I have just moved "home" to North Vancouver, BC. Everywhere I look, there are changes. Few of my friends’ houses are still standing. What used to be a small town is now a glass and metal city, but the mountains are still there, as are the parks and the beaches…and my heart is right where I left it; on the North Shore.
Chris is the son of Elly’s neighbour, Annie. He was named for the son of a friend of mine and I thought he would play a larger role in the strip. It still amazes me how some characters would come to life and "talk to me," and some wouldn’t — even though I wanted to get to know them!
When you are used to living in a winter climate, an image like this will tell you the temperature has warmed up and the snow has become "sticky." It will also bring back memories of working long and hard to get to a hill for the sheer pleasure of taking a 10 second ride.
This was directly from my childhood. Mom would push us out the door and tell us not to come in until lunchtime. We’d play in the yard until our fingers were stuck to our mittens with ice, and our noses were running to our chins.
My brother and I fought all the time, and it was often out of sheer boredom. When there was nothing going, on we created our own drama. I often wonder if I continue to do the same thing; when everything is going well, I tend screw something up, creating a problem I then have to worry about!
Years ago, I had the fun of touring American Greetings with Tom Wilson who did the comic panel "Ziggy" (His son, Tom Jr., continues it today). There were many artists, mostly women, working at drafting tables and in offices all coming up with ways to say "I love you," "I care," "Sorry you’re sick," and so on. It was an impressive and dedicated team of talented people.
There always has to be a villain and I created Melody Morrison in opposition to Elizabeth. Again, I thought Melody would play a larger role, but it was hard for me to make a character all bad! To me, there is good in everyone and when you show both sides, you’ve got a character that demands the spotlight. I had no room to add more characters.
I can’t say it enough: If it wasn’t for my teachers, I’d have been a lost soul. I owe so much to the men and women who gave me challenges and encouragement, and materials to work with. Most of all they gave confidence and a real sense of worth.
Lately, I have been seeing friends I knew in elementary school. We talk endlessly about our childhood friends and the many instances, which are unforgettable. I remember standing next to kids I really wanted to talk to, apologize to or befriend…but I just didn’t know how.
Friendships can be complicated. Being a "best friend" can saddle you with unreasonable expectations. My strongest friendships are with men and women who don’t define our relationship. We are simply "there for each other."
Connie and Lawrence were characters I simply couldn’t delete. For some reason, they were compelling and important. They "spoke to me." As I’ve said before, some characters allowed me to bring them to life, and others disappeared like smoke in a wind. I’ll never understand why.