Gather Round for Story Time

I mentioned I’m working on a storybook with my coworker, Jorge, and that I would share a teaser with you. Today is that day! For some background, back in August 2011 I was talking to Jorge about my collaboration with Charlene McBride on the Sketchnote Field Guide. He mentioned he has always wanted to illustrate a book, and that we should work on a project together if I was interested.

Well, of course I was interested! I promised Jorge we would start the storybook when I was wrapping up the sketchnote collaboration. We decided we wanted the book to be for ages 5 – 7, which according to the how-to books, meant no more than 1000 words for the written story.

It is a story about Beatrice, a little robot who is good at learning all sorts of things but can’t figure out how to learn how to dance. We are calling it Beatrice’s Possible Impossible. I emailed the story to Jorge, and he was so inspired he emailed the sketches I’m sharing below. Aren’t they ADORABLE?




And as a teaser for the prose…

Beatrice was proud of all the things she could do now that she couldn’t do before. But one day, she saw her next door neighbor, Melvin, do something she still didn’t know how to do… dance!

“Mom,” Beatrice said at breakfast the next morning, “I’m going to learn how to dance.”

“That sounds like a fun thing to learn! How are you going to learn how to dance?” Beatrice’s mom asked.

“I found a book,” Beatrice said, holding it up so her mom could see it. “I’m going to read how.”

Really excited to see this project move forward!

Living the Dream

Forgive the radio silence!

I’ve titled this post “Living the Dream” because I think it’s important to note that even though I love being a user experience designer, it was never my dream to become one. Not my childhood dream, anyway.

Honestly, I’m not sure any child dreams of becoming a translator, as it were. A professional who facilitates projects via their soft skills and documentation to ensure features within a holistic system benefit and hopefully delight customers.

My childhood dream was to be a writer. I have wanted to write books for as long as I can remember.

  1. Historical fiction books
  2. Picture books
  3. How to books.

I wanted to create content and have people read it, enjoy it, and feel inspired to make something themselves. As of last Friday, I can now say that I am in the process of doing all three: children’s book, historical fiction, and how-to. I am living my dream.

I keep saying it because I want to remind myself. I am living my dream. How many people can say that?

Before I talk about the new project, first let’s get you updated on the project I last blogged about.

The How-To Book

The Sketchnote field guide book is coming along really well! The beta readers are liking the context and structure; they have great feedback and I’m feeling really encouraged about this project. I have to say, without Charlene McBride’s collaboration, this project wouldn’t be nearly as strong as it is. The survey people filled out for me back in August is what brought Charlene to me, and helped us focus the book.

I’m so excited to share it with people! It will definitely be on Lulu (they allow royalty splitting), and maybe on Amazon.com. We still need to figure that out. Keep your eyes peeled, though. We’re hoping to release it in January, just in time for conference season.

The Historical Fiction Book

Under my historical fiction pen name, I started a book four times before I felt like it was something worth writing. This fourth start has around 24k words, which is about 30% of the final word count. I’ve stopped writing because I realized I needed more research… ergo me dragging ten books home from the library about Ohio and the Civil War.

The Storybook

The new project I keep hinting at is a children’s storybook. I’ve loved the process of checking out thirty children’s books at a time, consuming them at a leisurely pace and asking 6yr old Binaebi what she liked about each one. I’ve loved reading the how-to-write for children books, learning the nuances between picture books and storybooks, the intentions of each, the intended age groups, and the parents that buy books for their children.

I’ve loved chatting about the project with my illustrator and collaborator,  who suggested we write about robots (because he loves them). I’ve felt inspired by his supportive enthusiasm when I insisted it be about a girl robot, and that it have something to do with dancing (because we both love dancing). The main character’s name is Beatrice, and that is about all I’m willing to share at this point. Maybe later I’ll leak some the sketches my collaborator has been sending me. They’re so adorable.

Anyway, at the risk of sounding like a broken record (does that idiom even apply anymore?), I just wanted to share that I’m living my dream. Why? I don’t know. I guess in the hopes that you might feel inspired to do something tonight or tomorrow that gets you one step closer to living your dream.