The pandemic gave me space to write my second children’s book, Archie’s Dragon.
In 2020, the new normal has allowed us to discover things that may have been lying dormant in our minds for years. Long days have awaken our senses. Stories found reason to escape. And the child inside has been given a chance to come out and play.
Forts were made out of blankets and cardboard boxes. Something you may have done as a child. And now you are sharing the experience with your children. Families spent more time together. We found reason to be thankful for the little things. Many of us found new recipes to make or spent more time with our hobbies.
How the book evolved
In 2018, shortly after my mother passed away, I began making animals out of wool. So when Sarafina Fiber Art, a needle felting supply business located in Maryland, offered a dragon class in late Spring of 2020, I enrolled in the class. As the dragon evolved, so too, did my story idea. It wasn’t long after the 4-week course that I began imagining a story that could be illustrated by wool characters. Archie was created. A short time later Oma, Archie’s grandmother came to life, of sorts. In my mind anyway. Then came June, Archie’s little sister – wise beyond her years. While these characters lived in my imagination, I started to think about what it would be like to be a young boy during a pandemic when you couldn’t play with friends, but more importantly, have a birthday party with friends who would bring cool presents. Archie’s grandmother, Oma, lived with him, too. Which made it even more difficult to have friends over, if only to watch a movie. The only thing missing was the background for my characters. Sarafina Fiber Art has a group that includes needle felters from around the world. One day I was looking through all of the beautiful posts and I came across a woman who creates fairy lands. I reached out to her not knowing where she lived and asked if she would be interested in creating a world for my characters. I sent her my manuscript and she immediately envisioned the perfect stage. Angel Orton of angelharefelting began to build the set for the fort located inside Archie’s closet. Shortly after I contacted her, I found out she lived in Michigan. AND she was a COVID-19 nurse. Angel inspired me to add nurse mice to the story. Her co-workers contributed to the scenes, too. This became a project that helped them through these trying times. It especially provided Angel with a distraction. It was difficult to go into work and face dying people on a regular basis.
Needle felting is a process that interlocks wool fibers using barbed needles.
You begin with an armature made of 14-gauge aluminum wire..