What Inspires Me – The Salem Academy, Book 2

I dedicated book 2 of the Salem Academy series to my daughter and her new purple glasses. When she was 5, I took her to see my optometrist, only because he had yelled at me for not bringing in my son when he was 5. My son’s appointment, at age 7, had lasted all of 15 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes looking through the color book, to confirm the known fact that he is a wee bit color blind – just a few shades, no biggie.

My daughter’s appointment lasted 45 minutes. And, we had to come back another day for him to dilate her eyes as he wanted to be as precise as possible. Evidently, the closest she sees clearly is the other side of a football stadium. She never did have headaches, that was me, when I first found out I needed reading glasses in graduate school, as I’m farsighted as well, but not to the same extent as my daughter.



I was searching for a mythical creature on the web. I came across the firebird in ancient Slavic folklore. Not a phoenix, but a different creature. One single feather can light up a dark room. It brings a quest; if you capture it unwillingly, it brings doom. How cool is that?!

I love how this pic came out. I looked at phoenix pics and peacock pics, and this worked. I drew it with acrylic pastels with an overlay of a kind of cellophane.

Oh – and a quick sideline – my son told me we needed a bad guy for this book. I decided on a bully. Everyone has to deal with them in all walks of life. A bully is a bully – someone who is seeking power over others because his or her life feels powerless in other places, or because he or she is taught that this bullying behavior is the right way of treating others. When dealing with bullies – walk away if you can, don’t start the fight, but finish it if you have to. If there is an adult you can trust, please, please let them know. Learning to defend yourself can save your life.