How does a story start?

My thoughts….Sibley and the Monster / Troll / Ogre… CREATURE… who lives under my Bed

I thought it would be fun to show glimpses into my process of a story. There are endless variations of such thought in a day, and I wonder again how anyone can be bored in life. There is always SO MUCH to think about.

Today, laying in the lovely half awake, half asleep world of an afternoon nap a story begins. “Click click click” go the dog nails on the hardwood floor. There must be six, eight, ten, EIGHTEEN legs I think. “click, click, click, click, click….” and the image pops into my mind. It is a dog caterpillar anteater creature in my bedroom. That can’t be my dog. My dog only has four legs. “Click, click, click, clack.” This creature has many, many legs and a long, low black, SPIKY furry body with a big ruff of white fur. It has a big CURVED bold nose that looks like an anteater (I am sure)… and I listen again to the “click click. click, clack” of the many dog caterpillar anteater feet disturbing my sleep. It must live under the bed I think. That cannot be my dog making all that noise, and then…

“I see, in my mind,” a big cat sitting in front of the creature. The cat bats at the dog caterpillar anteater creature and they stop and stare at each other. “What now I think?” and wait. “Click, click, click, clack” and the dog caterpillar anteater creature feet start again. The fan in the corner turns, back and forth, back and forth, going “shish, shish, shish, pish” and I see the fan is really the cat, with a funny fan face, making a “hissing, shishing, swishing” noise. Only then I am sure – Sibley and the Creature, (the next story) has begun.

Sibley and the Bad Dreams is at the proof readers. I was at a pause. I will likely paint the dog caterpillar anteater creature first since I see it so clearly. It has boots on I imagine – lime green, and a bell on the end of it’s tail. “Tingle, tingle, tingle” goes the bell. “Click, click, click, clack” go the lime green boots (with little nails sticking through). “Wibble, wobble, wibble, wobble,” its jello-like belly rolls wiggle with each step.

Where will the story end up? How will it change? What creatures will arrive? What will happen? I do not know, but as I close my eyes again (because I am very lazy in this moment, and only a little curious), I smile. The dog caterpillar. anteater creature is fat. The little footsteps are because it is FAT – really, really fat. There must be a lot of snacks. under the bed, and every time I want to sleep it comes out and raids the pantry.

“Crunch, crunch, crunch.” It eats potato chips (and keeps. me awake). That can’t be my dog at it’s bowl eating kibble. It is too noisy. No wonder there are occasional crumbs on my bedroom floor. Huh! Did you know that dog caterpillar anteater creatures love potato chips? I did not, but the truth is clear… and I doze off to sleep.

Update! Sibley and the Bad Dreams is available for sale! Also available on Amazon.