Friday, March 16, 2012

Sharing a Dream

Hey guys!  Just a quick post today, since I'm supposed to be cleaning my house for Little Gal's party tomorrow instead of blogging! :}  Blogging is way more fun, though. ;)

As you've probably noticed, I changed my blog header.  I know Jenna and her blossoms weren't up there for long.  Don't worry, her header may make another appearance sometime soon.  Until then, you can enjoy it here:

(As always, you can click on the picture to make it bigger.)

Okay, on to the present.  For about 2 years now, I've had a story slowly taking shape in my mind and on paper. It's a story that I'd really like to finish, whether I end up publishing it professionally, trying the self-publishing route, or just making it available for my family and friends.  I've talked about it a little bit here and there.  

The release of the "Once Upon a Time" TV series has been exciting and frustrating at the same time.  On the one hand, it means there's definitely a market for the type of story that I'm writing.  On the other hand, there are a few story concepts that the writers of "Once Upon a Time" came up with that have some similarities to mine, which makes my job a bit more difficult! 

[Side note here:  Since we're on the subject of "Once Upon a Time", I just wanted to mention that I don't really feel comfortable recommending it.  I will always love the "Skin Deep" episode, featuring Belle and Rumpelstiltskin as Belle and the Beast, but the series has gotten progressively darker with each week.  It appears that it will be continuing in that direction.  So, while I have enjoyed some parts of the series, I don't feel that I can recommend it in good conscience any more.  Okay, that's all.  Moving on!]

The other day, I was feeling a bit discouraged.  My stories (there will be 3 books) are still so far from completion.  There are apparently two TV shows in production that are based on "Beauty and the Beast" (which is the main story my first book focuses on).  And every week, little details here and there on "Once Upon a Time" make my story idea less and less unique.  

Then, yesterday, I buckled down and did some writing.  I did some research on the location I've chosen for the setting (it's a real location), and once again, I was reminded of how real these characters are to me.  I've known my 2 main characters for over 10 years, and I want so badly to share their story with everyone.  

Most importantly, the Lord really seemed to be directing me to write these.  I would love to offer fairy tale stories with conservative morals and an uplifting message (which is often lacking in some of the current productions).  I don't know what route I'll go, how successful they'll be, or if they'll ever see the inside of a publishing house.  I just know I have to write them.

This shouldn't affect my blogging too much (especially since I've been a bit sporadic lately), but I do plan on trying to schedule more writing time along with my blogging time.  My goal is to finish my rough draft of my first book and start on the rough draft of the second book by the end of this year.  I wanted to share this with all of you so that you can help keep me accountable. ;)  I'll try to update you here and there on my progress.  

To help inspire myself to keep at it, I used one of my illustrations from college in my new header.  While the story is not going to be the same as my original Beauty and the Beast story I wrote, the characters and their design are the same. I'm also including two other original illustrations in this post for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure, as the case may be). ;)  Here they are:

"The First Evening"
I'm not entirely pleased with my "Beauty" character in this one (I'm keeping the names a secret for now).  I've spent too many years sketching Disney characters, so I end up making my heroines unrealistically skinny, quite by accident!  Also, the proportions on her arms seem a bit off.  I like the rest of it, though (although "Beast's" right wrist is at rather an odd angle). :)

"The Return"
One of the best scenes in any Beauty and the Beast story.  I really love how this one turned out. :)

"The Garden"
And here's another copy of the header picture.  This is the very first illustration I did for my story, and I also used it as the cover art for my original B&B story that I gave to my family and friends.  The only issue I have with this one is that "Beast" is supposed to be a lot taller than "Beauty".  Hmm, maybe he's kneeling or something...although that would mean he was REALLY tall! :}  

I've shared these with all of you to get some feedback, but also to help motivate myself to keep pressing on.  My only request is that no one use these pictures without my prior permission.  Well, okay, I guess I have two requests.  I would also ask that you reference this blog if you use them.  These represent hours of work, and these characters are like real friends to me.  Any of you who write will understand that, I'm sure. :)  

I'm excited to see where the Lord leads with this project.  Even if my stories don't end up getting published, at least I will be able to say that I finished my project.  And if nothing else, I'll be able to provide my friends and family with another entertaining gift a few Christmases from now. ;)


The Crazy Doll Lady!! said...

I am excited for you to see how things are going for you as you work on these books. The drawings are awesome, I wish I could draw for my book too, I cannot draw to save my life.

I have books started that I was going to get published several years ago before I got sick, I want to work on them again too.

I am excited for you and cannot wait to hear more ..


Elaine said...

I think it's a great idea, Beast'sbelle. Reading the captivating "Belle's Bulletins" has proven that you have talent. I especially love the way that you make your characters feel like real people. You've got my support! Keep plugging away at it! If anything, your stories will be loved by your family and friends, if they aren't meant to go farther than that.

Liddy said...

I like your pictures! They're quite pretty. I also like your fairy tale book series idea. If you ever publish them, I would read them.


Jessie said...

Oh my goodness! You are an amazing artist. I'm somewhat of an artist myself, but can never, ever draw people. Your people and pictures are gorgeous! I hope you're able to finish the rough draft of your book.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks so much, everyone! :) I'll be sure to keep you posted on how things go! :)

Elliebob said...

Those pictures are so great!! If I could draw like that, I would make a whole story of pictures and make a photo story out of them. :) As for feedback, I think it sounds wonderful, and I cant wait to see what happens! :D

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Elliebob! :)

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Steve. I'll check it out. Thanks for following, too! :)

Nora and Maple said...

Wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award, go here to learn more:

Good luck with your story! :D

beastsbelle said...

Wow, thanks so much! :) I'll go check out the link right now.

Thanks for the good luck wishes, too. :)

Lizzie said...

out of randomness again! i realized that i never get invited too a sleep over and its nmaking me really sa currently because it makes me feel like my friends dont want me around and never wanted to be my friend in the first place what should i do? friendship is never easy for me because im always moving and i just want real true friends

beastsbelle said...

Hi Lizzie! Sorry to hear you're going through a tough time. Maintaining good friendships is hard work, even when you get older. It can be especially tough in Jr. High and High School, though.

Are there sleepovers that you know of that you're not being invited to? It could be that people are just busy and sleepovers aren't happening very often.

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot you can do to make people ask you over. But it seems like the heart of the issue for you is that you're worried about the quality of your friendships.

It's very easy to worry about our relationships with others, but worrying doesn't do much except make us more miserable. The best advice I can give you is to talk to God about it, if you're a believer. There is nothing too small to share with Him. He cares about us and listens when we pray. After that, make sure that you are doing everything on your end to be a good friend. Are you pleasant to others? Are you wiling to make a wide variety of friends? It's important to find that balance between being a good friend and being too clingy (that was totally my problem when I was best friend had to do everything with ME!!). :}

If you have definite concerns about something that's happening with your friends, just be open and honest with them. Think and pray carefully before you talk, but then as politely and kindly as you can, explain how you've been feeling.

And here's an idea about the whole sleepover thing: how about having one at your house? I know it's fun to go to someone else's place, but you should be able to have just as much fun at your's, too! Who knows? You may even start a string of sleepovers! ;)

I know these situations can be really tough, especially since you move a lot and don't have a chance to stay in one place for long periods of time. Just hang in there, girl! I'm here any time you need to talk. And don't give up. There are great friendships out there, just waiting to be discovered, and sometimes in the place we least expect them. :)