I’m writing and illustrating a book of fables called Wandering Spirits. Inspired by books like The Little Prince, my goal is to write whimsical tales that feed the soul, tug the heart and spark the mind. As a tiny teaser, here’s the opening line to one of the fables, Wolf’s Way:
A dancing wolf skips along grassy fields, singing and howling her morning chants.
I’m also illustrating the fables in the book, which is an exciting challenge. Here are a few sneak peeks:
Update (Sep 2023): After more than two years of work, I’ve finished drafting, editing and proofreading the book! I’ve also completed all the illustrations, and am finalizing the layout and cover design. I’m working with the talented Saeah Lee to put together beautiful printed editions alongside the digital version of the book. You can stay tuned for more updates on the book by subscribing to my newsletter. I’m hoping for a release by the end of this year, or shortly thereafter.
I’ve launched a new section of my newsletter dedicated to fables: Modern Fables.
I love the format of fables—whimsical stories, animal characters, and a message weaved within. These stories are separate from the ones I’ve been working on for my upcoming book of fables (more on that below). My hope is that these stories touch the hearts of readers, make them think, and perhaps even offer a helpful perspective on how they see the world.
With each story, I hope to develop my writing and drawing skills further, and further grow my skills as a fabulist.
- The Other Side — “I like it here,” says the young sunfish . . .
- Pay the Piper — Two pipers perused precarious waters in search of morning meals . . .
- The Boat of Stillness — A lone castaway strolls along the beach . . .
- Point Price — I loved visiting the gallery, licking every piece clean with my eager eyes . . .
- Holy War — A menacing, mass-murdering, monstrous tyrant ruled ruthlessly over decades of death and destruction . . .
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy these tales. Feel free to reach out and share your thoughts on them.
Behind the Scenes: Writing A Book of Fables
I’ve published a few videos sharing my progress in writing the book, which I began working on in March of 2021. My biggest takeaway is that if you have an idea for a book, and it’s been bugging you for a long while, write it! At a minimum, you’ll let go of a creative burden and feel lighter. At best, you’ll go on to edit and publish a book into the world.
Why I’m Writing This Book — I share a bit more detail about the motivation and inspiration that led me to start work on this book.
One Year of Writing — After I spent over a year working on this book, I shared some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way from the drafting, developmental editing, and early publishing research phases.
Showing Up — At first, the idea of writing a book seemed incredibly intimidating. But with the help of habits, community and a little self-compassion, I found a way forward. The most powerful advice I received came from Seth Godin, on the magic of showing up one day, one hour, one minute at a time:
“We’re not entitled to an audience, to applause or to make a living. The work we most want to do, the thing that pushes us to show up — it might not resonate with the audience we bring it to.
There’s no guarantee, none at all.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show up. The lack of a guarantee is precisely why the work is worth doing, because it’s the guarantee that we’ve been brainwashed to require, and without it, few people have the guts enough to show up anyway.”
For even more learnings, check out these notes in my digital garden:
- Writing in Scenes: I shared learnings on writing a complete “scene” for a story every single day, ensuring each part of the story is compelling (not just the whole story).
- The Science of Storytelling: Writing lessons from the book Science of Storytelling. Crafting a compelling opening scene, leveraging visual metaphors, showing vs telling, the human condition and more.
- Overcoming Writer's Block: How I unblocked myself to start writing stories.
- Iterative Drawing: Learning to break apart complex drawing into smaller pieces, to make progress every day.
- Finding a Developmental Editor: I reached out to an editor of a short story journal I like and admire, and have been working with him to edit the stories.
The best way to stay updated on the the book is through my weekly email newsletter. You can subscribe below: