Monday, August 29, 2011

Alligator story update

As promised, when I was up in Maine, I worked on the alligator story.

Editing someone's best story is tricky business. Even trickier when they are not around anymore to help. Uncle Will was a GREAT storyteller and his alligator story is beloved in our family. BUT his typed version was bare bones without his usual embellishments and lacked his personality. Even though I knew the writing wasn't nearly as good as his telling of the story, I was afraid to edit it. Finally, my Dad gave me a pep talk and told me that if Will gave me his best story to work on, he trusted me to do a good job.

So I edited it. A LOT. Uncle Will had emailed me a page of text and I ended up with three. I interrogated my Mom for a whole evening on what she remembered from the alligator event and I also spent hours going through old video interviews of Uncle Will at the hospital to see if I could add facts to plump up the story.

Today I finally called the story finished and decided what paragraphs would go on what page and also brainstormed illustrations. There will not be an illustration for every page because I would never finish. I think there will be about 8 illustrations and the rest of the pages will be on fancy backgrounds I've painted.

I still don't think I will be done for a while but it feels good to get momentum. I settled on a title too! It will be called "Mail Order Alligator- a fairly factual piece of family folklore" I think.

ps. If anyone has/knows where to find a copy of a 1955 Sears Catalog, please contact me.


Laurie - Autobiography of Craft said...

Elise, are you a Freecycle member? I'd try there for your catalog, people post for the most random things and find them! I'll post for you if you need me to.

Elise of Argyle Whale said...

Thanks Laurie! I'm not... should be though. I think I may have found a good lead at one of the libraries in boston.