Since today is National Skunk Day, I simply can’t resist re-sharing these writerly thoughts on skunks, elephants, and creativity. So, please bear with me and enjoy!
Can you guess what these are?
They’re preliminary sketches for the sleepy little pair skunks and the large pair of frightened elephants that appear in GOODNIGHT, ARK. When Jane Chapman first posted them on Facebook last year, I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I was amazed at all the detail and artistic brainstorming that went into developing these delightful animals. They clearly show that she spent at least as much time “playing with pictures” as I spent “playing with words” in the creation of my story.
Jane’s sketches are a wonderful reminder that there is joy in the process of creating and that creating takes time. Don’t rush the process by just sketching one skunk or elephant. Sketch a a full page of them! Likewise, don’t rush to finalize your word choice or your plot twists. Keep on playing with those words and let the creative process work its magic. Fill an entire notebook if you need to. That’s what I did!
As a fun aside, and in conclusion of today’s skunk-themed thoughts, if you have a copy of GOODNIGHT, ARK, you might enjoy examining these sketches and then perusing the pages of the story to see which sketches made the final cut. The students I share the sketches with LOVE doing this and I have to agree, it’s fun!
P.S. You might also enjoy this skunk quiz!