Looking at a carton of free range eggs one morning, I started to think about Pam &  Todd making breakfast together. . . and this came to mind.  It’s simple- it’s a small moment in a morning that sets the tone for the whole day, and it’s honest. What more could I ask for? Honesty is one of the things I strive for most in my writing and one of the greatest gifts I can receive when it emerges. It’s the thing I look for in and treasure in other writers and story tellers. . . it’s what I loved about some of my favorite TV shows growing up. . . The Andy Griffith Show, Little House On The Prairie and The Waltons- probably the show that inspired me the most. I loved how the show was told through John Boy’s writing. . . looking back, telling the stories and bringing that amazing family to life for us all.

This comic pulled together Pam & Todd as a couple for me- like the tender moments I loved in the Waltons. And especially the moments that caught me off guard. . .like when late at night, John and Liv would be in bed talking about the troubles of the day and sorting it all out. . . and then they kinda got. . . frisky? Yeah, frisky. How did I think all those Walton kids got there anyway?  And occasionally there would be a moment when Grandpa started getting frisky with Grandma. . . and she’d slap him playfully. You never know when those hormones will take over!

When I create characters and write for them, I have to believe in them and know them. . . know what they’d say, know what they’d do. . . know them like family. . . And laugh when they surprised me or maybe even got “frisky.”  This strip made me laugh when it spilled out on to my pad. Channeling my inner Earl Hamner, Jr. maybe, and letting the “frisky” moments happen.

Thank you Earl for the inspiration and creating a show that was honest, enduring, loving and down-to-earth. It’s what I strive for in my work.

(Here’s a Youtube video from the Waltons Final Goodnight, with some of the most beautiful prose Earl Hamner Jr. ever wrote- and naturally it’s about the mountain, the sky, the wind,  the earth, and the family. )

“Goodnight, Elizabeth.”

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