Good, better, and something only a little sad.

What’s been going on with me at Whimsical:
Writing

Lots of projects are in the works. I’m still plucking away at Toff’s TMS spin-off, Charting Stars 2, and the Sleeping Beauty retelling I’m co-authoring with my lovely friend Bryn Shutt. I love writing, but at the same time, sometimes I wish I could just snap my fingers and have a complete storyin your hand now! Just know there are a lot of fun things in progess.

Illustrating

I’m still dealing with a relapse of my arm injury, so illustrating isn’t happening as much as I’d like right now. I do have some commissions from a while back that I’m able to share now so be on the lookout for those on social media. And attached here is a little sneaky peek, one you won’t see on social media, it’s a detail of a work-in-progress fan art that I was painting of Harper and Rhen from Brigid Kemmerer’s ACSDAL before my arm relapsed. I look forward to finishing it once I’m finally better!

Publishing

Just a few more days until the release of WE COULD BE VILLAINS! I’m so excited for this book to be out in the world. It’s such a fun adventure. In addition to that, we’re also hard at work behind the scenes with Hayley Reese Chow’s Sci-fi action romance that I’m just bursting to share more details about soon!


This is a small up close detail of a fan art that I can’t wait to finish once I’m healed again of Brigid Kemmerer’s Rhen and Harper from ACSDAL. Hope you find this sneak peek fun!

 


WE COULD BE VILLAINS
kindle sale!

We Could Be Villains by Megan McCullough in ONE WEEK! Are you as excited as I am?! To celebrate, the Kindle version is on sale for only 99 cents on Amazon! But hurry, this deal is only valid until the book releases on October 3rd.

And don’t forget you can still pre-order a paperback copy from my website, which is the only way to get the pre-order goodies, including a signed bookplate designed by Megan herself!


We Could Be Villains
Read-a-Long


To celebrate the launch of Megan’s WCBV, @literaryfaery will be hosting a read-a-long on Instagram beginning on October 7th. Be sure to watch her Instagram for details coming very soon. There will be weekly check-ins and there might even be prizes involved. 😉


I will be going LIVE with Megan Mccullough on Instagram on October 1, 2022 at 5pm PST. We’ll be chatting about writing, publishing, and all things
We Could be Villains!
I hope you’ll join us!


Discontinuing merch is still on sale!


As a reminder, I’m no longer going to be stocking headbands, totes, or mugs in the shop, so whatever’s still there is all there is! If you’ve been eying something, you better hurry over and grab it now!

Stock of these items is ALMOST GONE. At the time of this newsletter, there are only (3) Maiden Ship Compass tote bags, (3) Scarlett headbands, (5) Maiden Ship compass headbands, and (2) Charting Stars mugs!

These products are 50% OFF the lowest listed price. Use code CLEAROUT at checkout.


Charting Stars Rebrand will be delayed

This is the “little sad” part. We’re still planning to re-launch Charting Stars with an exciting new cover, but plans have been slightly altered and it’s a better fit to re-release it later. We will keep the Street Team sign-ups open, however, so if it’s something you are interested in, please complete this Google Forms questionnaire. All street team members will receive a Kindle edition of the book for free!

August Wrap Up!

(Read on for details about our 50% closeout merch sale!)

What’s been going on at Whimsical with Micheline Ryckman? Well…

Writing

I’m still working on the Maiden Ship spinoff featuring Old Toff when he wasn’t so old! Also announced this month – I have a super secret project I’ve been working on with fellow author and friend Bryn Shutt! There’s not much I can share just yet, but I can tell you it’s a Sleeping Beauty retelling and we’ve teased some art of two characters on Instagram so far. Go check them out here and here.

Illustrating

I haven’t been able to do a lot of illustrating lately but that’s just par for the course when you live with chronic illness. Some days/weeks/months are better than others. I’m hopeful my arms will begin to feel better soon and I can get back to creating lots of fun character art for you all!

Publishing

We’re hard at work editing the upcoming book from our third author, Hayley Reese Chow. Still no details that can be revealed yet, only if you love sci-fi, keep your eyes peeled for updates because this is a book you will not want to miss! We Could be Villains by Megan McCullough is releasing in a little over a month, so don’t delay if you plan to preorder! It will be here before we know it!


Have you joined our Facebook group?

Are you in the FB group yet? If you’re not, you’re missing out on some fun things! This past month, we gave away ten sets of seconds/oopsies postcards. There will definitely be more in the future, so hurry on over and join us! We’ll also offer exclusive first looks and sneak peeks there that won’t be seen anywhere else.

JOIN HERE!


Reminder: WE COULD BE VILLAINS

We Could Be Villains by Megan McCullough releases in just 5 short weeks!! I can’t believe how quickly time has flown since we announced this fun superhero story back in the spring, but suddenly it’s almost here. If you haven’t preordered yet, time is running out!

Currently, only Kindle (e-book) format is available from Amazon, but after release day (Oct 3rd) you’ll be able to buy it in hardcover and paperback wordlwide. If you order from our shop website, the only option is paperback, BUT only orders from the shop include all the fun bonus items seen below, including a signed bookplate designed by Megan! Remember the shop prices are shown in CAD, not USD, and be sure to use a rep code to save yourself a little bit more! A link to all the current reps can be found a little further down in this newsletter.


Current W.I.P.
Anyone recognize these characters? This is my current Work In Progress, it’s a bit delayed because of my arm/health issues at the moment, but as soon as I am better again I’ll be finishing it!


Welcome, Fall Reps!
We just announced our 2022 Fall Rep team so go check out the new additions on Instagram and give them a warm whimsical welcome! Keep an eye out for their rep codes too!


Miscellaneous Merch Closeout!

There is a VERY limited stock left of the four products shown in the photos below. Since Whimsical Publishing is growing, we need to clear out this stock to make room for new, exciting products from our authors.

As an impromptu Labor Day weekend sale, these products are 50% OFF the lowest listed price. These will NOT be restocked once they’re gone, so if you’ve had your eye on something, get it quickly! Each item has less than 10 left in stock.

Use code CLEAROUT at checkout.

Hoping your Wednesday is full of goodness all!!!

JUNE WRAP-UP

From the desk of Micheline Ryckman

(Pssst! There’s a special offer just for newsletter/blog subscribers
at the end of this email!)

What’s been going on at Whimsical:
Writing

I’m currently working on a spin-off of The Maiden Ship, featuring one of its beloved characters in his younger years. Any guesses who this new story will be about?

Illustrating

I’ve been hard at work the past several months completing commissions and they are (almost) finally finished! Because of that, I’ve had little new art to share publicly but that will be changing soon! I’ve had quite a few fan arts and personal projects planned and I’m excited to make some progress on those! Commissions will be closed for a bit but I’m very excited for you to see what I have in the works.

Publishing

In case you missed the recent news, one of Whimsical Publishing’s books is being featured in Unplugged Book Box’s August YA Crate! The book will have a limited edition hardcover binding, gold embossing on the hardback, an exclusive just jacket with reverse artwork (artist TBA), exclusive professional STENCILED edges, and a digital signature! Check out the graphic below to order your copy!

More publishing news – eARCs were sent out for We Could Be Villains! We are so grateful to all our ARC readers and if you weren’t selected this time, please don’t be discouraged. I’d send one to everybody if I could. If you’re interested in becoming an ARC reader, check out the link in the menu above.

Click the image above to order the book-only option. For the full YA crate that includes the book + bookish items, click this link after July 6th when the August boxes go on sale!

COMING UP:

Click Image to order!

We Could Be Villains is still open for pre-order. Remember the pre-order incentives (including a signed bookplate) are only included in orders from here on my website. This superhero novel is perfect for fans of pop culture and comics, as well as theatre kids and anyone who loves to hate the perfect villain.


CURRENT WORK IN PROGRESS:

Do you recognize these two?
Did you know there’s a full line of birthstone bookmarks in the shop? Click the image of the bookmark to be taken to the listing! And as a special thank you exclusively for my newsletter/blog subscribers, you can use code PEARL to save 20% on birthstone bookmarks.

 

 

 

Find Your Power

Mental health awareness is super important, and I’ve created several paintings over the past couple years dedicated to helping raise awareness. This new piece here is inspired by a dear friend @bookiblelecter who lived through and overcame a difficult childhood filled with depression and anxiety.
I won’t outline her whole tale, but through all of her life struggles she found a great deal of power in STORY—all forms of story actually; books, movies, and even games. I was particularly drawn to this small excerpt from what she shared with me:

‘My love of books gave me portals to the adventures in life I craved. I could find people like me within the pages or people I wished or aspired to be (which helped me become a braver, kinder person). I found a secret magic in books and I will FOREVER be grateful for these stories and the people who create them. I owe parts of my sanity to fictional characters who were my friends when I had no others. My innocence and wonder survived because of the magic within books. I’ll never be able to fully express it and I’ll forever cry thinking about it.❤’

I wanted to portray this magic she spoke of and the power she felt it gave her to always keep fighting. Hence the title I wrote above, ‘FIND YOUR POWER’. ✨

This painting is available in my shop as a fine art print (and in a couple weeks it’ll be available as a postcard too). ALL of the proceeds from the sale of this art will be donated to Tourette Canada which is a charity organization that supports and raises awareness for Tourette syndrome. My son suffers with TS, OCD, and depression and Tourette Canada did a great deal for our family while he was growing up by connecting us to resources and support.


If you’ve read this far, then you’re my hero! 😘 I also wanted to say that this character was greatly inspired by the aesthetic of the beautiful @n00tti , so please take a peek at her account and give her some love.
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And lastly HAPPY EASTER TO THOSE WHO CELEBRATE!!!🐣 🐰

A TRIBUTE TO THOSE ON THE FRONT LINES OF THIS PANDEMIC!

This tribute of gratitude goes out to ALL of our front line heroes right now! I couldn’t perfectly represent all of you here in this art, but you know who you are! <3

To all our healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, care aids, scientists, first responders, firemen, paramedics, law enforcement, border guards, police, military, essential public servers, grocery store staff, pharmacists, janitors, factory workers, mail delivery staff, city service workers, child protection services, social service workers, uber and taxi drivers, truck drivers, and all those keeping us afloat like teachers, pastors, and people spreading positivity online… I know I’ve probably missed some of you, BUT WE ARE IMMENSELY GRATEFUL FOR YOU ALL!!! Thank you for keeping us going through this pandemic, you are REAL HEROES!

Show these heroes your gratitude and honour their sacrifice by staying home!

Vision vs Execution

“After a few months of practice, David lamented to his teacher, “But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get it out of my fingers.”

To which the Master replied, “What makes you think that ever changes?” “ ~ Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland

Yesterday I posted a portrait of my character, Sable, on IG and I hated it. I tried hard to convince myself to like it, but I couldn’t do it. She just did not look the same way she did in my head. It maddened me. I deleted it. And then today I started all over again. The portrait you see here is my fourth attempt at Sable. That’s right, yesterday was my third. She has been down right obstinate, and nearly impossible to capture.

If you are a creator, then I bet you too have faced this kind of frustration. Our vision rarely fits our execution. It’s like the image in our mind’s eye gets twisted, mucked up, and lost in translation. On rare occasions it manages to work out, but for the most part it’s much like Picasso said, “I begin with an idea, and then it becomes something else.”

Now, we can do one of three things with this experience; we can simply give up, we can try again (and again, and again in my case), or we can just accept what Picasso calls “something else” and move onto the next creation. Nowadays, option two and three is where I usually land, but in the past I have given up. I don’t recommend it. It’s important to realize that our vision (the picture in our head) is, as the Master said to his student above, always going to exceed our abilities. And, in the end, this is NOT a bad thing. Without this vision we would never improve. The vision pushes us beyond ourselves. It asks greater things of us each time we create. While we strive to reach it, we grow. And growth is good.

Am I completely satisfied with how Sable came out today? That’s a good question. Maybe… She’s a bit better, I think… Either way, she’s taught me a lot. 😉

Sable is an original character from my up coming novel, The Maiden Ship.

From Adversity to Creativity

Isn’t it amazing how adversity can redirect our path? Most of you know that my drawing arm was severely injured six months ago, and for nearly five of those months I could not create art. It was an immense blow, not only financially, but emotionally. In addition to other chronic health struggles, this injury pushed me to my limits, and for the first couple of months I struggled through a profound depression. Eventually I sought professional counselling services, and for the sake of my mental health, I worked hard towards finding another creative outlet.  

It was writing that I steered towards. It was something I could do despite my physical state, I could dictate verbally when the pain was too great, and I could use my good arm to type on the better days. It became a way to get the pictures out of my head without being able to draw them, and it gave me a sense of purpose amidst the suffering.

Years ago, when my children were small, I started a novel called, ‘The Maiden Ship’. However, as work and the demands of life accumulated I set writing aside. After nearly a twenty year relapse I returned to this book, and I returned to it because of adversity. Surprisingly, I managed to finish the novel just as my arm slowly began healing at the five month mark. The book is completed and now in the editing phases. The thing is, if these struggles had not happened to me, I very likely would have never written the book. I would have been too busy making art. (Which is still obviously my favourite thing to do in the world. 😉 )

I know this is the first book I’ve ever attempted on my own, so it’s definitely not going to be a New York Times bestseller, but that was never the point. If, in the end, only three people read it, I’m good with that because, honestly, this novel has already proven it’s worth, it saved me. That’s what makes it special. 

All that to say, this is my first drawing related to my new novel, and I promise to share more details about these characters, the synopsis, and the release date soon, but for now, if you’re interested, take a peek at my Maiden Ship story highlight on Instagram to read some quotes and see some character aesthetics. 😘

If you read all the way down to here, then you are my hero, and the truest WHIMSY at heart. You are loved! ❤️

Charting Stars Progress

Hey friends! Just a little post with some sneak peeks and also to let you know things are still progressing!!! Only one and half chapters left to draw in our first volume of Charting Stars! It’s amazing the things you learn during a process like this and I’ve certainly come to a full understanding of how long it takes to create a graphic novel! Haha! Whew! Our hope was to have the first book released by the end of this year but things in life just like to take their own course sometimes and our release date is looking more like it will be in January. Never fear though, this book is coming even if it’s later than intended!!! Thanks for your patience and for sticking with us!!! Pssst… remember you can follow along more closely with us on Instagram or on Facebook!

A QB Tale

A little QB comic tale for you today! 🐿💕

For new followers who haven’t yet met the main characters from our upcoming graphic novel, Bash (first frame) and Jarrett (last frame) are rivals for Talia’s affections. QB (the squirrel) is Jarrett’s long time travelling companion and friend so that’ll help you understand the end a bit more. 😊 Mid-way are Maren and Moses (always quarrelling 🙈) and a sleepy Drew. Please consider following Whimsical on Instagram for more daily posts.

Charting Stars Character Glimpses

Talia never talks this much. Actually she is often more of a listener than a talker, but for some reason when she’s with Jarrett she just really wants to share everything.
Moses takes his night watch shift very seriously.
Bash: “They are called Nether blooms. Occasionally a merchant will happen upon a magic user who is willing to sell minor spells and potions. In this case the potion applied to the flowers prolongs their bloom for nearly a lifetime. A rare find. My hope is that you’ll accept my gift as a warm welcome to the Nine Realms.”
“What do you want, Moses?” “I thought that would be obvious. Kindly honor me with a dance, Milady?” The gypsy emphasized his request with a proper bow, his gaze never leaving Maren. . “Take a walk, sir.” . “Cruel, cruel Maren. What of the benevolence between our people?” A familiar smirk began to tug at Moses’ lips as he leaned casually over the irritated woman. “Chalk it up to an act of diplomacy?” . Matching his smirk with her own, a hint of amused pride gleaming in her eyes, Maren’s voice grew hushed as she took a single step closer to punctuate her reply. “The only act of diplomacy you’ll see from me is if I deem it appropriate to land my knife in your left boot.” . Retreating with hands raised in surrender, the prince’s manner showed no signs of disappointment, respectfully dipping his head in farewell as his smirk softened with an amused chuckle. “Understood. Perhaps later then.”