This is what I have been working on, pretty much like a full-time job since January. It's done and available on Amazon! The story of how this came to be can be traced to adolescent angst while I was growing up in Guam.
I remember having what I thought was a profound thought one day drinking tea (?) from a big mug and having a very peaceful, "all's right with the world" feeling. Then thinking I wish I could share this feeling with someone. I carried this idea with me to college, and in a creative writing class, wrote "Alethea and the Sharing of the Mugs." (Alethea means truth.) There was a llama and a koala bear in this version.
After college, when I moved back to Guam, and having had some experience in playwriting by then, I adapted the story into a play, set in Guam and with Guam themes. Over the years, I sought grants from the Guam Arts Council and with their support, the play was produced in 1989.
I had always wanted this to be a children's book, even back in the day when it was Alethea. Because of the play coming up this summer, it went to the top of my to-do list.
Though I was a math and science teacher for the past 8 years, I had a sense that in order for kids to read for pleasure, something had to catch their attention. I am interested in learning how to do graphic novels for this reason. I, myself, was an avid Classic Comics reader. But for Pulani, I thought I would put the story in rhyme, as a way to make it fun to read and to listen to.
I had always thought I would partner with an artist to do the illustrations. Besides not being able to pay an artist, I was on a very short timeline. I decided to do the illustrations myself. I signed up for some drawing courses on Craftsy, and just did it. It was enjoyable and addicting.
I gave myself daily goals and a deadline. I worked on the rhyming first, then the drawing (including a story board), then the painting, and finally putting it together digitally in the form of a pdf to submit to CreateSpace. When I got the proof back, I found some mistakes that I couldn't believe I had made, but oh well, that's why you have proofs.
And now it's done. Here's the link to Amazon.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.