After many months of hard work, and countless revisions, I am thrilled to announce the birth of our book, Live Vibrantly! With L.J. and Her Dog George Eliot. Many people asked me how this book came about. Here’s my story.
While finishing my return to graduate school– after a thirty-year hiatus– I began thinking about how my new business as a gerontologist would manifest. A friend, and artist, and one of my staunchest supporters and cheerleaders, Ann McIntyre, put forth a novel idea. She suggested adding a visual element to my practice. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out how that should look.
After graduation, my husband and I went on vacation to one of our favorite spots, the mid-coast of Maine. There, relaxing and recharging, I could finally stop and take time to just think. As I walked the beach each day, I asked myself, how could I incorporate a visual something into a world of words? Trusting the answer would come at the perfect time, I waited. One afternoon, while stretched out on a blanket, a vision popped into my head. I love clever cartoons; several live under the glass on my desk. I sometimes send particularly funny ones to my friends. Cartoons, cartoons…then my Aha! Moment. I would include funny, but gentle, comments on aging to compliment my Facebook and website blog posts and other offerings, and share them on all my social media platforms. Adding my precious Havanese puppy, George Eliot, as my sidekick, completed the vision.
The more I thought about this intriguing idea, the more I liked it. Everyone I mentioned it to agreed. Now, how to fill in the details? Since my drawing skills end with stick figures, I needed help to transfer my ideas onto paper. Having worked with a talented young artist, Alex Mikev, on a previous project, I knew he was my man for the job. He said yes, and soon we solidified how George and I would look. We were ready to go!
The finished illustrations you see each week, begin by me drawing a rough sketch and thinking up the dialog. I then give that to Alex to work his artistic magic to bring my idea into frame. I find my inspiration all around me—from things I have personally experienced as I am getting older, things my friends say, quotes I read, comments from my readers, and the endless antics of life with George Eliot. I decided to select some of my favorite drawings I have posted since George and I debuted on the World Wide Web in January 2018–the day I hung out my sign and opened my door as a gerontologist.
I hope you enjoy my humorous perspectives on aging as much as I enjoy creating them!
Until next time…Be Vibrant!