So Tired

I am post thyroid ablation about 3 months now.  I saw my endocrinologist yesterday.  He said had my appointment been scheduled any later I would most likely have been  hospitalized. That is always lovely to hear.  My original appointment, of course, had to be rescheduled because of hurricane Irma.

I am now on a new medication as the ablation has thrown me into hypothyroidism.  After being on a separate medication for hyperthyroidism for three years then absolutely nothing for several months, but for the radioactive iodine slowly killing off my thyroid that is,  I find I am in a perpetual state of fatigue.  The hypothyroidism has also brought an extra 15lbs my way, which is only serving to further my fatigue.

I will be unable to post for a while but shall just as soon as I am able to.  In the interim, be sure and visit my page on Amazon and perhaps pick up a special treat for Halloween! Or maybe a few early Christmas presents!

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Ooooooh, It’s Halloween Officially Available

halloween now avail

I have received and approved the proof copies from the printer and Ooooooh, It’s Halloween is now officially available!!!!

I have truly enjoyed working on this, my third, endeavor with the delightful Barbara Poor!

From illustrating the interior of this full color 40 page children’s book, creating the cover, editing and formatting, creating all advertisements to creating the book trailer, this has been an absolute adventure.  It is always a delight to work with Barbara Poor.

On the heels of our two other collaborations,  The Girl With The Curly Red Hair , and My Trip To The Library , Ooooooh, It’s Halloween follows the ginger headed, freckled cutie on a colorful journey through a parade of the delights and frights of costume choices available on Halloween.

It is always an epic delight for me to illustrate for the imaginative and creative Barbara Poor. Her words instantly conger colorful images in my mind and inspire me to draw. I look forward to many more collaborations in our future!

To see more of my work, please visit my website at: http://www.alysathena.com/

When Nature Strikes

I already had an impossible deadline for the release of Ooooooh, It’s Halloween, written by Barbara Poor.  I mean, come on, giving me less than 5 weeks to have an entire book from scratch done?!?! INSANITY!

Then…..only a week and two days into the project, mother nature decides that Florida has simply gone too long without ample tragedy.  On the heels of hurricane Harvey’s devastation of Texas, my fears were great, to say the least.

As a life long Floridian, I am certainly no stranger to hurricanes.  I was smack dab in Andrew back in the 90s.  This time however, this one, felt….different. Whether it was due to the fresh images of waters rushing homes in Texas or the fear I held for friends living in Texas, I was terrified.  I have never been so scared. The minute I heard about Irma and a possible projection toward our coast, I told my husband to prepare.  We set up an evacuation to a hotel 5 days in advance.  I began bottling water and packing. My husband began boarding windows and purchasing enough  food to sustain us throughout any power loss.  With one hurricane a few years back, we had a full 31 days without power.  So, this time around, we decided to be better prepared.  A good portion of my mind fully believed we would have no home to return to sadly. I was praying for the best, but preparing for the worst my mind could imagine. I am not negative, but I am a realist.

We took our dogs to the local boarder as one has severe storm anxiety.  I knew the vet could give him something to calm him if the need be.  I simply could not imagine how stressful it would have been on the dogs to be shoved into a tiny motel room for days on end with possibly no power or water source, other than our bottled water.

We left at the last possible minute Saturday afternoon. There was a strict order to be off of the roads by 8 PM.  We sat waiting for our room to be ready, for what seemed like hours. It was not the Ritz, but it certainly felt safer than home.  We still have roof damage from hurricane Matthew last year.

This beast called Irma was larger than our state. The early news reports showed Brickell Miami, where I grew up.  The streets looked like a raging river.  My fear grew.  I suddenly felt trapped.  I had wanted to leave the state but traffic was at a virtual standstill from days earlier and gas was almost gone.  I kept eye on the clock.  Flash forward to Sunday. We knew it would be here by about 2 AM.  By 8 PM the power was gone as had the water. Our cell phones became our life line. Of course Sprint did not care about that and was quick to slow speeds down to 2g the millisecond our data hit the cap.  Have got to love that!  Nonetheless, we were blessed to have a connection to the outside world amidst the next hours that were to become, for me personally, hellacious. I suddenly began to realize every tree outside, every chair and the hallway full of furniture and florescent bulbs that the hotel staff did not deem worthy of locking up….I mean literally, just laying on the floor, were projectiles.  As the winds picked up and the light of the sky turned to black, my heart began to pound.  Alerts on my phone were non stop. Posts on Facebook of friends who live in towns to our south describing what they were hearing , it was scary.  A bit much for me evidently.  I found myself to be the only one fully awake just sitting on the bed staring at the door and curtains which covered the window.  And I sat. I sat and I waited. I am not sure what I thought I was doing to be honest.  I know the sounds were terrible.  I cannot imagine how my family slept through it.  The gusts, I literally felt them.  We were on the 2nd floor. Each gust felt like a slight nudge. Perhaps this was all my imagination, I thought.  That is until the curtains began to move with the gusts. The wind was quite literally punching the windows and doors. This went on for hours.  When the sun came up and we knew the storm was well over, I fell asleep.  I managed an hour or so before my husband felt the need to go home. Once the county gave the go ahead for citizens to drive safely on the road (noon) we made the short trek back. The hotel had no power or water so it seemed essentially useless to stay there, even though we had paid through to Tuesday. When we arrived home, everything was as we had left it.  We had minor yard debris and the mini fridge which held my insulin had died. Our power was out.  As we have a well, this also meant no water.  We thankfully had filled plenty of bottles and totes before we left, just in case. My husband set up the generator.  Oddly enough, everything in our freezer was still frozen.  I suddenly felt foolish for throwing all of the perishable refrigerator food out that before we evacuated.

We unpacked and I began to finish the book.  I worked non stop. I not only made the deadline, but I exceeded it. Working by phone and generator was not easy but it helped keep my mind off of the disaster around me.  We were spared, by the grace of God, not everyone was as lucky.

I will evacuate a million times, and if each time it is for nothing, I will be fine.  It is better than staying once and being wrong.

Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich From Barbour Publishing (A Review)

 Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich

 

From

Barbour Publishing

 

As an avid reader, it was no surprise to hear Kira squeal when her copy of Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing arrived!

The beautiful cover art immediately leads the reader to feel strong emotions, as if they know there will be an epic journey that they are about to embark on.

Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing is a delightful tale of a young boy who experiences the journey of Noah’s ark, from the Bible.

I do not want to give too much away from this delightfully imaginative tale.  However, I did ask Kira for her opinion and what she thought about Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing .

Kira said,

“Noah’s ark has always been one of my favorite stories from the Bible. I found myself envisioning it were me in Corey’s shoes.  It was almost as though I could hear, feel, smell, and even taste the ark and the animals around me! I absolutely love the alternative perspective depicted within the book. Not only the flood, but the resistance surrounding Noah and his sons. The Bible’s perspective did not provide the insight I found within Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing .  The story provided deeper insight into the characters and their feelings.  Although the book seemed short, (I like to read long chapter books) I look forward to reading the entire series. I highly recommend Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing to everyone!”

 

 

 

Disclaimer HomeSchool Review Crew

Carole P. Roman (A Review)

 

 Carole P. Roman

 

What a delight to have received these wonderful titles to review for Carole P. Roman.  As those of you who read my blog regularly know, my daughter, Kira, LOVES to read. When the package came containing If You Were Me And Lived In… SOUTH KOREA, If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient Greece: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time , and If You Were Me and Lived in…Viking Europe: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time, Kira was absolutely giddy!

If You Were Me And Lived In… SOUTH KOREA 

This title is absolutely wonderful for your younger home schooled child! THis delightful book provides a  precious look into what life would be like if you (the reader) lived in South Korea.  As an illustrator who had completed 12 published titles to date, I absolutely adore the precious simplified art within this book! Brightly colored and detailed beautifully to maintain the focus of younger children, the text is bright and bold and easy to read.  Pronunciations are also provided, which is wonderful!

 

If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient Greece: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time

If You Were Me and Lived in…Viking Europe: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time

Both If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient Greece: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time  and If You Were Me and Lived in…Viking Europe: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time are geared toward slightly older children.

These titles explore a little more in depth, with less focus on illustrations and more focus on text and knowledge into the regions. We received these just in time to coincide with Kira’s studies of the Vikings!

I asked Kira for her opinion on the books we reviewed by  Carole P. Roman.

Kira said,

“I really liked the two books in the If You Were Me and Lived In…Historical because these books delve further into the cultural aspects of the regions, where as my history text books provide little context. I love how this series allows me to feel as though I am immersed within the culture. I especially enjoyed If You Were Me and Lived in… Ancient Greece: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time , as Ancient Greece has been one of my favorite History topics to study. I thought I knew just about everything there was to know about Ancient Greece, but this book has certainly put it in a whole new light for me! I have found these books simply awesome! I highly recommend all of the titles from Carole P. Roman, and I look forward to getting more from her soon!”

As a home school parent, I find it refreshing to learn of these delightful books available from Carole P. Roman. 

 

 

*Please note, I have linked all titles to their paperback sales page as I received a paperback book to review, however, each is available on Kindle/Hardback.

 

 

 

Disclaimer HomeSchool Review Crew

Work, Work, & More Work

Where has this month gone? I can tell you where, into the book I am illustrating! This drawing, *Discovering Piggies* is the only digital drawing I have done all month except for book illustrations! It was done 22 days ago.  When I looked at the calendar and realized today was the last day of August, well, I freaked out! Granted, this month has been filled with insurmountable distractions. I have people I love and care about in Texas, so my mind and heart have also been extremely occupied. Add to that the pending deadline to have a picture book fully completed for a Halloween release date, and well, yes, I tend to lose weeks, not days!  Add to this, I am ill post my thyroid ablation.

As I am averaging 8 hour days of illustrating digitally, my free time (okay, so there is no such thing as free time when you are home schooling a teenager) is spent fulfilling my other obligations. I also had two title logos to create. When I was not doing these, cooking, cleaning, or sleeping, I was drawing traditionally.  Yes, it seems that art is my addiction.  My schedule does not seem to be slowing down, either. It is a good thing I love what I do!

Here are a few of my late night doodles.

This is a mixed media piece.  I sketched it out and outlined with micron pens, then colored some with Chameleon Pens and Prismacolor pencils.  Finally, I used watercolor paint to fill the background.

I am not sure why this image is so large. I imagine I could have fixed it, as it looks blurry, but as I have said, I am pressed for time lately. I doodled this fella in graphite while the VMAs were on.

I hope you all are safe! Here is to hoping that September brings happier events this year!

My Trip To The Library

My Trip To The Library now available

Once again I have had the distinct pleasure of illustrating for the incredibly talented and remarkably kind, Barbara poor.

I was quite pleased when Barbara asked to use the same character that I had designed for the first book I had illustrated for her, The Girl With The Curly Red Hair.

I had a wonderful time illustrating, formatting, editing, creating the cover and trailer for My Trip To The Library.

Barbara is an absolutely amazing woman.  I feel so very blessed to have met her through my art and now to once again be amidst illustrating for her with our third title together. Stay tuned to learn more about Ooooooh It’s Halloween, to be released this Halloween!

coming soon ooooooh its halloween

To learn more about Barbara Poor please visit Barbara’s Joy Of Children’s Books, to learn more about the books I have worked on and my artistry, please visit www.alysathena.com .