Friday, June 21, 2019

How A Mermaid Writes And Illustrates A Storybook

My dear friends, 

Well, I've done it! You may have noticed that in a bid to become the world's most popular blog consisting of the words Victorian and mermaid, I managed to go through my posts and rename them- at nausea! I'm well aware, it may seem like a bit much. However, I am always, a bit much, and you know this about me already.

Call the presses! There's a crazy lady about the land! I will happily take that title. Now that I've explained the obvious, I wanted to get back to real life. Heh, wait, that's not possible for someone like me. I mean, truly- I'm the gal typing away, while my only light source is a kerosene lamp, wearing a Victorian gown, with my rabbit underfoot. But, I digress.

Okay, really and truly though, I wanted to talk about how I come up with my plots for my storybooks, and perhaps share a little of my insight, in hopes of inspiring you a wee bit.

{Oh, and for those of you that were curious, my web design is coming along nicely. It's quite extensive, and much of it is purely writing and setting everything up for me to have an even more successful blog when all is said and done. Thank you to those of you that have been so supportive of me and my little piece of the world. In all honesty, my blog is my happiest of all places.}

I don't claim to know all things, in regards, to writing books; but one thing that I do know very well is to live my dreams by doing what I love. You know, it can be tough on some folks that have a desire to live their dreams, but sort of, feel stuck. I understand that completely. I will say, too, there are days that my bank account is running low on steam and at times, be a bit overwhelming. Most people in the world won't come to bat for someone like you or me. We often times will hear the narrative that we're not living in reality. As an artist and author, you and I have to be strong individuals; to sluff off the notion that we are living in a fools' paradise.

I remember being a small girl, and I ended up believing that if I wanted to be an artist and author, that I would be broke. You know the title people give us; "starving artist?" I remember even not so long ago, in 2015, when I was living with my parents, during my divorce, my aunt came to visit one day, and I was painting at the supper table {she's an artist too}, and she literally said to me, " Raquel, you can't honestly expect to make money off of your art. You haven't been doing it long enough. I know of exceptional artists that can't sell their art to save their life, and they are phenomenal!" I responded with, " If you have that narrative, and believe that, that is exactly why the art doesn't sell. I believe in myself, though. That's the difference between me and other artists, Auntie F."

We manifest what we are vibrationally sending out into the universe. The truth is; that folks don't even realize what they are sending out energetically. And the little side note to that conclusion with my auntie; that indeed, I did sell ALL of the art I painted. In fact, I sold it immediately. Remember when I was painting little commissioned pieces?

Now, unto my story concepts...
Each story premise starts with a life lesson that I've encountered. For instance, The Tale of Henny Penny Goody Two Shoes came about from a time that I was being judged by some church officials. I was reprimanded and removed from my calling, as a teacher. A disgruntled mother {my daughter's boyfriend's mom}, spread gossip that I was teaching the girls in my class about mermaids. Now, this wasn't true, at all, but news spread and people believed it. I felt ostracized. No longer do I feel like a victim, but, at the time, I felt so alone.

I later uncovered where the rumour started; now I can turn that experience into a lovely little story about a hen. Isn't that the beauty of life, though? We can take something that was negative, but then turn it into a positive.

One day, I was observing the chickens and noticed they, indeed, had a pecking order. So, in my imagination, I began thinking about how Beatrix Potter would create stories about her little pets; I loved her story concepts. To put clothes on little animals and let them carry on in a conversation, sounded absolutely charming.

I know I have heard many authors say that they make all of their stories up and they have nothing to do with their lives personally; however, I don't believe that. I believe our life experiences creep in. They can't help, but too. Do you think so? I heard Abraham Hicks say once, " to make a beautiful storybook, all you have to do, is gather some characters together, and let them start talking to one another." I just love that concept!

Now, with regards to the setting, I use my imagination with that as well. The setting for "The Tale of Merrymaid Scarlette Rose" was in Carmel, California. At the time, I was working at trying to get curatorship of Flanders, and it was a lovely background for that story.

Buy: The Tale of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose

Once again, in regards to settings, I took a page from Beatrix Potter. Many of her story settings were from her summers spent on holiday; she painted those scenes into her books. For instance, the dollhouse in her storybook, The Tale of Two Bad Mice belonged to Annie, her longtime governess's child. She later ended up wanting to borrow, {Norman Warne's neices} dollhouse but thought it was too much travel just to see and paint a dollhouse. She was afraid she'd be in someone's way, so she decided not to use it either. In the end, Norman gifted a dollhouse to Beatrix for her painting convenience.

The tale's theme of rebellion, insurrection, and individualism reflect not only Beatrix's desire to free herself of her domineering parents but also her desire to have her very own home. See, if you read that tale, you can gather much of Beatrix's life experiences in it. Almost; like reading between the lines.

We may not think we are creating stories of our own experiences, but they certainly have a way of weaving themselves in nicely, don't they?

All in all, ideas come from all kinds of places. That's my favourite thing about writing. It's just like Tasha Tudor once said, " It's like playing God. I can paint anything I want into real life."

Are you writing a story? If so, do you write using your life experiences?

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. I love that you sold all your art after your aunt said you wouldn't 😊 I've written a few fables and some historical fiction but I've not published anything (yet😉).

    1. No Kidding! I should've known you've written stuff. The historical fiction sounds interesting... Do you think you'll ever publish your work? Thank you for that. I also think it was sort of like a "screw you." That sounds mean to say, but gracious day alive, cut me some slack, won't ya? That's what I was thinking inside. No wonder children don't live their dreams when they have debbie downers everywhere. I love you! I hope you are well.

  2. Looking forward to seeing more. Love everything. Such talent. ✒️


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