(It’s cloudy.)

It’s October, 2020. What a year! In the first half of this year, including during the lockdown months, I was working on two projects at once — something I usually don’t do. One project was the illustrations for a novel, Little Bird, by Newbery medalist Cynthia Voigt. The other project was a picture book of my own, which is scheduled to be out in the summer of 2021. I’m not free to reveal anything about that one yet, but I’m pretty happy about it. It was so much fun to work on.

Anyhow, this summer, like every summer, I had a birthday. Birthdays always put me in two moods: celebratory and thoughtful. Kind of like New Year’s. I have long wanted to learn, really learn, another language. While in school, I studied Spanish and German. I loved studying them, but it’s been awhile. In a now-or-never mood, I signed up for an online Spanish program with Rocket Languages, as a birthday present to myself. My plan is to work my way through the program and then seek out an immersive scenario somewhere. I’ve been at it for about 8 weeks. now. Wish me luck. Wish me persistence. Wish me continued possession of my faculties.

A few weeks ago, while doing a “weather” session, I was having trouble keeping some phrases straight. “Hay niebla” and “Hay neblina,” to be specific. (The first one is, it’s foggy. The second is, it’s misty.) I thought to myself, I bet if I spent time making little pictures of them, with the words in my head, I would remember which was which. So I did.

It worked! And one thing leads to another. I thought it would be funny to illustrate “Hace viento.” (It’s windy)

And some of the phrases, designed to teach things like “possessive pronouns,” just made me laugh a little bit. Maybe I was hearing some attitude that the writer of the program never intended. “La torta mia es mejor.” (My cake is better.) Kind of snooty. I haven’t drawn that one. Yet.

I did draw this exchange:

My house is very messy. And yours?
Mine is very clean.

And now, I’m working on a “birthday” series. So far I’ve got:

He has a gift for you.
I am buying everything for the party.

Part of the deal is that I am working on a novel, but I still want to draw, and I still like to post things to social media. I am trying not to get hung up on perfectionism with these, though in some cases I do some clean up after posting. I think to myself, you really should have waited.

So, will I keep doing them? We’ll see. It’s fun to make a relatively quick little drawing while working on a more long-term project. And I can tell you that it really does help with remembering. Give it a try!

And if you want to see mine, follow me on Instagram at @lynneraeperkins.

Hasta la proxima! (Next on my list: looking up how to get a typeface with accents, upside-down question marks, etc)