Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remembering Mac III: One Day With Mr. Tone

One Day With Mr. Tone - Proposed Cover Illustration - Digital - 2012, DS

"Now, when I see birds," he said,
"I think it's time to fly...
Even cats and turtles
Like to take to the sky.
For, one thing we've found,
When getting around:
It's more fun in the air,
Than it is on the ground!"

- Excerpt from One Day With Mr. Tone, a children's story in verse, 2010, revised 2012, DS


"You might try visiting in the summer... then you'll probably find Crazy chasing butterflies. And, if you look very carefully and slightly askance, you might notice two other cats watching from a distance... One of whom looks suspiciously like it might be Crazy's twin.
And, if you're really lucky, you just might find a tall young man in a black fedora standing nearby. He's just passing through, too, you understand... for a chance meeting with some friends."

- via a Post-Mac Blues post from November, 2009 - The Kauffman Memorial Garden


I first posted on Post-Mac Blues about Mr. Tone in 2010, under the erroneous assumption that my early draft was ready to fly - a "done deal", or so I thought at the time - but, it's always a mistake when it comes to written material to make any such declarations... As a matter of fact, it's naive to assume that anything is finished! Like it or not, each and every creative endeavor is a process... what appears to be a "done deal" is invariably unfolding.

And, that goes for the Mr. Tone cover illustration, too, which, as a few of you may notice, has changed quite a bit from the original. The first Mr. Tone finally appeared to my eyes - and, to my horror - like some sort of psychotic predator, black clothing and all, Not the stuff of little kid's books - well, certainly not today's group. Actually, I'm getting the impression that maybe Mr. Tone, as benign and innocuous of a ghost as he may be (because, of course, that's what he is, though I'm not sure he knows it), is not at all the variety of story being published today in our present paranoid world - most especially for young children -  and most especially because I'm not an established celebrity. (Can't you just wait for a kid's book by the Kardashians? I could.) Which is not to say I didn't try. I sent a book proposal to two publishers months and months ago. Result: no joy.

I still think the story is a fine one, and Mr. Tone - inspired by Mac, of course and/or my speculation of a similar personality as all-spirit - and all his ghostly animal companions - 2 cats, a fish and a box turtle* presently, but his menagerie may expand - continues to resonate with me. Perhaps the story might fly for older children... provided I nix the verse form. Then I can get more cutting edge - which I think Mac would appreciate - and make further changes... The fish in Tone's balloon, for instance, is actually a tribute to my deceased "coral beauty" (see Orfeo), but if Mac is really in this story somewhere, well, you know and I know, that what's really in that balloon is a jellyfish!

* About that box turtle... some time after I had completed my first draft of the story, I learned that Mac, as a child, used to rescue box turtles from the road which passed by his MO home. And I named the turtle Rocky, only to find out later (once again) that the original - and departed -  park cat at Kauffman Garden was named "Rocky". Go figure.

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NextRemembering Mac IV: The Dragon and the Pearl

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