My first big goal for the new year is to make a two-year anniversary revision to my first-ever book, “Seasons Of Friendship.” Although I love that first book because it’s something I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to do, I have learned so much since 2019.

This revision started as only an update of the inside illustrations. Below you can see a comparison.

The drawing on the left is from “Seasons Of Friendship.” It was made using the Sketches app on an iPad Mini (with my finger).

On the right is a newer style drawing using the Affinity Designer app on an iPad Pro (with an Apple Pencil). This updated drawing uses the same line and fill techniques as “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens.” The lines are much lighter even though most of the colors are the same.

There are also more color pictures throughout the book. This was at Bessie’s strong recommendation.

“If people are going to pay for a book that is in color, then there needs to be color on almost every page,” she told me while standing on my right shoe. (She does this whenever she really wants to make a point.) “People want to feel like they are getting their money’s worth.”

I did not argue with this, but I did wonder how she ever found out about money.

I should also add that Bessie pecked my shoe as she told me, “And don’t try making it anything except sweet and wonderful just like Little Bunny because that’s what the readers want too.” (They do love Little Bunny, and this was Bessie’s even stronger recommendation.)

Another big change has been with the writing itself. “Seasons Of Friendship” was written as a story collection based on many of my blog posts. They were loose and rambling but all centered on some aspect of friendship.

Writing “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” helped me to learn more plot-related skills. So the revision now has a plot. Just like Pearl and the others learned what Christmas is about through a series of events, I will learn what A Most Wondrous Place is about.

All of these things make it an almost completely different book, and so the title has been changed to “How To Find A Most Wondrous Place.” (You might remember how last week’s post ended with “You know, Gracie, this really is A Most Wondrous Place just like you have always said.”)

What started as a one-time collection of stories just may be developing into a little series of books! But that will require some continuity throughout the series so the books look like they belong together. Back in 2019, I had not seriously thought of doing a series. It seemed just too monumental for me. But now, I want to give it a try with these 64-page full-color “How To” books.

If you have any feedback concerning the draft version of the cover for “How To Find A Most Wondrous Place,” please let me know.

You’ll notice the font has been changed to a more “chicken-made” style. I’ve reworked the background to one that can be more consistent but different by changing just the colors. (This one is green because spring is a great time to start raising baby chicks. But blue would be good for the book about Christmas.) The image on the front also appears within the pages of the book.

I would truly appreciate your thoughts about the font, overall design, color, and whatever else you may want to share. You are our loyal readers, and I want to hear from you. (And it will keep Bessie from standing on my right foot and telling me what to do!)

18 thoughts on “This Is So Bessie Will Stop Standing On My Foot And Telling Me What To Do

  1. I like everything but the font. I think if you added something like (with the help of Bessie) to your byline, people would get the link to the “chicken scratch” title.
    BUT, if you credit Bessie, will Pearl be jealous? 🤔

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Will. I think the font is sort of equally divided, but I think your byline idea is a good way to explain why it was chosen. As always, I appreciate your thoughts and perspectives. Thanks again!


  2. I like the font. It fits.
    I love your background too – especially as a unifying theme for a series.
    (If it were a video that worm should be quietly reversing back down it’s hole and hoping nobody notices.)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I like the drawing on the left, done with Sketches, it has a classical, mystical look which I think is more appropriate for the book. Also, there’s a font called ‘finger paint’ which has a sort of chickeny look to it (I tried to put an example here, but it didn’t copy.)
    Just my opinion. I love what you do.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Mich. I will look for that “Finger Paint” font online. If it works, it’s worth getting. I’m glad you enjoy my work, and my chickens and I appreciate your helpful suggestions. We truly do. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. While many blogs, including mine, tend to be depressing, yours are delightful and bring joy, and that’s what the world needs, especially these days.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks. You know, I got my first chickens when I was unemployed because our entire department was outsources. It was a depressing time, but I can say with certainty, it’s not easy to feel sorry for yourself when you’re holding a little ball of fluff that looks up into your eyes and says, “Peep!”

        I think people are losing touch with the simple things and what really matters. That’s why my chickens and my garden are so important to me. They help keep me connected to the earth and to life. Those things are often missing in people’s lives, and so they don’t know what they are missing.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. For you then, being unemployed turned out to be a lucky break, for now your life is blessed, and compared to many lives, full of zenlike wonder. I envy you, I must try and find my own “garden” before it’s too late. Thank you, John.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Yes, it has been. Even though I’m working in the same field for a different company, I’m making only a bit more than half of what I was making before. But I am happier by such a greater amount. I hope that my stories and illustrations encourage others to find their own “garden.” One of my favorite readers is a young girl from India and she wrote to me once, “I wish I had a friend like Gracie.” She was inspired by my little chicken stories and that meant so much to me. I do believe you will find your own garden and that it will be what my chickens call A Most Wondrous Place.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. The high spirit-colours and beautifull wallpapers are part of your signature. I love them. The lighter lines…perfect.
    I also like the cover including chicken-alike fonts very much as well.
    The “feather wallpaper” on the cover is very charming too. I like the colour and the floating fluffy feathers but it comes at a price oin my view.
    They create a bit restlessness and the focus on the chicken ladies is diminished.
    Firstly, I thought about the idea to suggest changing the colour to 1 or 2 nuances darker green.
    Then I changed my mind because of the spring reference and the “The (unbearable) lightness of being” your thoughtful illustrations express.
    Instead I tried to imagine how the cover / wallpaper would appear if the feathers float down from the upper part/half of the cover only with a reduced number of feathers (or no feathers at all?) in the background of your chicken group….?
    Just some food for thoughts. Actually, the cover is already beautiful like it is.


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