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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rocky road Annie...

I've had a hard time letting this one go. Somethings I know if someone else could take over; I don't mind the collaboration. But this project, has been particularly difficult on all kinds of levels. First it's not my story. It's a good friend whom I loved. Second, I knew her, the place, the history, but I didn't live in her time, didn't actually know the actors other than Ann, and I'm not African-American/First Nation (okay we do have the First Nation in common, and I think her dad did hie from Canada as my grandfather's family had, so we weren't totally unaligned, still this wasn't about our shared heritage, and I recognize the tale I tell is an undertold one that has meaning for a lot of people I don't know, and could be argued I don't have a particular sensitivity to). Still I am sensitive to her, the area, the history, the story. Part of the difficulty was feeling even qualified (I had her permission and help with this, so it was self-doubt).

Annie wasn't about the color of her skin, she was about living her life well, with joy and grace and determination, and I want that as well. So perhaps it is my tale to tell. The idea such a rich life might not be shared, pushed me into finish writing.

I also knew if I went traditionally, more than likely I wouldn't be able to do the illustrations. This was a toughie. Back and forth. I don't have a name, and more than likely I'd be paired with an African American illustrator, and many of my favoritest illustrators are black. But I love history. I love Old Orchard Beach, I love Ann. I would be okay with the idea and then get cold feet at the idea, because the idea of illustrating it just set my heart to beating. Truth be told I love the text but I wrote it for the illustrations, lol.


So self publishing, here I come.

The books by Tom Bancroft, I got for Margot's project and it helped immeasurably, impacted this as well. I will post the first two renderings of the first page (still unfinished, need to adjust a few things, and figure out what I'm doing with the text, whether using type (Perpetua) or calligraphic self-designed lettering as I'd first intended...

and here's an illustration I can't use, though I loved doing this drawing (hey loved it so much there's five different versions SOMEWHERE) but give you an idea of the feeling I want with the text...