A Peek into my Process: Water Says What?


This was my original drawing for the page on steam…my beta readers (i.e. my husband and my son) agreed that it was hard to tell what the water on the ground was. Both thought the steam looked more like an…odor. I also didn’t feel like the perspective was quite right. So below is my second try.

The perspective is better, the colors are more in sync with the rest of the book, and it’s more concrete and relatable. In real life, many kids have seen steam in this context. And the chicken is a nod to my mom’s kitchen, a theme which she has embraced with gusto. All kitchens must have at least one chicken now…at least in my mind. 

Happy reading! 

Happy Friday!

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I collaborated with one of my favorite artists for this drawing…though his take on the pepperoni was unconventional, I felt it offered a nice counterpoint to the bland predictability of the rest of it.

Okay, fine, I let my kid draw on the pepperoni. And this is what makes a happy Friday night at the Harms household, togetherness and processed meats.

Have a great weekend!

Well, that’s unexpected.

This is the first time I’ve added up the word count for my latest project…a novel.

I can hardly bear to type that, I’m so intimidated: I’m writing a novel. It’s completely out of the blue, and it’s consumed me. I dream about it. I come up with new plot devices in the shower…I keep burning dinner because I just have to get this one little part down. I haven’t been this infatuated with anything since Birdverse.

Is it weird to love your own writing? Nevertheless, I do.

Anyway, I kept thinking this project would end up as a novella, because I was sure I’d barely be able to get it to 20,000 words…but if I’m already over 12,000, then I think maybe I can do this.

You guys, I’m writing a novel.

And yes, I covered up the section titles so I don’t give anything away when you read it. You’re welcome.

A Peek into my Process: Water Says What?

Untitled design (3)

Here’s a page from a book I’m considering self-publishing. Illustration isn’t my forte, but after a few different tries, I liked how this page came out! I like the boxy style of it, and the motion of the water in the cup. I made this in Paper by 53, which is my preferred method for drawing. (Real paper from trees has no “do over” button. I must have the “do over” button.) I also use a Jot stylus, which I just bought when I lost my old Jot stylus somewhere in the couch. (I don’t have a studio. I draw on the couch…while watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.) I like my stylus fine…there’s probably a better one out there, but this fit my budget and it gets the job done.

I added the text in Canva, which I wholeheartedly recommend. Friends, seriously–they make design so. darn. easy. I’ve learned a lot from the articles on their blog, and their tools and thousands of free images are a resource I just can’t do without.

I’m still looking at different ebook/app creators, but I’m leaning toward Kotobee right now. I’m interested in Demibooks Composer, too, but the user interface isn’t very straightforward. Anyone have an opinion?

Thanks for checking out my page!

On Kangaroos and Kidnapping

I’ve been reading the first Winnie-the-Pooh book with my son, who’s about to go into preschool. I’ve been chuckling through the old memories of Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit’s front door, and when Eeyore loses his tail…(just nod along if you don’t know what I’m talking about)…

And then we got to the chapter where Kanga and her son Roo show up. I had no memory of this chapter. Kanga and Roo are Different, you see. The other animals are uncomfortable.

“…then, suddenly, we wake up one morning and, what do we find? We find a Strange Animal among us. An animal of whom we have never even heard before! An animal who carries her family about with her in her pocket! Supposed carried my family about with me in my pocket, how many pockets should I want?”

“Sixteen,” said Piglet.

Rabbit comes up with a plan to get rid of her: they’ll kidnap her kid.

I was horrified. Um, that’s terrorism. Should I read this to my son? What kind of example is this for interacting with people who Aren’t Like Us? Living overseas as we do, we try to be balanced when we talk about similarities and differences between people groups. This wasn’t balanced.

‘Well,’ I thought to myself, ‘let’s keep reading; I’m sure Christopher Robin will step in and teach them a lesson.’

He totally didn’t. They kidnap her kid…and once they do, they realize how delightful they both are. How smart. How funny. How likeable despite their differences.

I aspire to this kind of writing. Milne doesn’t judge either party for their feelings. Different can be scary. He doesn’t condemn that. Neither does he send in the grownups to fix it all. Because that’s real life, right? He tells a real story that doesn’t moralize, but it does have an opinion. One I happen to share…and now, so does my kid. Powerful stuff.

I don’t know if it’s comforting or not that we have the same problems we had in 1926.

Devotional Coming Out Soon!

I found out this week that the MAF devotional I contributed to will be out in July! I’m excited to get a copy…though the way the mail moves around here, I’ll probably be the last one to read it. But still! It’s fun to see my name in print, but more than that, I really love the story and I hope it’ll be an encouragement to the readers.

I’ll let you know how you can get a copy once I know. (Again, always the last to know.)