Thursday, February 11, 2016

My entry for Susanna Hill's "The 1st Annual Valentiny Writing Contest"

Grumpy, Groany, Grouchy, Growl

by Kathleen Higgins 2016

"Go to your room Mikey."

     "You don't love me!" Mikey grouched

"I love you but sometimes that's what mommies do
when they love you."

     Mickey stomped and stormed into his room and slipped
     under the edge of his blue blankety world.

"Hello? Anyone home?"

"Mommy won't let me do what I want to do. Mommy doesn't love me!" groaned Mikey

Daddy swooped under the blue blankety world.

     "Love is a funny thing." Daddy said, "My mommy wouldn't let me do
      what I wanted to do.
      Sometimes I sat in a corner for almost forever. "

"Grandma didn't love you either!" griped Mikey

     "She loved me but sometimes that's what people do
       when they love you"

"I hear voices but I can't see anyone?" 

"Popa slithered under the blue, blankety world."

     "Once my brother sat on my head," Popa said,
     "he wouldn't let me do what I wanted to do "

"That's really mean. He didn't love you." grumbled Mikey.
     "He loved me but sometimes that's what people do 
      when they love you"

"Is your blanket talking, Mikey?"

"Go away, Mommy!" growled Mikey

     "We are discussing love"

          "We are talking about doing things we shouldn't do."

Three cookies silently slid under Mikey's blue blankety world.

Because sometimes that's what Mommies do
when they love you.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Valentiny writing contest from Susanna Hill February 2016

Susanna Hill, a wonderful children's book author, has a bright idea about a “writing contest in February to break up the winter doldrums” it is called the; "First Annual Pretty Much World Famous Valentiny Contest!"
 ... with prizes!

It looks like fun (and good writing practice) so I'm entering. Just 214 words about “big emotions for little people”  in which someone is grumpy. If you are interested:

Monday, October 26, 2015


PiBoIdMo: that means Picture Book Idea Month. Easy, just come up with 30+ new, original, fantastic, picture book ideas. It's not like I have the time. I mean, I'm really busy but I am also very tempted. I imagine at least 7 impossible (to mis-quote Alice in Wonderland) and this will provide a way to log them and maybe just maybe one will eventually become a book. Want to know more? Visit: I already have 3 ideas:

1) A story with frogs in it
2) The theme has to do with brothers
3) The story involves not sleeping

It has been suggested that we don't reveal all in a blog; Idea-ntity theft you know or possibly undead, idea zombies who'll eat your brain and suck those ideas right out of your head...humm...maybe idea number four...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Something Creative This Way Comes...

Amazing how creativity can lead you to where you've never been. Three months ago, in order to bring in extra cash in this stressful economy, I (re-)opened my Etsy shop (see the mini store to the right). I really didn't know if my summer brainstorm would be successful but jobs for graphic designers (and illustrators) were few and far between (there are 100 applicants for each one). So I gave it a go with something I knew I could do; create art I like.

Pelican Beakcan Bellycan
Andalusian Horse
Now in the new year I have a retailer interested in possible licensing of an exclusive character, I've produce two custom Flamingo Incognitos! and I'm still surprised that people want my artfully disguised birdies. There really IS a pink Plastic Flamingo in there somewhere (you can just see the tip of it beak in the pelican's a tongue!)

This little shop has caused me to work in my studio more, stimulated my imagination and produced a multitude of great ideas for stories and illustrations. And I am not procrastinating. Or making excuses. Or feeling like my art is 'not good enough'. It wasn't the money (though it didn't hurt), it was supplying something completely different that others truly appreciated and wanted. Wow.

I not trying to please anyone but myself. I don't copy some other character style. It is just me and my imagination and I love it. Now I'm realizing what Mark Twain said years ago, "Do what you love and the money will come"... is true.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Flamingos with an identity crisis...

Before the transformations
Creativity can strike at anytime. This summer it came in pink. Pink Plastic Flamingos, those kitschy 1950s yard birds. Inspired by the thought that maybe some pink flamingos would like to be different than the big pink flock. Individuals. Unique.

Camo Flamingo
It all started as one of those weird dreams that grab at you at 3 am and start churning away until you have to DO something about them. So I did and now they are for sale to those who always secretly wanted a pink plastic flamingo in their yard. One of my flamingos is totally camouflaged so you really could have one and no one would know it. But somehow I think that goes against having a kitschy, pink flamingo in the first place.

Steampunky Flamingo
To showcase my dream birds, I have just opened a new section of my Etsy shop called: Flamingo Incognito©. Flamingo Incognitos are at heart, plain ol’ 1950’s, kitschy, pink plastic yard birds but I re-invented them with household plastic leftovers, handmade assorted body parts, objects d’art from the studio junk drawer, paint and large doses of imagination. These flamingos make you look twice or maybe three times. Come take a peek and tell me what you think. You never know what will pop up in a creative dream.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Different Perspective...

Ah, sooo long since I blogged. Sorry about that but this blog is as good as any to start up again. One blog I follow shows the value of a different perspective. A great way to spur bouts of creativity is seeing life through another's eyes, in this case a cat's or rather a kitten's.
The blog is called Housecat Confidential ( and it is written (mostly) from the viewpoint of a kitten named Quill. With a sense of humor and a distinct opinion of what humans are for – servitude – the blog is written for anyone owned by a feline.

This month Meg Hart is concentrating on the Cat-O-Lympics narrated convincingly by a pair of fictitious announcers named Jim and Bob. First round is the Hiding event. My Cedar, a 17lb, Maine Coon, Tuxedo cat is a late entry.

It is said humans once worshiped cats as gods and Cats have never let us forget that fact.
If you have cats or if they have you, you will enjoy Housecat Confidential. Let the games begin!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Unhappy Hummingbird

With a snow storm blasting away here in the Northwest corner of the U.S. A couple of my little friends were not happy with all this snow. Luckily I keep the hummingbird feeder full and de-iced. It seems to keep them warm until the stuff melts.
I think this picture needs a caption...
When I go out to feed the birds (and squirrels) in bad weather I can feel hundreds of little eyes watching me. An interesting feeling. My daughter calls me Snow White. My husband says I have animal magnetism.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Work-In-Progress progresses...

Someone once said to put your work-in-progess on the back burners and let it simmer. Mine has been simmering now for more than 5 months so I dug deep in my nested computer files and found it. I found several versions of course but I read the last one I worked on. I had prefaced this version with a synopsis and remembered that I had spent the whole night working on it. And hated it.

However after I reread it, I liked my synopsis! I remember tossing the whole thing aside and saying it was drivel and it was a stupid story and no one would read it. Then I reread my first 15 pages of the manuscript and I realized I actually liked this story and I wanted to read more. Surprise, this WIP was OK! It wasn’t drivel after all. I liked my characters. I liked my plot. And the writing wasn't too bad for a 2nd draft.
So now I am re-energized by my own work. Now my work-in-progress is progressing.  (what exactly is 'drivel' anyway?)


Excerpt from "The Emerald Boots" 
a middle-grade work in progress by K.A.Higgins ©2010

“Applause soared up like a mountain from the celebrating crowd on the other side of the woven wicker wall, closely followed by what sounded like a huge dragon belching from somewhere high above her. Jade curled up much tighter into the small storage corner she was hiding in.

Covering her ears and pressing her face firmly against her knees she tried to drown out the noise by chanting in her brain,
This is a good idea
        … this was a good idea… 
             this is not a good idea!

A longer and much louder roaring vibrated the whole basket. The brain chanting abruptly adjusted to; “Eleven-year-olds don’t scream...
         Eleven-year-olds don’t scream…”

KaPoossh-SHHHHHHHHhhh – her whole wicker world tipped and swirled and completely knocked Jade loose.

YES, THEY DO!!!” She screamed and scrambled out of her hiding place smack dab into a pair of solid, green tweed legs.

 “Yes, they do what?” asked a Great And Powerful but familiar voice from above.”