When we write, sometimes we reach for something we can’t quite express. In this case, a sense of wonder in the great big world.
It’s the trying that counts.
This illustration is by R.W. Alley from the upcoming “Jigsaw Jones” book, The Case from Outer Space. It’s the concluding image from the book, placed on second-to-last page.
I had the opportunity to review the sketches before R.W. went to finals. He does such an exceptional job, full of care and warmth, I don’t ever say too much. In this instance, I had only one change to suggest.
Here’s the initial sketch for that final scene:
I asked Bob if he’d consider making them smaller. Pulling way back. I wanted to see Jigsaw, his father and grandmother, together under the stars, small in the great wide world.
The book concludes:
After a while, we headed to the car.
My father led the way. He took the flashlight.
I walked with Grams.
She held my elbow.
We went slowly.
“Careful,” I said.
And together we headed back.
I don’t think I ever did that before, stringing together so many one-line paragraphs. It seemed to fit the mood I was searching for.
I don’t know if I completely hit what I was reaching for in this scene, but I do know that Bob’s illustration will help bring readers a long way toward that goal. It’s nice for an author to have someone to lean on.
One other note. My mother is 90 years old. There’s a bit of her and me in that scene, when Grams takes him by the elbow, fearful of falling.
Today I’m grateful for this book, for Bob Alley, for my mother, and for our smallness in this great big world.
It’s a good thing, right? Just to be reminded of that fact. Our smallness.
This site, featuring images from the Hubble Space Telescope, does that for me. A place to visit every now and then. A reminder of our smallness, yes, but also our connection to the deepest, greatest mysteries.
Merry Christmas, folks. Or happy holidays. Or however you wish to express your wonder, your joy, your sense of beauty, your love.
FOR STOPPING BY.