A Brief Retrospective Look At December 2019

December 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

(These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post December 2019

“Christmas Eve Wisdom And Wishes” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (Not only was this the “Most Popular” for the month of December, it was also the “Most Popular” for all of 2019!)

Second “Most Popular” Post December 2019

“Immersed In The Joys Of Life read it in full here if you’d like. (This was one of my favorite posts for the year, not so much for the illustration, but more for what it said about life and love.)

Third “Most Popular” Post December 2019

“The Most Perfect Plan Ever!” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (The illustration for this post shows Pearl’s imagination at work as she wonders what it will be like when Santa Claus reads her Christmas list. I love her innocent hopefulness that all of life’s problems could be solved with a simple letter to Santa Claus.)

Well, my friends, we made it through the entire 12-month retrospective! Thanks for joining me. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!

I can’t help but close with one more “Most Popular,” and it’s the “Most Popular Family Photo Friday” picture for all of 2019. I was pleased to see that it was of Gracie who I seldom photograph just by herself. That’s just the kind of modest girl she is and one more reason why she will always be “My Best Girl Ever.”

Family Photo Friday

We appreciate the time you have spent reading our stories and leaving “likes” and “comments” to encourage us when we got things right. We also appreciate the times you have made us think about how we can do better. All of your “hearts” and reposts, all of your award nominations and mentions, all of your kind words, all of it…is so tremendously appreciated.

We hope very much that we have returned to you some small part of the great joy you have given to us.

John, Gracie, Bessie, Pearl, Blanche (who we still hold in our hearts), Amelia, and Emily

 

A Brief Retrospective Look At November 2019


November 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

(These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post November 2019

“A Chicken’s Life Is Not So Bad” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (All of my girls were thrilled that this post was the most popular for November. It concluded their big story series for October when they put a great deal of work into their Halloween costumes! They learned a lot from this experience particularly that “treats are not always better on the other side of the fence.”)

Second “Most Popular” Post November 2019

“Pearl, My Girl, You Sure Have Changed! read it in full here if you’d like. (This post shares an excerpt from “How To Explain Christmas To Chicken.” It also looks at how drawing styles here have changed due to printing needs and software needs. Hopefully the changes have all been for the better.)

Third “Most Popular” Post November 2019

“Bessie’s Best Ever Sweet Onion and Walnut Mini Muffins” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (Bessie was thrilled that one of her recipes made it into the “Top Three.” These great muffins were featured in Our own Christmas meal.)

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective of our illustration and story posts. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!

A Brief Retrospective Look At October 2019

October 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

(These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post October 2019

“The Scariest Halloween Costume Contest” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (All of my girls were thrilled that this post was the most popular for October. They put a great deal of work into their Halloween costumes!)

Second “Most Popular” Post October 2019

“Freak Show Chickens read it in full here if you’d like. (This post is a chapter from “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens.” It is a somewhat scary chapter, at least for Pearl and Blanche. Later in the novel, Pearl will have a truly scary dream about being in The Bottle Cap Lady’s Chicken Freak Show. Don’t worry because it’s only a dream and points out how we can often let our imagination get the best of us. Her dream will allow her to learn something important about herself.)

Third “Most Popular” Post October 2019

“Magic Pictures” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This post features Amelia and Emily with their desire to be writers because words make “magic pictures.” They have never seen a typewriter, and the illustration reflects how they imagine a typewriter to work.)

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective of our illustration and story posts. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!

A Brief Retrospective Look At September 2019

September 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

(These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post September 2019

“The Gift Of Listening” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (The real message of this post is perhaps found in this brief excerpt: “I write this because it seems at times people have lost their connection to the earth beneath their feet and the animals with which we share it. From there, it is a quick step to losing our connection with other people.” I’m still bothered by the divisions and hostilities between groups I see on the news each day.)

Second “Most Popular” Post September 2019

“More Alike Than We Realize read it in full here if you’d like. (This post could be considered a follow-up to “The Gift Of Listening” because it is a reminder that we as people are more alike than we realize even though there are divisions and conflicts all around us.)

Third “Most Popular” Post September 2019

“There’s More Than One Kind Of Dancing In Paris!” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This post features Pearl dancing in a famous poster by Toulouse Lautrec. It is part of the novel we hope to have published soon titled “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens.”)

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective of our illustration and story posts. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!

A Brief Retrospective Look At August 2019

August 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

(These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post August 2019

“Time For Vacation” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (To be 100% totally honest, this is just about my favorite drawing of Pearl ever. It always makes me smile because it shows how much she enjoys life!)

Second “Most Popular” Post August 2019

“Themes And Conflicts And Character Flaws (Oh My!) read it in full here if you’d like. (This is the first post to share an early draft of the first chapter of “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens.” It took me a while to get used to the idea that in a novel, your main character has to suffer in order to change.)

Third “Most Popular” Post August 2019

“More Than We Are Right Now” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This post explores what makes Gracie so special to me. I have promised her that one day I will write a book just about the two of us and her ballet dancing. My heart hopes that will be many years from now. We still have more stories to write and more dances to dance.)

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective of our illustration and story posts. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!

A Brief Retrospective Look At July 2019

July 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

(These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post July 2019

“The Kindness Of Giving Rest” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This post was already high on my list of “favorites” because of its sweetness, and so I’m glad that it made it to the top spot for its month. Each time I read this, I’m reminded to be grateful to the people who selflessly give rest to others, particularly in these difficult times. Sometimes the gift of rest is the most valuable gift you can give to someone.)

Second “Most Popular” Post July 2019

“The Best Kind Of Love read it in full here if you’d like. (This is one of my favorite posts featuring Pearl. This is one of the few illustrations which tells something not found in the story words. Pearl was trying to show she loved the fireflies by telling them her best jokes which they didn’t understand. The fireflies were trying to show Pearl they loved her by using their own special skill which she didn’t understand. Did you find their message?)

Third “Most Popular” Post July 2019

“Feed The Chickens Card Game” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This post features the conversation that took place as my chickens and I planned our 1-Year Anniversary gift to our readers.)

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective of our illustration and story posts. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!

A Brief Retrospective Look At June 2019

June 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

For me, it’s a chance to see what was successful (or not). If something resonates with readers, then I have a better feeling of being on the right track. For new readers, it’s a chance to catch up with some of the most popular posts here. For those of you who have been reading for a while, there may be something you missed or might like to revisit.

After employing a rather complicated mathematical formula along with the very reliable and soon-to-be-patented “Chicken Peck Selector,” these are the most popular posts from June 2019. (These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post June 2019

“Just Farm Animals (Part 2)” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This illustration is one of my favorites because of the way it expresses fear from a little chicken’s perspective. In the story, the crows are allegorical characters representing people and things in the world which may influence us to think that we are not good enough and that others have it better than we do. This story is about those times when we feel “if I only had…” or “if I could only do…” Ravens, relatives of American crows, will actually turn out to play a helpful role in this story later on.)

Second “Most Popular” Post May 2019

“Emily’s Summer Drawing Camp (Part 3) read it in full here if you’d like. (This post was another favorite from Summer Drawing Camp series. I like how it shows Emily’s growing self-confidence which is often an outcome for any artistic or creative activity…for chickens or for children.)

Third “Most Popular” Post May 2019

“My Inventive Miss Bessie” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This post is one of my favorites because of the dialog with Bessie. I love how she takes everything so seriously and, as in this post, so literally when it comes to the word “popsicle.” It just goes to show you…put a chicken in a chef’s hat and apron, and there’s no telling what will happen! While this was one of the shortest story posts ever, I was glad to see it was so popular, and this was likely due to Bessie’s strong and lovable personality.)

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective of our illustration and story posts. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!

A Brief Retrospective Look At May 2019

May 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

For me, it’s a chance to see what was successful (or not). If something resonates with readers, then I have a better feeling of being on the right track. For new readers, it’s a chance to catch up with some of the most popular posts here. For those of you who have been reading for a while, there may be something you missed or might like to revisit.

After employing a rather complicated mathematical formula along with the very reliable and soon-to-be-patented “Chicken Peck Selector,” these are the most popular posts from May 2019. (These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post May 2019

“Things Chickens Won’t Tell You” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This story tells about Pearl’s very real grief after Blanche passed away. Pearl’s heartbreak and Old Chicken language became parts of “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens.”.)

Second “Most Popular” Post May 2019

“Emily’s Summer Drawing Camp (Part 2) read it in full here if you’d like. (This post was a real pleasure to write because it just seemed to develop on its own simply by asking myself, “And then what happened?” It is about what is possible when we truly believe in the power of love. Emily’s special ability to travel where drawing and love take her may end up as an important element when writing what I believe will be my next novel, “Conversations With Amelia.”)

Third “Most Popular” Post May 2019

“A Travel Bag For Amelia” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This post is one of my favorites as far as conversations between Amelia and myself. She and I often spend time together “trying to figure each other out,” and this post is a good example of that.)

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective of our illustration and story posts. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!

A Brief Retrospective Look At April 2019

April 2019 Favorites

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to look back on the old and look forward to the new, and so some type of retrospective of our illustration and story posts also seems appropriate.

For me, it’s a chance to see what was successful (or not). If something resonates with readers, then I have a better feeling of being on the right track. For new readers, it’s a chance to catch up with some of the most popular posts here. For those of you who have been reading for a while, there may be something you missed or might like to revisit.

After employing a rather complicated mathematical formula along with the very reliable and soon-to-be-patented “Chicken Peck Selector,” these are the most popular posts from April 2019. (These are shown above from left to right. Links to the full illustrations and posts follow.)

First “Most Popular” Post April 2019

“Beautiful Things” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This is one of my most favorite story posts featuring Emily. It was written as a follow-up to one of January’s “Most Popular” posts titled “Lost And Not Afraid.” It is about Emily’s thoughts and feelings about Amelia’s desire to fly away and see if she can be “lost and not afraid.” It is about letting go out of love.)

Second “Most Popular” Post April 2019

“Omelettes Or Cupcakes? You can read it in full here if you’d like. (This post explores the ability of chickens and other animals to instinctively know what kind of person someone is but also balances that with unconditional giving.)

Third “Most Popular” Post April 2019

“Remembering Blanche” You can read it in full here if you’d like. (Although the stats shows this as being in third place, it actually had just as many views as the first place post for April. It placed third, I believe, because it received many fewer likes because it was about Blanche’s death which happened on Easter Sunday. It’s the kind of post that people wonder “Should I click ‘like’ or not?” because it’s about something sad, the death of a beloved pet. Reading the many comments really touched my heart. Thank you so much.)

Thanks for joining me on this retrospective of our illustration and story posts. I have enjoyed this chance to look back and see what you as readers enjoyed the most!