy. Anna stuck around for a while. They hung out and played games together, though Scruffy couldn’t see her and thought it was her imagination. Why I got the idea of puzzles I’ll never know but I thought it would be fun to paint.

That’s plenty of teaser for now. I’ve got a lot more paintings done and only ONE PICTURE left to paint. Then I have to work out the narrative part. I know what I want to say but any good writer will tell you, it’s how you say it. And that, I don’t have figured out yet.

I’ll share more soon but didn’t want you all to think I was being lazy or binge watching TV with my “free” time. Okay, I am also binge watching TV, from behind my easel. I highly recommend Offspring and Wilfred. I’ve recently started watching LOST which I haven’t seen since it aired. And of course the perfect shows whose seasons end all too quickly, This Is Us and Call the Midwife.

Until next time, happy painting!

Tracy

Halloween Reads – 10 day Countdown

cr promo posterMy first Halloween Read in the 10 day countdown has to of course be Cemetery Riots.

Where else can you get brand-new fiction  by some masters in the genre all in one stop by Chet Williamson, Ray Garton, Dennis Etchison, Peter Atkins, Lisa Morton, James Door, William F. Nolan-just to name a few? In this new collection by Awol from Elysium Press.

Subtle horror, intense thrillers, and some heartwarming and heartbreaking ghost stories. Perfect for cool October evenings, or even hot Santa Ana nights.

 

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My Name is Marnie-in print at last

MarnieAvailable in print and Kindle, at long last I bring you, My Name is Marnie.

After the brutal, senseless murder of her husband, Marnie Clifford tries to pull the threads of her out-of-control life back together. She flees from her painful past and looks to start a new life in a small, ramshackle but affordable cottage in a remote idyllic New England town, in hopes of finishing out her pregnancy in peace. But something isn’t quite right with her new home- not with the cottage itself and its vague familiarity; not with her new neighbor, a disheveled wild-eyed man with a limp and questionable motives; and certainly not with her unsettling visitor…a silent, restless, and very dead little girl. As the spectre’s visits become more and more frequent, Marnie begins to unearth the horrible secret of the cottage. A secret better left buried deep… 

 

And here is what author Kealan Patrick Burke had to say about it: “As enthralling a spectral mystery as anything written by Jennifer McMahon, with My Name is Marnie not only has Tracy Carbone risen to the top of my writers-to-watch list, she has also ensured I will never look at dolls or apples the same way again. This one quite literally had me double-checking the doors and windows before bed, and I’m still not quite recovered. A well-written and unsettling piece of work that gets my highest recommendation.”

– Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning
author of The Turtle Boy, Kin, and Jack & Jill.

Cover art by Elder Lemon Design

Published by Shadowridge Press