The Bee in my Bonnet

I’d like you to meet the latest bee in my bonnet.

He’s a little guy who began life as someone quite different many years ago.

This is Olly

                              This is Olly

Olly, as he was known back then, breezed into my life when I was dreaming of a character who would be perfect for a children’s picture book story I had to write and illustrate for a Uni assignment many years ago. I needed someone simple, yet loveable and when Olly introduced himself to me, he was perfect.

Back then, he was a little cloud guy on legs who lived down at the bottom of Mr Wilson’s flower garden and enjoyed the simple things in life like packing picnic baskets and spending time with friends. Something most of us enjoy doing.

I lovingly bound Olly’s story and handmade illustrations in a small sized book for safekeeping and dedicated it to my beautiful young daughter.

My daughter loved the simplicity of the story and my very amateurish illustrations. For you see I am not really an illustrator, can you tell, but I do enjoy drawing. One thing I have discovered about myself is I like to have a go at doing (most) things myself. The exception is, if what I am attempting to do is way out of my league, then, and only then it seems, will I hand it over to an expert.

Olly sat around our various homes on a bookshelf for years. Not many people every really knew about him. But he has been here with us for what is now a very large chunk of our lives. We do think about him from time to time and he occasionally crops up in the odd conversation.

For sometime now I have watched the phenomenon of eBook publishing develop and fill the market place. More and more people have turned to this media for legitimate reasons and it has captivated my interest. At first, what was merely a passing interest has become a mini driving force.

Almost a year ago I decided I’d like to have a go myself and join the ranks of people who seemed to be having a great time publishing their stories and work on Amazon, but little did I know what the journey would entail and the lessons I would need to learn.

Admitting that I’m not a digital native exposes my age, really, doesn’t it? However, it is true. I’m not a digital native and the road I seem driven to go down is very slow for me. I’m trying to learn a lot of information, in a very short amount of time, as well as learn a lot of new IT skills, to boot.

Why, you might ask, would I even bother? And I have asked myself this question too. The answers that come ringing back in my ears are varied, but the one that seems to be driving this train, is, if others can do it, then why not me?

I think I can!

I think I can!

I think I can!

Does this remind you of anyone?

What have I got to lose?

Time, I hear you answer.

And you’d be right. But, if I’m using my time doing something I love, then am I really losing anything?

I think the only person to lose anything will be me if I don’t give it a shot.

When I read back through this post I discovered there are probably a few more bees in my bonnet than I first thought.

So, what does Olly have to do with anything?

Olly, once again inspired me to tell his story, but this time in an eBook format. But the twist came when I went to start. I took Olly off the shelf, dusted his jacket off and opened up the book and read.

The story is still there, I found, but …

There was a but!

I was young and inexperienced when I wrote Olly all those years ago.

If I were to write and publish Olly on Amazon, I’d need to know who he was. After reading Olly recently, with my writer’s eyes firmly engaged, I realised that for all these years, we’ve only ever known Olly as the little Cloudman who likes picnics, playing with his friend, and that he lives at the bottom of Mr Wilson’s garden. We’ve never really known who Olly is or where he’s from. Wow! Imagine my surprise.

After spending quite some time with Olly, asking him questions and throwing some ideas around, I discovered a whole new character and a whole new story in the process.

So, whilst Olly has inspired what I hope will be my first eBook series, it won’t be his story. But without Olly, I doubt this new series would ever have been dreamt up.

The original Olly, his life and story, will always belong to my daughter and hopefully will be shared with my future grandchildren.

So, within my Journal here at a Garden of Verse and Stories, I will begin to share my writing experience with you.

If you have read all the way down to here, may I please say a very big warm and friendly, thank you. I really appreciate it. I know time is precious.

I would love to hear if you are on a similar journey as me. Please leave me a comment and share your thoughts. I’d love to meet you and hear what you’re working on.

Until next time…

Happy writing,



One thought on “The Bee in my Bonnet

  1. Pingback: A Month of Manuscripts, Illustrations & Other Things | A Garden of Verse & Stories with Debbie Smith

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