Sketching Memories

Since my loyal blogging buddy passed away, I have to confess to inspiration having been in short supply.

Left to my own devices, I’d have put the fictional Pepi aside for a future never-never date, and wallowed quietly alone.

Instead, I found myself mid-way through illustrations for Book 2, with an artist waiting to be paid, and a crazy goose unleashed upon the world.

The show must go on!

At first, I felt guilty and disturbed.  But as the lines between fiction and reality blurred, there came a peace.

It’s as though he is still here with me, in the fullness of his youth – and I am comforted.

The process of illustrating Pepi has had its challenges.  No matter how many times you rearrange words on a page, all you have in the end is an approximation of the picture you might like to draw.

With very few photos to reference, the question remains how to convey the pictures that exist inside your head?

To this end, I’ve been fortunate to work with a very talented illustrator, who is not insulted by my lame attempts at storyboarding.

Instead, with a little magic, she has transformed the vision of a shy, dorky everygirl and some squiggles on a page…

…into Mona, an unpretentious city girl…

…a peppy little puppy…

…and precious fragments of shared memory.

Anyone who knew Pepi, and cared to see past the exuberance of a little yappy dog, saw in him an undeniable spirit of love and positivity.

It was his sixteen year long gift to me.

Was it unconditional?  Hell no!  Like any feeling creature, he had his pet grievances and gripes.  It’s just that he refused to be quelled.  (And I can tell you, he would not have wanted to be kept inside a drawer…)

So, in honour of his unquellable spirit, I’ve decided to set a date for the launch of Hello Pepi.

Fingers crossed, ready or not, Books 1 to 3 will be out on 16 November.

There will be plenty of opportunities to grab a free copy, for more than anything, I want to share his joie de vivre with you.

If you could sketch a memory of the joy of life, what would it be?


    • says

      I have a sense of her importance from your posts – maybe poetry is the closest writers get to preserving those precious memories. That’s pretty special in itself. I wasn’t able to find again the post I was remembering, but I’d love to hear more of her. *Hugs* to you.

  1. says

    “No matter how many times you rearrange words on a page, all you have in the end is an approximation of the picture you might like to draw.”

    You are a genius.

    I feel that surmises so much of our life’s experiences. Like the saying that “you are not a human being having a spiritual experience; you are a spiritual being having a human experience.” So much of the magnitude of things felt in the spirit so rarely has a description found in the human-ness of our expression.

    I find this phenomenon a resounding theme with you. At least, with how I experience my own connectedness with you. In your words, I find tiny bits of myself reflected somehow; as if my spirit has discovered an ‘aha’ part of itself within you. We relate, much. Or so it seems, from my humble vantage point.

    I adore your writing. Your thoughts. Your perceptions of your life. I should check them out more often.

    • says

      Dear Brandy Desiree…

      It’s all I can do to restrain myself from writing an essay here (though I know you’d understand if I did 😉 ). Your words touch me to the core.

      When I came to your blog, it was very much an ‘aha’ moment for me as well. Or, more accurately, like entering an astral explosion in a parallel dimension (to paraphrase from you)!

      Reading between the lines, I feel we may have travelled down some similar paths, and even if we haven’t landed in the same terrain, we’re singing the same tune. You get it. I know you do. And I love what you’re about.

      I see you’re a fire sign…well, I am earth. My understanding of the elements is that, in the right conditions, we make a diabolical combination! 🙂

      Please know how much it means to me to exist within your sphere, and thank you for your kindness 🙂

  2. says

    Alarna Rose, what lovely pictures – I can see the combination of your words and memories and those enchanting pictures will be really something. Congratulations
    And I’m so glad that you’ve found comfort and peace… XXX

  3. Deliberately Delicious says

    What a lovely way to immortalize Pepi, and to share the joy he brought you with others.

    If I could sketch the joy of living, I would draw my three boys, when they were little, curled up in bed with me, having an early morning cuddle.

  4. Coleen Patrick says

    Alarna I’m so excited for you–those sketches are awesome!! They make me smile because I can see happiness, love and everything in between. 🙂 Will you be doing a book launch, blog fest or anything like that? If I can help, let me know!!

    • says

      Coleen, you’re such a wonderful support to me, thank you! I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept of marketing…Blog fest? Do you mind explaining to me what exactly is a blog fest? My basic plan, as far as there is one, is just to set him free… LOL 🙂

  5. says

    Once again Alarna, completely moved by your post. I wasn’t aware you lost your sweet Pepi. As you know, we are no strangers to death’s sting. I’m so sorry to hear that. But what a wonderful way to immortalize the sweetheart and for you to vent and work thru the grief. The illustrations are spectacular! We will be more than happy to spread the word about your book! Best of luck!

  6. says

    Oh, I really like the illustrations. I used to want to be a cartoonist and work at Disney Art Studios. I still like to dabble in drawing/cartooning, but writing is a stronger calling for me. I guess I’d sketch myself writing a story for my memory of the joy of life.

    I am so excited about your forthcoming books. I can’t wait! 🙂

    • says

      Thank you!! I’m doing my best to stay calm! 🙂

      Wow, that’s a great ambition you had…I’d love to see your drawings one day – not sure if you’ve ever featured them on your blog?

      So glad you are pursuing your writing dream, though – it sure is a buzz.

  7. lynnkelleyauthor says

    Woo hoo! This is wonderful news, Alarna. Your illustrator rocks! Those illustrations are adorable. I’m so excited for you and so happy you’re going forth with publishing your books about Pepi, the joy of your life. If I could sketch a memory of the joy of life, it would be of my family sharing some zany fun times!

    • says

      Hey Lynn, thanks so much for the encouragement! It’s a crazy thing getting this ready to launch, but exciting as well.

      You have such a fun loving family, it sounds like it would be hard to pick just One memory! But I’d love to see that 🙂


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