Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lost and Found!

Last night I got a very interesting email from my supervisor. She forwarded this message to me that someone had some old sketchbooks of mine from 1988 and asked me if I wanted them back. The emailer, I'll call him Sam for the sake of this post, must have been someone I knew from the voc school, because that was the last time I ever saw those sketchbooks. Though I got all the stories I needed out of them, those sketchbooks have some of the first prototype stories that I wrote (or helped write) from those years. The ones I got can be viewed on the UMG Productions website, among them is the story How Martin Met Genny. That was the first story in which Genny Genet made her first appearance. It was my friend Cathy who actually created Genny at first. She told the story, I drew the pics.

How "Sam" possibly came about these sketchbooks is a long story it's self. I know he must have them, because he said they were written in sketchbooks, and no one knew that except the people who knew me back in the late 80s. Plus, he said another one of the author's names, Martin O'Hara. For a while there I was trying to remember who that was. Then it dawned on me, it was Katie's brother, and he used the name "Martin". His real name was not Martin, but Michael. Katie passed away from a kidney disease in 1986, she was just entering high school then. Anyway, I haven't spoke of Katie's younger brother (who was the inspiration for some of her short stories) in years!! Her family moved away in 1995, and I haven't seen or heard from any of them since. So, there is no way Sam could have known about "Martin O'Hara" unless he really does have those books.

I often wished I could get those old books back! I wrote back to Sam and told him "Yes, I do want those back!" And I gave him my address. Though a lot has changed since I first wrote those books (back in those days, Mushmouth was an elephant seal) it would still be so cool to have them back, for record purposes. Or just for the sake of having them again. They are old! A piece of UMG history! Some of my most commonly used characters got their start in those books!

Back in 1989, the voc school had an art fair, and the prize for the best art work was $100. I could use that money, but there was no way I could enter. I didn't have time to think of an idea and prepare it properly. Then the librarian suggested that I enter those old sketchbooks of mine. I didn't think that was a good enough entry. Most other people around the school entered single-pieces of art. Not whole sketchbooks. Well the librarian told me to just enter them and see what happens. I did not expect to win, honestly! Some guy named Kenyon won that competition. Though I did not expect to win, I could really use that money! Kenyon was very likely from a rich family, and didn't need that money as much as I did. Well, I didn't want to drag those books back home, and it was the librarian's idea to enter those books, so I offered them to her. I asked her to take them and she didn't want to. I told her if she didn't take them, they would just get thrown away. She said I should keep them, and I didn't think about how I would feel about them in the future, so I just chucked them into the garbage can. For many years I wished I hadn't done that!! I never dreamed anyone would actually dig them up, take them home and keep them. Until Sam contacted my company.

I keep trying to think of who Sam could be. I knew a lot of people by that name. I know for sure he must have gone to that voc school I went to, not sure if it was someone I knew very well, or if maybe he was not even in my class. But I knew for sure he must have went to the voc school. I hope Trisha never reads this blog, I am not even supposed to discuss things like this from the UMG site on here! Unless I am discussing a particular book. But I cannot discuss e-mails or comments received on the UMG site on here. My supervisor wouldn't stand for it. But it's just this is such a neat thing! I never dreamed I would see those books again! But I haven't got them yet. I just hope Sam got my message!! I know sometimes our emails tend to go into peoples' junk mail folders.

Well, more shameless advertising! For a limited time, I've got the revised version of Gracie's Odyssey on the UMG site. Its in full-color. It's expensive, which is why it's only available for a limited time. A shame though I wanted to offer both the 1998 version, which is the original, and this revised version as well. For all time to come. But it's not possible! It's the printer's prices that make this impossible to offer on the site indefinitely. I mean, who really wants to pay $65 for a children's story?? Even though it is a good story! It's one of our company's masterpieces. I remember working on this revised edition. It was 2004. I was finishing up the last pages, coloring, erasing pencil marks and all that good stuff. I sent my sis out to go cruising  with the dogs. When she came back, I read the story to her and she liked it. Keep in mind, this story had been written and re-written probably more times than the Bible!! I had all kinds of versions laying around the house. I just could not satisfy myself with the proper ending. Even with Cairo's help, and he is the one who originally wrote that story! I'm just bad at endings! Well, my sis liked this version from 2004. The very next day after I finished this story, the tsunami hit southeast Asia. It was ironic because my sis had taken a cruising trip to Ocean Shores just the night before. Had we been anywhere in SE Asia, she and the dogs would have been swept away! UGH!! But anyways, it is a good story, and won't be available for long. Not the revised version anyways.

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