Mr. Greenbug began with the book’s last page and moved forward from there; well, actually, backward. Either way, Greenbug’s inspiration came about after watching a short documentary on fireflies.
Having been raised in Southern California, where fireflies are as rare as hen’s teeth, the first fireflies I ever saw were on Disneyland’s, Pirates of the Caribbean ride. In later years I marveled at the real ones on a neighborhood walk in Montgomery, Alabama. Upon seeing the first flash I have to say that I was as thrilled as if I were a kid at an amusement park. SPOILER ALERT: The real ones are not as bright as Walt’s Imagineers had made them.
Mr. Greenbug Flies to the Sun began as small scraps paper that I slipped into my pants pocket at work or on my nightstand at home. As the paper began to spill over onto the floor, a small cardboard box was used as the “trash paper” grew in volume. I wrote on paper towels, Sticky Notes and sheets of paper torn out of a legal pad. At one point, I even used toilet paper, 2-ply, non-quilt.
Soon the collection of mismatched paper in the box had a character to follow and the story was off and running. That was until I decided to weave the story in rhyme. Rhyming can be quite fluid and easy flowing; I would compare it to pushing mud up a hill.
The limitations of rhyming words mean the story goes where it wants to go. It is like rapelling off a cliff, gravity and the rope guide you down.
What would be Mr. Greenbug’s mode of transportation on his solar adventure? He couldn’t take a train; the closest that would get him to the sun would be Denver (the Mile High City). He can’t take a plane, the last I checked they flew high, but not high enough. The solution: a kite, of course, an interstellar one at that.
As to what he discovers on his adventure? Well, if you want to find out I will have to refer you to my book.