Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Emily Reads a Book" A Story in Pictures

When I was a kid, probably 5 or 6 years old, my dad drew mazes for me. He'd fill a sheet of typing paper with overlapping roadways and dead ends and dangerous detours. For example, in one upper corner, he might draw me at the starting point. In the opposite corner below, he'd draw a lost cat, or a group of my friends, or a church (all obvious destinations of choice). Then he'd connect the two with a labyrinth of passageways. When he finished he'd give it to me, and then I'd draw my way from point A to point B, avoiding as many pitfalls as I could.

The best part was the creative distractions he'd draw, waiting for me at each wrong turn: bullies with frowny faces, bottles with skull and crossbones on their labels (either poison or, heaven forbid, alcohol), a cache of weapons (guns with smoking barrels, knives, etc.) and cigarettes (or as Dad taught us to call them, "stinky butts," incidentally the only context in which we were allowed to say "butt"). He cleverly incorporated life lessons into these homemade activities, and I subconsciously learned to make wise choices all while having fun. Teaching moments weren't wasted in our household.

I remembered these drawings last night. I was wondering how to reach a specific goal, and the things that keep me from getting there. This format of Dad's came to mind, so I made a maze of my own. I couldn't fit it all into one JPEG in Microsoft's Paint program, so I'll just show the individual "paintings" I made.

We'll call it "Emily reads a book from start to finish."

(Drawings inspired by Hyperbole and a Half).

Starting point: Me!

End point: reading all the way to the end.

The road from A to B is twisted and winding, filled with pits and potholes and lurking danger.

But mostly just distractions.

Will I make it?


It could take several days to reach my destination.

Do I have what it takes to resist temptation and press on for the greater good?  

The finish line is waiting for me.


  1. I love you and your family. I love cute little curly animated Em too.

  2. Haha! I love your drawings:)

  3. BWa ha ha ha ha. Amazing. :)