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10 January 2015

Flying and the creative path - Part 1

In an earlier post, I mentioned my desire to fly. And in a weird way, my desire to fly makes a great analogy for the writer/illustrator I've become. Let's look at it that way...
     From a young age, I was fascinated by birds and flight.

I tried to come up with plans to build wings and to create the velocity I'd need to get off the ground. I wanted something that seemed impossible, but I figured if I could break it down to the basics, I might be able to solve how to do it.

I remember researching the bone structure of birds, the shape of their wings, and trying to understand the concepts of flight. Think grammar, outlining, sentence structure, etc. on the writing side. On the illustration side, think shape, light, air, density. It was a puzzle I wanted to figure out and recreate.

     So it was no surprise that when I learned about hang-gliding, I knew I wanted to try it!
     In high school, I heard about a flight simulator in Chattanooga, Tennessee and talked my dad into doing it with me. It was a great opportunity to dip in my toe and try it on for size. It was mostly a zip-line with a hang-glider attached. Pretty safe.

     But for a few seconds during my turn, I pulled the nose down, out of its stall and placing it into true flight mode. I'd found the sweet spot. It only lasted a moment, but much to my father's dismay, in those few seconds I experienced true flight and I was hooked. Writers and illustrators know that feeling: the perfect sentence, description, color, line.

     But I was young when I did this - only in high school. Dad said I'd have to wait until I was an adult, 18, before I could consider taking up hang-gliding seriously. Sometimes it's not the right time to chase our dream yet. He thought I'd forget by then. I didn't...

      CLICK HERE to find out what happened next...

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