Friday, April 13, 2012

Creative Energy

Last week I talked about Creative Frustration.  This week, however, I've seen unleashed "Creative Energy" in action!  My son, Tony, published his first ebook on Smashwords.com.  Titled, Viper Girl vs. The Poltergeist Pirate Opossum of Plundering Peril, it is the first in a series of humorous action/adventure children's books starring Viper Girl.

Here's a short description of the book from Smashwords.com:
Viper girl is enjoying an ordinary night playing her favorite video game. When she goes down to the kitchen to get a snack, she is shocked to discover a tall, thin ninja who has come to warn her that a ghostly pirate rodent is on his way to find her ... and its not to wish her well. The ninja comes bearing a gift -- something she'll need to defeat her foe. Then, the pirate shows up and Viper Girl's evening of comic weirdness and awesome adventure really begins! 
The ebook is currently on sale in several formats (they cover all types of readers, computers, electronic devices) for ninety-nine cents.  If we did the formatting correctly for the Smashwords "meatgrinder" conversion (that's where I put all my energy -- not very creative -- this week), hopefully you will see the book for sale at other online book vendors, like Barnes & Noble and Amazon, after a couple of weeks.

After weeks of working on the story, editing, re-writing, and struggling with how he wanted the art to look, he finished the book on Monday!  It was amazing to watch the energy and focus that he put into this project.
Tony is on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum and while he often has trouble with focus and attention, if it is something that he is interested in and passionate about -- watch out!!  He puts his all into it.  That's what he did with this project and he is already working on the sequel and figuring out ways to upgrade the art.  Here's a photo I took of him last night as he was studying possible ways to use shape tools in Adobe Flash to improve the art style.


At one point, Tony was convinced he wanted a career in video game design.  After pursuing a degree in that field for almost two years and talking with people in the field, he realized it was not for him.  I give him a lot of credit for having such insight at his age.  Now he is at Eastern Michigan University, pursuing an interdisciplinary major in Children's Literature and Theatre for the Young, and he is so much more absorbed by what he is doing and studying. (Of course it helps that they also have a great supports program for students with autism at EMU.)  I think he found his niche, because the change in his level of involvement, and creative thinking, and excitement about what he wants to do has been palpable.  He doesn't have it all figured out yet (does anyone ever?), but he is passionate about finding his path and making it work.

Tony has always been a "story person" -- imagining stories, acting things out in his mind, drawing characters and comics endlessly.  In fact, when he was young he had a notebook and pencil with him at all times.  I have drawers and shelves full of old notebooks containing his drawings.  (I couldn't throw them away -- it is an amazing collection).  This is only a small sample from one drawer.


Lately, Tony has started carrying a small notebook with him again.  It is good to know that he is once again ready to capture all that creative energy.

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