I didn’t sleep well last night, too full of thoughts and espresso residue. I was drawing this butterfly before I went to bed. It’s the tamasii cho (soul butterfly) for my main character in the Islands of Insight. This butterfly is a weapon, one of Kyran’s gifts from the shaman when she leaves the Crystal City. You’ll find out about it when I post the next episode.
Butterflies are pretty much the only thing I can draw. I have a lot of gratitude toward my high school art teacher, Mr. Miller, because back then I couldn’t really draw anything, so he gave me a bunch of wire and let me sculpt with it instead. I remember making flowers, but chrysanthemums the size of my head with scores of loops for the petals. Along with the wire, Mr. Miller gave me an A, too. He was a good man and a good teacher. If I ever see him again, I’ll tell him thanks and let him know that I can draw butterflies now.
I was not a good kid in high school. If we had Facebook back then, a lot of parents would have made their kids unfriend me. I would have been deleted. I’ve grown up since then and I have an affinity for butterflies, for those ugly, unknown caterpillars that turn into something secret and beautiful. I like to think of myself as a butterfly, as someone who has something beautiful to share with the world.
I drew this free hand. It’s the real deal. I looked up butterflies on the internet and found one called a Dark Cerulean that had this shape and I sketched the outline with the picture up on m laptop screen. The Dark Cerulean is a Japanese butterfly, blue and black. Perfect and beautiful. The eyes on the wings are shaped after teh fruit of the Soul Tree that grows n the center of the Crystal City.
I also allude to butterflies in The Plague Legacy: Acquisitions, my young adult dystopian with Fox Hollow Publications that comes out December 6, 2013. I’m excited because I’m finishing up the final little edits. That’s probably another reason I couldn’t sleep.
There are people in my life I think of as butterflies, special people who helped me put color in my wings. I hope I helped them put color in their wings, too. Maybe someday we’ll even be able to fly, me and my butterflies.