A few years ago I started sketching. I picked up the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (which I have not yet finished; I'll add that to my list) and began the exercises. I got a cartooning book for Christmas one year. I bought a small sketch book that I put in my purse so I could sketch whenever. I started sketching at business or church meetings, while waiting in the car or in an office. My thought was, by the time one of my picture book stories gets accepted by a publishing company, I may know how to draw and I'll be able to illustrate my own book. So that hasn't happened yet--I haven't had a picture book manuscript accepted nor have I learned to draw well enough to illustrate it. I haven't even advanced to adding color (an illustrator friend is going to teach me a bit about that in a couple of weeks). But I do have an amusing time sketching.
At first, I tried sketching the people sitting around me or the person speaking but that didn't work so well. I didn't want to be caught sketching a person in case they caught me and wanted to see the picture--that would be humiliating. Besides, people don't sit perfectly still. I started staring at walls, carpets, clouds, and ceilings and picking out pictures--you know the whole cloud thing: "That one looks like a fish...that one looks like a dragon blowing smoke about to eat the fish." Well there are pictures in walls, carpets, and ceilings if they don't have actual patterns in them. It's easier to draw those pictures because I'm not trying to make them look like a real person, nor do they move.
Today, as I stared at the carpet looking for something to draw, I saw instead a story--no, not actual words--but the picture I saw made me wonder about the characters in it. Then the imagination kicked in gear and soon I had a story line.
Tomorrow, I'll type up the story. Maybe I'll make the sketch that goes with it.