Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Goat Lives!

Been working a lot lately on my picture book.  It's my book and I can cry if I want to.  I've got the story down to about the way that I want it, I just need to get the illustrations done and plugged in to the software that the online publishing company gives you so you can make your own book.  Thanks to the people at Blurb.com for the nifty interface.  It's kinda clumsy at times, but that might just be my computer (not enough memory).  So I'm making progress.  Added several new drawings tonight and I'm slowly making my way through the narrative.  For those who don't know, I've written a story based on an old legend about the Wild Cat of Samos.  My story focuses in on the life and self-transformation of the Wild Cat's friend, a goat.  See what I've written about it all before here .  The story has changed a bit since going to the Children's Book Writer's Conference in Big Sur last December (more about that here).  But at it's heart is a genuinely wonderful moment in time that I will treasure forever.

We were traveling in a car on the island of Samos with my good friend from college, Armand.  His dad is from the island, and we were there visiting because Armand had gotten married and had a blessing ceremony for the relatives in Greece who hadn't been able to make the ceremony in the US.  So we had jumped at the opportunity to go to Greece and have an authentic traveling experience with a built in translator and tour guide.

As we toured the island, there were several jokes that cropped up and repeated themselves, as happens in groups where the people are fun-loving and have a sense of humor.  It may even happen in groups that don't have a sense of humor and they just don't notice.  But anyway.  Under circulation was a story that one of the tourists had run across in a book about the natural history of the island.  Armand and a couple others in the car had shared some laughs about the Wild Cat of Samos (see link above for story).  But for my wife and I, it wasn't until this moment in the car that we came to know of the Wild Cat.

It seems to me that Armand was driving, but I don't know if that's so because we didn't rent cars on the island.  But anyway.  More than ten years ago and I just can't remember all the specifics.  But someone in the back seat noticed some lights glowing on the hill off in the distance.  They asked Armand, "What's that up there?  Do you know?"  To which Armand replied, "Why, that's the Raging Flaming Goat of Samos."

The car erupted in laughter and we did some other joke-bit tid-bits, including "Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!" and "$21.95 pays for the whole seat-- but you'll only need THE EDGE!!!"  We laughed long and hard, though we weren't exactly sure why.  Later, Suzy and I learned the story of the Wild Cat of Samos, and we laughed some more.  The story became a running gag.  I embellished it each time I told it, like a growing tall tale.  I had the Wild Cat working out on a stairmaster while trapped in the cave.  I must have told the Wild Cat of Samos story a dozen times to different people we were traveling with.  What I don't know is why or how Armand came up with a goat?  Just more for the humor, I guess.

So now I've created a story for the Raging Flaming Goat of Samos, with a cameo appearance by the Wild Cat of Samos, as well as the Gilarmis brothers.  Hope to have it illustrated and printed in time for Christmas this year.

Wish me luck.


Gerri said...

Good luck! I am looking forward to seeing the final product!!!

(t)om said...

Good luck!!