This month you will finally meet Poetry! Poetry materialized in my life in 1997 as I was getting my oldest ready to go off to college. I still had two at home, but it felt like my family was being dismantled, and I needed something to refocus my thoughts on. The adventures of Poetry the Calico Cat and Gabriel the Snowman sprung from someplace within me that I did not know existed. I wrote 13 little stories about their adventures that year. Then in 2011 I made a website about them, posting a new story each month. This past year I've been "illustrating" the new story I wrote in 2009. I have redrawn Poetry a little differently from the original Poetry. In 1997 I'd never drawn anything in my adult life, so she was quite a surprise when she showed up. These past three years of practice have shown me that with more practice I can improve and may even develop a style of my own that I like. One thing I've come to realize is that I love colorful scenes. I discovered this when I painted the first two illustrations this month in vivid colors then realized the room, as I'd written it, was supposed to be dark! So I used a photo editing website to darken the edges to give the illusion of a darkened room. I also took most of the color out of the second illustration using the editing tools. What I've learned this year is that illustrating is NOT EASY. But I am glad to have Gabriel's Tale and all my other stories to pass on to my grandchildren. Who knows....maybe one of them will illustrate my stories and launch a career in Children's Book illustration. In fact, I would be greatly pleased if my postings this past year have encouraged one of you to pick up pen and brush and discovered for yourself a story just waiting to be told.