Questions & Answers about The Dot!
Here are some questions that Peter frequently receives about The Dot and how it came to be, as well as his answers...
Q: What is The Dot about?
A: The Dot is the first of three books -- a trilogy of books dedicated to creativity. I call it the "creatrilogy." In this first book, we meet a girl named Vashti who has convinced herself she can not draw. Her teacher dares her to make a mark. Vashti makes one little dot on her sheet of paper... which turns out to be the beginning of her creative journey!
But The Dot
is more than a book about art. It is a book that encourages us to be brave
about expressing ourselves. It gently reminds us to start small and explore
the IDEA. It is also a tribute to great teachers who know how to use humor,
"off-the-path" approaches, and who have the vision to see the
possibilities in EVERY student. The book ends off with Vashti sharing
this gift with others, beginning a ripple of inspiration.
Q: How long did it take you to write The Dot?
A: It took me about a year and a half to complete The Dot.
A: Although it did take me about a year and a half to complete The Dot, the initial idea came to me as a quirky accident. I have a promise to myself that I will make a mark in my journal each night, even if I am tired. I will try to jot a drawing, or a poem, or a word, or even a simple mark to just prove I was alive that day.
One night, when I was exhausted, I made a mark with a black felt-tipped marker and promptly fell asleep. When I awoke with a start an hour or two later, I noticed the little mark had mushroomed into one giant black dot.
I put the cap on the pen, put the book to one side and went back to sleep. When I awoke the next morning, I looked at the journal again and instead of seeing it as a mistake... I suddenly realized that perhaps this was one of the best ideas I had ever had.
I grabbed the pen and quickly jotted "The Dot" above the black dot and "by Peter H. Reynolds" below it. I had just created the cover to my new book.
The story that belonged to the cover came to me quickly after that. I had the image of a girl staring at a blank page. She was frustrated by not being able to draw. I had another image of a gentle and wise teacher who would not see a blank page, but rather the potential that was there. With an encouraging word she could help this girl take a step in the direction of self-expression.
A: Vashti is the name of the main character in The Dot. This was inspired by a young girl who I met at a coffee shop in Dedham Square, Massachusetts. She was selling flowers to raise money for her school. After I bought a carnation, she asked what I was doing. I said, "Painting. Here... you can have this one. I'll sign it to you - what's your name?"
I smiled. "Vashti? You're the very first Vashti I've met! Can I use your name in my next book?"
Her big brown eyes lit up. "YES!"
She disappeared with the drawing I had made for her. I have not seen her since. Perhaps one day she will discover The Dot and make the connection!
A: I'm really excited about the message in The Dot, and I'm eager to hear from people who are inspired to make their own mark.
|Copyright 2004, Peter H. Reynolds. All rights reserved.|