Thursday, February 11, 2010

Talented Tabby: The Story Behind the Story

Talented Tabby
Written by: Mariam D. Pineno Illustrated by: Martha Pineno-Hess

“Does he always do this?” I ask as Leo makes a beeline for the art studio’s opening door. “Of course,” son-in-law Todd says, blocking the tabby cat’s path.“He’s our Official Greeter!”

Aha! A storyline inspiration. Now I’m reminded of my earlier photo-op—Leo’s lazy pose atop artist/daughter Marti’s office desk. That print begged to become a Cygneture portrait titled “Leo as Paperweight”—exactly how he appeared. Look for this painting’s beautiful adaptation as a watercolor illustration. The original oil goes along for Show ‘n’ Tell on school presentations.

I, an occasional studio visitor, admired—studied, actually—Marti’s growing Cygnet Studios Gallery collection of larger-than-life oil paintings featuring Leonardo da Cat. Based on photos, he appeared to be posing in various precarious positions on ladder tops, high railings and such.

I “put myself in the cat’s paws” (a phrase that came to me in a classroom response to “How do you know what the cat thinks?”) to ponder possible purposes in his choices of places to be. Thus, my first fiction writing took flight. My first ever kid’s book was born, its subtle message that being yourself is more than okay.

Talented Tabby, the book, is a Limited Edition, but lovable Leo will forever wrap “warm furry figure eights” around our hearts.

Thanks for reading about my story,
Mariam D. Pineno

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