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Children's Book Cover Illustration Idea


Whimsical epic poetry to be swept away by...

Comments (21)


Bet it happened "on a dark and stormy night"! :)


'twas a dark and stormy night... when the wind gripped our dear raven from his panicked flight and slammed him to the floor of the Duchess's coach with the thud of wet mud. I won't lie to you. It hurt. Sooo much. His wing twitched and the Duchess cringed in sympathy, just as soon as her screaming subsided...


Anybody want to join in & write a collaborative poetic tale? I'll start it off, anybody jump in with a verse or two of your own. Maybe we can overwhelm the spammers with content.

Once upon a crooked mile
a raven met a duchess
He’d left a while his constable
for he'd tired of their ruckus
The raven croaked a low “Hullo”
the duchess felt suspicion
Was this raven a foreboding omen
or a sign of God’s provision?

The raven saw her worry
and endeavored to put her at ease
He threw himself upon the wind
and sailed above the trees
He was gone but for an instant
and returned with with a prize offering
A blue marble from his peculiar stash
of bright indigo geegawish things

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John Cox:


You got the rhythm down nicely. I think that's the most important part of making this style of poetry/storytelling fun.

Impressed, sir!


Nice, T! I was hoping for collaboration. Alas, I whiffed on the whimsy. And the poetry. But it could've been epic! :) ...

But the bauble slipped and bounced away
so our raven flit off to get it
And when he returned his head hung low
for all his mystery had vanished
Yet the duchess broke wide the warmest of grins
her heart beat bright and bravely
For what awkward and self-conscious a start
brought evil portents gravely?

John Cox:


Nice. Glad to see you guys riff.

My original concept had to do with a credulous royal receiving advice from a trickster raven, who in another incarnation, was a victim of her husband, the Duke.


Oooo, nice plot! How about a trickster slash accident-prone raven? :) His bumbling only occurs when he's doing something wicked to her, like part of him doesn't want to do it.

So far she does seem credulous but not stupid. She expects she's in a trite story of good and evil but she's wrong. Let's see where everyone takes us.


One more before bed...

Solemn she grew, transfixed she stared
as the marble came close to her eyes.
Hazel they were but now shown blue
as if her soul turned wise.
The raven fell sad and fearful then
at what he set in motion.
But her shoulder he took and nestled her nook
As he whispered in his potion.

John Cox:

Once again, neat. What's the outline of the story (where's the conflict and where's the twist?)

Plugging in random rhymes is amusing, but a short description of where the story bends into a whimsical parable(?) is tricky, no?

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Sorry, I didn't mean it to be random; I just meant to take small steps. Or do you mean that my words don't quite make sense? Was my last one too metaphorical or yoda-ish?

I was hoping that twists within your outline would manifest organically from each of us. The risk is that the plot might flop around and need revision. I agree it is tricky.

My twist so far is that the raven is flawed and conflicted in his vengeance. His success humorously and whimsically hinges on his failures. Like a sinister but believable deus ex machina. The overall moral could revolve around getting what you want even when you shouldn't.

I can make up some details if that's what you are looking for (featuring some evil ray ban sunglasses :)), but I wonder if I'm missing what you mean by "whimsical parable" or "epic". Could you elaborate?

John Cox:


BOY am I ahead of myself! We're just goofing around with an idea. I've got NO plans.

I appreciate your last message. Thanks for your enthusiasm and creativity. I didn't mean to give the impression I have anything cooking. This kind of "what if" post is strictly to explore.


I feel the same way; I just didn't know what to say. I should've just responded with sympathy, I guess, rather than a stream of consciousness dump. :)

Dr. Bob:

I'd just like to have the raven peck the eyes out of the spammers here and then the Dutchess give them a swift kick in the male swimsuit area.

Oh, and sorry it doesn't rhyme.


Interesting seeing John's original intent. My idea was to write one verse laying down a bit of story line, & then write a second that introduced another element that was suggestive, but still open enough that somebody else could take it in just about any direction...

...then they'd do the same, & we'd all get to see how many twists & turns the story could take. FWIW, I was thinking of the blue marble as an allegory for earth (but I thought it would be interesting to see what others would bring to the story given a suggestion but not knowing explicitly where the previous posters intended to go).

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Children's Book Cover

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John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

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