I had an outstanding afternoon with the awesome 3rd and 4th grade students of Bella Vista Elementary. Click on any image to bring up a slide show.
I’d like to introduce you to Percy. He’s a love. The poor little penguin is hatched to a pair of gulls. Don’t worry, Percy has heart, lots of heart.
I met Percy through author/educator Patricia Schetter. Patty is an all around awesome gal who has followed her bliss. She is a Behavior Analyst and Autism Specialist and she teaches fellow educators. You can find out more about Patty here.
Percy Learns to fly was the first book I illustrated. Lucky me! To study for Percy, I went to the San Francisco Zoo and observed the penguins. You see, we don’t have penguins in the wilds of Northern California, so the zoo was pretty much my best option for a hands on look at the movements and behaviors of a penguin.
As I poured over the story and got to know Percy, I fell in love with his personality and strong heart. Percy teaches a lot about persistence and how in the right environment, we too can soar.
So how about you? What’s your environment for bliss?
I’ll have more to post on Percy in the coming days…yes, that’s a tease, so stay tuned!
It’s been a pretty full summer as I have been pursuing bliss. Just over a year ago I signed up for an outstanding online course and critique group over at Make Your Splashes, Make Your Marks. Through this awesome course with Mark Mitchell I connected up with Picture Book Academy.
Growing in bliss is addicting!
One final plug about pursuing bliss, don’t miss Marsha and Mira’s Best Character-Driven Contest!!
Best of luck to you all!
Have you ever noticed that children left to their own devices will gravitate toward an activity to capture bliss?
No one has to tell them to use a crayon to draw upon the walls or that when paper tears it makes a cool sound. They are fully capable of finding these pleasures all on their own.
Curiosity and discoveries fill their hearts and open the world.
Our youngest was the most prolific scribbler of walls. He loved to draw on paper, but what he relished most was a simple wall canvas.
What must have gone through his mind when I grumbled while cleaning the walls before selling the house?
I hope he knows we saved his paper art. He must, because in his home, his children have an art table at the ready for spontaneous creations.
So today, as we celebrate his birthday, we can only speculate what wonders of bliss his children will reveal to their dad and mom.
Happy Birthday Stephen
Grandchildren are purveyors of bliss. In my office, just below the window side of my desk, the backside of a dry-erase board is visible. The dry-erase board is facing the wall to protect it.
Okay, I know, I can take a picture of it, and I have taken a picture. The picture does preserve the memory. But a picture, though it may be worth a thousand words, can never take the place of my granddaughter’s note to her grandpa and me.
During a visit when Grand Thing One had just completed Kindergarten, she spontaneously wrote a note to us on the whiteboard from my office. She changed out color markers as she pleased, and the adorned the note with an illustration of herself with Grandma, Grandpa, and Tom Dog. (Tom Dog is her daddy’s dog.) The lovely note, exactly as written is in the picture. Here is how she read it to us:
“I Love Grandma and Grandpa. Your dogs are cute, I love them too. I love to read with you and they make me laugh. It is funny. I love to stay up with you, it makes me happy to stay up with you. When I see the sunshine it makes me sing about you. You fill my heart with love. I do not want to leave. I want to stay right here. I will not move. It was nice to see you but it was fun with you. Good-bye, I will see you soon. Good-bye, I love you, good-bye.”
A straight line from her house to ours is 1350 miles. She is in 2nd grade now. I think I will send her some stationary, addressed envelopes and stamps. We Google Hangout often, and we call, but a nice note from little hands is a moment of bliss a grandma cannot resist.
As you see, I have a picture, but I do not, and never will, have the heart to erase her letter. So, all of you people out there in blog land, someone must know how to preserve this dry-erase message.
Is there a spray? Can the surface be laminated? Do I leave it as is and just pray nothing happens? Do I buy multiple dry-erase boards and experiment?
Your suggestions are welcome in this grandma’s desire to preserve bliss.