The "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop: Beginnings and Endings

If you write one story it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor."

~Edgar Rice Burroughs

Wednesday, February 18: four days post Valentine's Day; day eight of the "Bad" Picture Book Blog Hop; and, the last day of said blog: I am your final hop. I get to be the ending.

In the beginning, Dani Duck, artist obscure and orchestrator of this blog hop, extended an invitation to writers and illustrators to post some of their work from high school or earlier. She referred to the work as “Bad”, as chances were, it was – though not by kid standards, of course. Marcie Colleen even referred to her “bad” work as the seeds of her beginnings. I kinda like that.

*For seven days you have been hopping about checking out the beginnings of several published authors/illustrators and several who dream of publication: I am one of the dreamers.

Hopping from one site to another, it occurred to me that published or not our writerly/artistic beginnings were much the same. Our writerly beginnings often commenced somewhere about the age of 8 or 9 and our artistic beginnings often earlier than that. And, we were all AMAZING! Not bad -- AMAZING! At least we thought so – and so also did our parents, teachers, grandparents....

Alas, we grew up and the expectations shifted. We have come to learn that what was amazing then is, by publication standards, BAD -- crappy bad. Afterall,

"You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crappy stuff and thinking it is good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it." ~ Octavia Butler

Since high school, I have written more good-crappy-stuff. But this blog is not about that, it’s about the archives. Retrieving my great literary masterpieces, circa '72, '73, '74, and '82, from the bowels of the basement, I danced. I loved those stories, I loved writing them, illustrating them, having them bound and reading them aloud to anyone who would listen. Now, three years into some intense exposure on writing for children, I had to laugh.

These old manuscripts were funny. Not Melissa McCarthy funny. Not Jim Carey funny. Nope, they were so bad they were funny. Between the two chapter books and six picture books I had written, I had managed to violate almost every rule I have now come to associate with good writing. Other than reading, drawing, and writing often, I was, well, a pretty bad writer. But, I was only a kid and I was just beginning -- and that was a good thing, an AWESOME THING. Kids as writers are awesome. And, as Margaret Atwood stated,

"Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there were no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones."

So, without further adieu, I present to you a story, some art, and some endings.

The Invisible Man

Written and Illustrated

by

Teresa Marie Ingram

1973, age 9

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And, that, my friends, is the story of the Invisible Man. Now, for some more illustrations.

"Great is the art of beginning." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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1972 The Pan Man


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1974 Growing Up Is...

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Senior Project, 1982: Career Alphabet Coloring Book

"But, greater is the art of ending." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Writers must finish strong. Readers want and deserve a satisfying ending. As writers, we need to stick the landing. I managed to not accomplish this in everything I wrote as a child. Here are a few of those dismal landings:

GROWING UP IS...

Growing up is sometimes really hard to do.

THE PAN MAN

When he would go to the store he would get a pan and put wheels on it and ride down the hill to the store and get bacon to cook in his pans.

DR. MIXMEUP

Then Jimmy's mom said, "Put a sign on your door that says say my name right or you might get in trouble."

THE LOVE AFFAIR

So the fly and the bee got married and lived happily ever after.

Yup, bad. But, as endings, they were just a beginning.

Beginnings and Endings are important in life and writing. Both are inherently connected to the other. There is no beginning without an end, no ending without a beginning, and some (perhaps all) endings are beginnings. I began writing stories for children forty-two years ago. I continue to write. I am a writer and in the end, I hope to be a published author. Perhaps one day you will read one of my GOOD books or one of the GOOD books of the authors/illustrators who participated in this blog hop. Cheers.

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The END

*Feb 9 - Dani Duck http://daniduckart.blogspot.ca/

Feb 10- Becky Fyfe http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.ca/

Feb 11- Marcie Colleen http://writeroutine.blogspot.com

Feb 12- Mandy Yates http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/mondays-with-mandy-or-mira

Feb 13- Sylvia Liu www.sylvialiuland.com Feb 16 Rachel Elizabeth Cole http://www.rachelelizabethcole.com/

Feb 17 Annina Wildermuth https://allmycharacters.wordpress.com/

Feb 18 Teresa MI Schaefer http://www.teresamischaefer.com/#!blog/c66p


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