I am planning to create a picture book. By "create" I mean that I am going to write, illustrate, design, format, and publish it myself. I'm not going to get into a treatise on the relative merits of self-publishing, but that method does seem to fit this particular project--it's a rather experimental sort of picture book. Anyway, this blog seems like the perfect place to document the process, so I'll finally have a good reason to provide at least semi-regular updates. For the first post on the subject, I would like to present (drumroll, please--oh, wait, I posted the picture above the text, didn't I?) Jewel the fairy and Neon the mermaid, the main characters in my picture book-in-progress. They are made out of pipe cleaners. I know that's a rather unorthodox art style to use for illustrations, but, hey, it's what I'm good at and I have an idea. They're also pose-able, which streamlines the process quite a bit. It does, however, require a certain amount of photo-manipulation any time I need to portray the mermaid as actually in the water. Fair trade, if you ask me. Stay tuned for updates on Jewel and Neon, self-publishing, and adventures in Microsoft Word.