Two months ago, I went to read my first karate picture book to a kindergarten class. In uniform, I introduced myself and told them the reason I was there. “I made this book so that kids who don’t train at my dojo, maybe who don’t do martial arts and who live in other parts of the world can learn some of the most important lessons of karate.”
Needing a somewhat ominous and serious-looking dishonesty spider for the antagonist in my children's picture book, I researched spider photos. After some advice from one of my art critiquers, I came up with a second round of concept art shared here.
Here you will find a picture of Michi as a baby, but in my second picture book story, she’s nine years old. She’s a sweet American “girl next door.” Michi and her good friend Makoto both love dogs and they each yearn to have one for a pet. That's when the trouble starts.
Here are some of the karate picture book particulars for my second book. GENRE: Realistic fiction with imagined abstract concepts. SETTING: Modern day America, mostly in two homes and a karate school.
I had written and edited the story for my first book, and finished the illustrations. The next step was printing book prototypes so that I could get input from beta readers including both children and adults. I needed professional color printing, so off to the printer I went.
It must be an age-old conundrum for practiced martial artists. Even adults brag on their karate skills, but lack the ability to show it. Traditional martial artists consistently build character and that should be apparent in their behavior of striving for respect, self-control and confidence even if they never show you their fighting or defense moves.
For my first two classroom readings of my character building book I went to two separate kindergarten classrooms where I knew none of the kids and only one of the teachers. That’s where I introduced character concepts through my fictional karate story.
These art history stories and other info led to me hosting retreats where I am sharing with and encouraging other creatives. I don't hold people to the standard of the art and literary masters. They don’t even have to share what they create. They are invited to join the space and create alongside other creatives in a positive, supportive environment.
I imagined that the butterfly had gracefully flitted about as butterflies do, then got hit by a car. When I decided to share it, I wondered if I should put a disclaimer first, about it not having a happy ending.
I thought it would be fun to share a little more of my creative writing. This is in the point-of-view of the dog, Loki, who once had the habit of running.