Critter of the Month: Apatosaurus

Meet Ajax. He’s a gentle giant with a big heart and a big appetite.  He’ll do anything for food and a belly rub.  And when I say anything, I mean anything…

 

Ajax update3

 

 

Ajax is big, heavy, and always hungry.  He’s got a knack for sniffing out treats and getting into places he shouldn’t.  He really didn’t think things through when he squeezed into the shed that one time…

But usually he doesn’t have that problem.  No one knows who left the gate open anyway, and whoever did it isn’t talking…but most days are pretty uneventful.  Filled with eating, drinking, and possibly watching the big guys size each other up to see who’s toughest.

See the ones way out there in the pasture, standing back on their tails?  They’re blowing up their necks like a couple of bullfrogs.  My goodness they’re loud!

Bronty herd sketch_flat
The ladies seem mildly interested…unless you have an itch to bite at.

Now did wild Apatosaurus do this?  We really can’t know for sure, but they do have super thick necks compared to most other long-necked sauropods, so they must’ve been doing something weird.

Some experts speculate that they might’ve neck-wrestled each other.  A bit like giraffes or even some reptiles do today.

Unlike giraffes and most reptiles though, these big guys are quite comfortable standing up on their hind legs.  They can’t walk very well this way, but they can stand up to get a better reach for the tree-tops.  A strong tail is like the third leg on a tripod or three-legged stool.

This way Ajax can stand still and get a lot more food without even having to move!  A good thing if you eat all day.

 

Making progress…

I’ve been making a lot of progress on my little collection of short stories. 🙂 If you’ve taken a peak over at the critter page, you might’ve noticed all the profile pictures getting a bit of a face lift. I haven’t done all of them yet, but they’re almost all there, and that’s because I’m cleaning them up for the collection. Here are the ones I’ve updated so far if you haven’t seen them yet. 🙂

Bowser profile_updateflatDouglas profile update_websiteSkittles_profileupdate2Ajax update3

Nessie profile_boxupdate.jpgTigger profile updateflatAlfred profile update_flat

Ron profile_updateflat

anthology progress.jpg

This is a big part of what I’ve been working on this month. Fixing up the profile pictures to make them look good for the collection, drawing black and white illustrations to sprinkle throughout the stories, and trying to figure out formatting!

So here is where I’m at so far…

  • 11 out 14 stories are revised and finalized for printing.
  • 3 stories still need editing and polishing
  • 5 stories need their critter’s profile pictures polished in the same style as the ones above.
  • Daisy and Copper the Camptosaurus need a complete update
  • Almost all short stories need 1 or 2 “ink” illustrations.

So I’d say it’s a safe bet to say I’m about halfway there. My goal is to be ready for publishing by the end of the year, but I’ll be happy if I can manage to get half of it looking final and ready. In the meantime, learning about book formatting has been very interesting. I’m still in the process of figuring things out, and I haven’t found a layout that makes me happy just yet. The screenshot you see above is just a placeholder until I come up with something better. I’ve been looking at some of the kids’ books I have here for inspiration, the ones with more than one story within the same book.

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I like the box encasing the illustration for this one, though I’m not a fan of the patterned background. Personally I would’ve left it a solid color.
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I really like the “frame” for this one too, and as far as patterned backgrounds go this one is much better. I’m not too sure about the text, personally, but overall I really like this cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I like the layout of these pages. The border makes them look neat no matter where the illustrations are. Of course my stories are geared to readers who are a little older than the general readers of Little Bear, but I think the overall look would work well.

 

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I like how simple this cover is. I may add a box to “contain” the illustration and make things look neat and polished, but I like how clear and simple the title is. 
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I’m loving the simplicity and neatness here. I’ll be doing something similar with the color illustrations I have before each story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I like the layout for the Peter Rabbit stories too, though I think the illustrations and scattered text is just a tiny bit disorganized. I do like the style of the text though, so I may settle on a combination of styles between Little Bear and Peter Rabbit. 🙂 I’ll definitely be going more along with Winnie-the-Pooh when it comes to the illustrations though. All the drawings on the inside are simple pen and ink, though I may experiment with the slightly colored Little Bear style. We’ll see.

Ultimately I’m trying to get it done quickly while still doing the best I can to ensure I have something that looks professional. I’ve been working with half-baked projects for so long I need to have something finished! Well, technically I’ve finished all the short stories and illustrations here on the site, but I mean something physical. Something I can see on my shelf that I can take out and flip through. That would be awesome. 😀

 

Coming Jan. 1st… (wow is it that time already, my goodness time flies!!)

These two gentle giants love making new friends, the more the merrier! 🙂

Share your guess in the comments! They’re a couple of critters over on the critter page. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Critter of the Month: Apatosaurus

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