Friday, November 1, 2013

It started with an Ibis; a beautiful white bird that limped

One of my goals has been to write and illustrate a children's book. Although I completed the goal, the satisfaction is missing. I never quite got the book off the ground. But I did learn a few things about self-publishing and the difficulties in getting your name out there.

Subject matter may have been my first hurdle. Many people don't know what an ibis is. I certainly didn't before I moved to Florida. The word "ibis" reminds me of the spoken sound of "I was." So I created a poster with this play on words: "Ibis (I was) only peeking -- I'm the designated bikini watcher!" The poster is for sale on my Etsy link at

Some people think ibis are a nuisance. They forage in colonies ambling across people's manicured lawns leaving their droppings behind. I happen to love their "hunk hunk, croo croo" noises as they chatter away in ibis.

Their orange curved bills are like fingers; sensitive to touch. They probe in the cool green grass or slimy mud for snails, crayfish, frogs and grubs. If startled, they fly away revealing black wing tips that are otherwise hidden beneath their pristine white feathers. A cleansing oil keeps them white for as long as they live which can be up to 30 plus years.

My story about Inez was patterned after a real ibis in our neighborhood who is recognizable by her limp. How she was injured is anybody's guess. Mine is that she was hit by an impatient motorist who refused to wait for her to flutter to safety. She has given birth to three or four clutches since I moved here 10 years ago.

Even though she limps when earth bound, she flies beautifully like any other ibis. In the air, I lose track of her as she blends in with her "colony." On the ground, her visible disability makes me claim her for my own.

This poster is also available on the above Etsy link.
Please take a moment to check out my book; available in hard cover or paperback. Individual cards or prints of the illustrations are also for sale on