On Dancing daily

dancing characters
dancing characters

On the studio table at the moment, for the past few weeks, my ipad has been open and progress has been being made, one little step at a time, on a book idea that I’ve had for no less than 6.5 years…

Back when my eldest, now 8, was just two years old, I left him (with his adoring aunt) and I set out on a six day course in Northern Spain intended to help me figure out how to write/illustrate books. That course was called Picturecamp, and it changed my life.

There I met a talented group of illustrators all on their own journeys towards creating picturebooks (many of whom have published since, which is a whole separate article in itself), as well as being taught by incredible author illustrators such as Jim Field (Oi Frog! and The Squirrels that Squabbled), Chris Haughton (Oh no, George!) and more. They were inspiring and humble teachers, from whom we all learned an enormous amount.

We also had the opportunity to pitch our idea to a publisher.

I showed the publisher the book I’d been working on for about, ooh, two years, only for her to say it wasn’t quite there yet, suggesting I go back to the drawing board.

Casting round for ideas in one of the ensuing workshops, I came up with a dancing character who really piqued my interest. On our return home, I plonked myself down next to aforementioned publisher (lucky her!), and asked her if she were me, which of the two projects she would focus on next. Her answer was short and unequivocal: the dancing character.

The dancing character is one part me, one part my youngest son, and one part all the dance films I’ve watched in my life, ever (an embarrassing number I couldn’t possibly reveal). I just never managed to finish it.

Until now.

Working on my fourth book for Louise at Sproga’s Yoga books for kids, I realised that there was no reason I couldn’t treat myself like my own client, and DELIVER this book.

So, I’ve been dancing, and drawing daily.

Just like my character, and just like the me I want to be.

Dancing makes me feel SO JOYFUL. It makes me feel FREE. It makes giggles burst up inside me like fizzy pop. It makes me feel so ALIVE!!!

And as soon as I’ve done my little daily dance, I sit down and capture those feelings in words and pictures. And that book is slowly, slowly, starting to make progress (a little like the character it features…funny that).

So my question to you is, when did you last have a really good boogy?

alexia pinchbeck signature

alexia pinchbeck signature

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