The Maiden Ship

In my last post I shared with you about how The Maiden Ship came to be, today I’d like to share my first painting inspired from this new novel, and also give you a peek at the synopsis. I hope you enjoy! Remember to follow along on Instagram or Facebook for more daily posts. 🙂

Dain Alloway was only eight years old when he began a new life, with his father, aboard The Maiden. Nine years later the aristocratic city-boy, turned merchant sailor, feels like he lives with one foot on land and one foot in the sea. Life sails smoothly by until the night he wakes to find a mysterious woman in his cabin. She reveals that not everything is what it seems, and the events that unfold after her appearance go beyond all natural law. Now, hunted by empty-faced demons, Dain finds himself thrown into a web of intrigue orchestrated by gods he’s never even heard of. As the young sailor confronts the oncoming crisis, he discovers powerful gifts buried deep within. Whether or not these new talents will hearken or deter victory remains to be seen, but, either way, Dain is ready to risk it all for the salvation and freedom of those he loves. 

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! ❤️

Good News and Bad News

Well, I have good news and I have bad news.

I’ll start with the bad news first because it’s always better to end things on a good note. 🙂

Three months ago, I, Micheline Ryckman, injured the shoulder of my drawing arm. The injury has turned out to be more severe than I first imagined. I am still unable to use my arm, for art and even for normal everyday life stuff. I’m headed for more tests, will hopefully see a specialist soon, but my guess is that I still have quite a recovery road ahead of me yet. Which brings me to the subject of Charting Stars. Graphic novels are labour intensive, the first book took me 9 months to complete, and this was working on it 6-8 hours per day, six days a week. I don’t know when, or if, my arm will ever be able to handle that kind of workload again. And I fear the possibility of re-injuring my arm or even permanently damaging it if I tried to work to that extent again. All this to say, there will not be another graphic novel version of Charting Stars in the the near future, BUT the story isn’t over.

Now the GOOD news, Erin Kleveland and I have decided to turn Charting Stars into a full fledged novel which will be released in 2019. (Release date is not yet set.) The novel will include some illustrations, not to the extent that a graphic novel would, but I’ll include as many as I can squeak in. In addition to Charting Stars getting this massive upgrade, I’ve decided to try and publish the YA novel I am currently working on myself, The Maiden Ship. This new book is completely unrelated to Charting Stars, but as soon as I am able to draw even a little, I’ll be so EXCITED to introduce you to the characters more visually. If you are interested, I’ve attached some excerpts and quotes from my newest creative endeavour, I hope you’ll take a peek. I promise to have more info and updates on these two projects in the New Year!