IMG_0511Last summer my son and I went on a whirlwind tour of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Along with my brother-in-law and Clay’s cousin Kyle, we visited Glacier National Park in Montana, the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone. I still have fond memories of hopping from campground to campground. 2,300 miles! Whew! There’s nothing like adventure!

This summer, I’m struggling to think of a trip to top that experience. Great adventures are like that. We all have them, but they don’t come often enough and it’s hard to top the last great time we shared with friends and family.

In my newest book, Dot and Scribble Fall into Adventure, I explore the need we all have for great adventures. The central character, Scribble, is bent on having adventures as much as possible, but Dot his friend, is reluctant to push the limits.

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter, where Hudson begins an adventure of a lifetime by drawing Dot and Scribble.

The picture Hudson drew was supposed to be a copy of the medieval picture on his desk, but it lacked the realism he wanted. Life was like that for Hudson. He could never quite make the picture into a work of art.

“I need a few characters,” Hudson said. “I need a knight, a few dragons… a troll or two, and a princess.”

Hudson looked at the picture and then at the pencil in his hand. “Come on, do your thing,” he commanded the pencil.

He knew all he could draw were stick figures. Who was he trying to fool? He drew a stick boy, frowned, and crossed him out. The boy wasn’t quite right. Maybe if he tried another.

He drew another stick person and smiled. “Better—some pretty hair and a nice dress,” he said to himself. The stick girl stood tall with straight legs, a polka dot dress, and wavy hair.

Hudson finished the picture of the stick girl, smiled, and added some dots for eyes. He looked at the stick boy and shook his head. “You’re Scribble, ‘cause you’re a mess.”

Scribble looked reckless in a fun kind of way, but he was no knight in shining armor. And the stick girl was hardly a princess.

He looked at the stick girl. “You’re Dot.”

Dot and Scribble smiled back at him.

“Honey, it’s a beautiful day outside.” Hudson’s mother poked her head inside his door. “You should go out and play. Go on an adventure. Take a ride on your bike or something.”

“I’m busy, mom.” He barely heard her close the door behind her when she left.

Hudson drew a great tree at the bottom of the mountain near the lake. He looped a rope over the tree for swinging. The final touch was a small wooden house for Dot and Scribble to live in.

He imagined that Dot swung without a care, her pretty dress and long hair flapping in the breeze. Scribble, however, swung too high and jumped off into the sky when it was his turn.

Scribble screamed with glee before he went splat.

Hudson laughed. Sometimes he wished he were an adventurer like Scribble.

He drew a dog that ran free. The dog sat pretty before Dot, but chased Scribble all over the yard.

Dot liked to sit in the tall grass and sing to the lilies. Scribble liked to run, fall in the dirt, and roll in the sloppy mud.

“Not exactly what I had in mind,” Hudson said. He looked at his picture. “But it’s a start.”Picture 4a

The picture from the book on medieval times made Hudson wish that he lived during the times of the knights. He could almost imagine what would happen. Knights would protect the castle from
invaders and dragons. There would be a key or a princess in the castle keep.

Hudson decided on a key. He drew the outline of a special key worth all the wealth in the kingdom because of its magical ability to transport its holder anywhere. Then, he cut the key out from the piece of scratch paper and placed it in the castle keep.

He finally pulled the chair up to his desk and sat, taking in his work of art.