From my desk in the window of my little house in the woods, I can see the pine tree in the front yard, which has a door nestled among the roots. My mother gave this door to me. This is typical, because she's the one who taught me to be whimsical, to anthropomorphize, to envision that door opening on a pine-scented spiral stairway that leads up the tree to the doodling workshop where I might sit, pen in hand, drawing stories, doodling pictures, writing text by hand, making up my own fonts.
Like the door to the pine tree, doodles may seem to be whimsical, unrealistic, the product of an overactive imagination. But, in the year since I began publishing them, I've realized the power of doodles.
I get doodle power from children who attend my doodling workshops -- such as the ones I did for the GRLS program in Boston last weekend -- who try out the black finepoint and gray brushpoint pens I give them, drawing constantly, telling their stories, lifting their heads only in curiosity about the pictures I'm creating as I tell them my own stories.
I get doodle power from the parents who tell me that my novel Doodlebug has gotten their kids reading at last, or that learning about my doodling has encouraged them in creating their own graphic stories.
I get doodle power from the teachers who tell me that my Humanimal Doodles have gotten their students talking about science - or arguing about, looking into, or trying their own science.
I get doodle power from the scientists who like how their stories are told, who comments and make suggestions and ask for more.
I get doodle power from the grownups who learned to read by reading comic books, and the librarians who recognize that any reading is good reading and the kids who realize that good reading doesn't have to be all typeset words.
I get doodle power from finding out how many other people -- just about all other people! -- doodle, and I love learning what they draw and why.
In this blog, I'll talk about some of my travels and experiences associated with creating and getting the word out about my doodles. And I'll talk about what's going on behind the workshop door, on the doodling desk.