As an author I sometimes find myself stuck for an idea. Right now I’m concentrating on getting the fifth volume in my fantasy epic done. In this edition I’m trying to wrap up most of the loose ends I left hanging at the end of volume four. That doesn’t mean the story was left undone, it’s just that my cast of over thirty characters had a few bits of unfinished business, such as a wedding, etc…etc…You know, nothing much.
Right now I’m at a point where I need to start a bar fight, but I want to do so without borrowing outrageously from my favorite fantasy authors, and I certainly don’t want one of my readers finishing up the passage and then thinking, “DIdn’t I see this in an Indiana Jones movie?” Yep, stuck as thoroughly as a pledge’s tongue to a frozen light pole.
I have a trick I discovered a while back to help myself get unstuck, I do something else. A friend of mine, David Freeman, is a genius when it comes to writing children’s spooky poetry, and since I’m a rather accomplished illustrator, I get to do the illustrations.
Below is the cover for David’s poem, Batty Bat. I had a lot of fun doing the cartooning, but more importantly I was able to figure out where I wanted to go with that bar fight in The Bloated Pig. (It’s a bar with a less than genteel rep).