Bobby blew a bubble

Four years ago I sat down and started ‘a weekend project’. We were expecting our first baby a few months later and my plan was to write a book for our child.

One thing that’s worth noting is that I am – without a doubt – the world’s worst estimator. If I think a project will take four hours, plan on sixteen. If I say I can build you a sofa table — just like the one in the Pottery Barn catalog! — and I can do it over the weekend… well, then plan on not seeing me for a month.

Looking back on my plan to write and illustrate a children’s book in a weekend seems totally absurd – even to me. But I mention it to demonstrate low expectations. This wasn’t something I planned to sell. It wasn’t even something I planned to share. I planned to print a copy, write something clever and tender inside and read it to our kids as they grew up. I wanted to be able to say, “I made this. I made this for you. I love you.” That’s it.

It took (a lot) more than a weekend. But I doubt the crummy writing and amateur illustrations will convince you of that. And I never got a copy printed. Never wrote inside the cover. Never read it to our kids. In fact, I hadn’t thought about it in four years – until I started looking back on how MarbleSpark came to be.

But this was the first step. This dumb little idea led to others, which eventually led to Following Featherbottom. Which led to MarbleSpark. Which leads to everything that happens from here on out. This book was the flap of a butterfly’s wing that started the MarbleSpark hurricane.

Below, I present to you – in its first (and probably final) appearance to the public – Bobby blew a bubble.

Post script: I finally did read the digital version to Thing 1 this past weekend – and we read it again, and again, and again… He shares my sense of humor and the bubbles in the bathtub bring down the house every time.

  • Jerri

    I'm waiting for you to post your VERY FIRST book, the one you wrote while in high school... the novelette. Meanwhile, I love this one and wish I knew how to "draw" on the computer as you did here. Love.

  • Juice

    OOOhhh "Bobby" is awesome! My boys love it. I remember Matt laughing when you read it to us in PV... when can we buy a copy?? ;)

  • lacymcclain

    I can attest to you being the worlds worst planner...I have been the one trying to meet those deadlines you gave me! Good Times! This is really awesome and I am honored to be able to say I knew you when...!

  • JenSaj

    Bobby blew a bubble was a hit with my 8, 6, and 3 year old. They giggled for a long time, and then wanted to see it again and again!!! You are very talented, Phil!!! I'm happy for your success!

  • Thanks Jen! I'm honored that you showed it to your crew. And stoked they loved it!

  • MPeace

    I remember you reading this to L at the beach four years ago. She loved it then and I still love it now. You may underestimate the time and effort for any given project, but no one should ever underestimate your ability and sheer will to create something awesome.

    If this is was came before Featherbottom, I cannot wait to see what follows. Exponential coolness!

  • It's your fault! When you called at 6AM saying you read the first draft and cried, that was when I decided it was maybe worth chasing.

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