A lot of that has been due to "Illusionarium," the book I've been working on these past few years. It's nearing the end stages of development.
It's about some kids who get the holy tar beaten out of them....the way a good, decent, God-fearing children's book ought to be. It should be out in a year or so.
(I know that's forever away. I'm a slow writer.)
A lot of the writing I do takes place on the train. Since I have to commute into the city for my day job, I get up really early--about 4 am--hop on the first train, and ride it to Ogden, then to Provo, then back to Salt Lake.
When I get off from work, I ride it from endline to endline again, typing the whole time. It's pretty much become my second home.
In fact, I've gotten to know all the little secrets.
For example, the train has 3 really nice, new cars--
...And one really old, horrible, creaky, leaky car affectionately called the "Cattle Car."
No one ever rides the Cattle Car....except me.
...which makes me the train creeper! hahaha!!
The fancy cars are constantly blowing freezing air on you...but if you feel the walls of the Cattle Car...
...you can find some toasty hotspots. It's the best.
I know some other pretty nifty secrets, too. I swear there is an abandoned grand piano sitting on the hill between the Draper and Thanksgiving Point stations. No idea how it got there.
One night I nearly missed my stop, and in my haste I left the Illusionarium manuscript w/the editor's feedback on the train. Oops. I guess some lucky train person got to read Illusionarium early!
...as well as everything that's wrong with it.
My best train story though happened one freezing cold night last February.
The train had just pulled into the Provo station, like it always does, and I waited in the Cattle Car, like I always do, for it to reverse and head back to the Ogden station, which it always will.
I guess I must've been pretty into the story, because I didn't notice how the whole train had emptied and sat at the station for a good 40 minutes like that...
...until the lights went out.
...and the train s-l-o-w-l-y chugged out of the station. In the wrong direction.
It stopped a while later, in the middle of an abandoned railyard...
...in the middle of nowhere.
I, um. I wasn't quite sure what to do.
Everyone was gone.
The door was locked, so I couldn't get out.
There wasn't anyone, or anything, that I could see outside the window. Only the frozen railyard.
I decided that maybe I should just keep working until they put the train back at the station.
I had a good cry.
It didn't really help.*
*crying only helps if you do it in front of someone...dang it.
It also didn't help that I needed to go to the bathroom!
Desperation led me to do the one smart thing I'd thought of all night...look up the train's website online and call their customer service.
...which was closed.
We really don't need to see this.
I don't know how long I remained huddled in the cattle car...maybe an hour longer or so...before I somehow found the emergency number for the entire public transportation system...
A very nice lady assured me that someone would be there very soon.
Very, very soon.
At least within the next several hours.
THEY FOUND ME!!!!!!!!
I was saved!!!
I followed them for what seemed like forever, out of the creepy lone railyard and back to the station, where another train would soon be headed north.
Needless to say, I was pretty darn happy I'd been rescued.
In fact it was probably the happiest day of my life.
In fact, I think I'll ride the train...forever! <3 <3 <3
FYI, this draft of Illusionarium turned out to be rather dark and violent. I can't for the life of me figure out why.
At last, the results are in! Thank you so much, everyone, for being so patient. One of these days life won't be so crazy!
I always get gunshy about coloring contests because I feel like everyone did such a good job, and it's hard to pick just one. To help me, the judging process was aided by my talented artist coworkers. I asked them which pictures stood out the most to them, and we went from there. Needless to say, it was a hard decision!
And now, the winners!
First place goes to Chiara! Winner winner chicken dinner! Congrats, Chiara!
And of course, we would be remiss if we didn't make note of the honorable mentions:
Honorable mentions will get a beaded bookmark. If you are a fella, I'll be sure to make it a manly bookmark :D I'll be in touch with you all Soon!
And, because I think they were all so lovely, I'm including the rest of the entries below, if you want to take a look. I've blurred out the emails, but if you're shy about your artwork being posted, let me know and I can remove it. But don't be shy--they look lovely! Shout out to the Gilbert Blythe and Joker ones ^_^