For our prompt of “Woods” today, I sketched a red fox traveling down a slightly spooky path. Philippe and I watched a couple of Halloween movies recently so that was on my mind. Though we don’t like anything super scary. Yet, this is the first year I’ve convinced him to watch something other than horror movies made for kids. Those are definitely still on the list, of course, but I thought it would be fun to branch out a bit and try something new. The movies that we’ve watched didn’t have jump scares in them, which I do appreciate as those can seem more like a cheap gag. However, I soon realized that without having at least the threat of a jump scare, there’s nothing particularly tense about watching someone walk down a hallway at an extremely slow. Either something major is actually going to happen or nothing will happen at all. So, it’s really not too scary. Philippe used to watch movies like these with a blanket to pull over his eyes, but most modern movies in the genre are a bit more slow burn. Of course, there’s a fine line between a good slow burn and something perfectly awful and boring, but the movies we’ve seen so far strike a fairly good balance.

I’ve been wanting to start a new book project for quite a long time, but haven’t quite felt the right spark to get me going. I’m not entirely sure what happened over this past week, but I started working on an idea for a cozy mystery series and ended up creating an entire fictional town complete with business names and residents. I’m hoping to finally take part in National Novel Writing Month in November this year so I wanted to have a good story mapped out first. It’s very likely that a different project might jump in my path and overtake this one, but it’s been fun to create in a different way! I’ve always loved building fictional worlds in my mind ever since I was a kid. It’s fun to dream up people and places that might not actually exist, but totally could. And, even if I’m not able to finish an entire novel in the span of one month, a truly daunting yet exciting task, I’m just having a blast inventing something!

As I was bouncing ideas around out loud, Philippe would chime in with more ideas as even he started to get interested in the fictional little town. This is what I truly meant when I called what I do Sketching Stuff. It wasn’t just about making visual art, but simply sketching out ideas of any kind with all the incredible enthusiasm of a kid! When I stop and consider the people I admire, I quickly realize the only difference between us is that they actually DO the things I only dream about doing. The first step is the same step that led me to start Doodlewash, and I’m using the same manifesto to get me through this writing project. DO! Sometimes, the answers are so deceptively simple in life that they seem like they couldn’t possibly work. But, I’ve proven that jumping in to try something new can make the most amazing things happen, even when I find myself heading down a path less traveled.

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About the Doodlewash

Sketching Stuff Coloring Set – Da Vinci Watercolors: Charlie O’Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Opus (VIvid Pink), Indigo, and Ultramarine (Green Shade). ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with Black ink, Princeton Aqua Elite Travel Brushes, in an A5 Hahnemühle 100% Cotton Watercolour Book.
Red Fox Walking Through Spooky Woods Watercolor Illustration

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17 thoughts on “A Path Less Traveled

  1. Charlie — Hallowe’en already? I live in apartment so there is no such here but I do fly across the sky on my bedraggled old broom. I even have a sketch of me doing that.

    Do you mean you participate in the NaNoWriMo?

    Thanks for another great newsletter!!

  2. I haven’t done National Novel Writing Month in years! I did it for about 5 years, but I think that was enough for me. I can’t wait to see what sparks fly when you do it, and what the results are. It’s been a while since I had a new Charlie O’Shields’ book!

  3. Charlie, I’m so excited for you about the National Novel Writing Month! You’re awesome so you can totally wow those folks with your amazing creativity and imagination! I’m so excited! I hope Mugdha reads your posts because will love it! I’m cheering for you, my sweet friend!
    I don’t watch scary movies anymore. At least, not the recent ones. They’re a bit much. Sometimes I scare myself. I do my walking out in my backyard, like I told you, which is usually late, late at night. I take the trash out and do my walking. Like a big dummy, I sometimes get caught up in YouTube videos and somehow scary videos pop up. I know better, but I’m curious and watch. Then guess what? I start to second guess going to take the trash out and do my walking! I scare myself! Add in creepy noises! We have a lot of stray cats and they run under our house so we hear thumps all the time! Forget it, man! For sure I’m scared then. 😂😂😂😂
    I hope you have a beautiful week, my sweet, Charlie! Much love to you! 💜💜💜

    1. Hey Marisela,

      You are so right about getting me all excited to read Charlie’s posts. And I understand exactly what you go through with countless stray cats. It’s the same where I live. And those stray cats are all useless at catching mice. All they do is fight and whine!


    2. Hola, mi amiga! 😃💕 I’m super excited to give this book a go. It was fun to make up an entire town. And yeah… after watching even spooky movies, I tend to scare myself a bit when taking the dog out at the end of the night. lol But, I know I did it to myself so I can’t complain too much. Have a fabulous week! Much love to you! ❤️

  4. Hello Charlie,

    That’s a very sweet fox! And I loved this post as well as last week’s. I even had my comment all typed out but this new look to the page confused me totally and I thought I’d send you a mail instead. Though that didn’t happen either. And Wow!!! National Novel Writing Month sounds exciting! I hope to be able to get a glimpse into your fictional town. Marisela is so right! I am very eager to read your story. Much love to you,


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I’m super excited about this made up little town… hehe… it gives me a chance to make up branded shops and do some world building that I always adore. Just hope I can get that first super rough draft done in November. Then it will be lots of rewriting, but something down will feel like a win! Much love to you! ❤️

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