Happy Little Accidents – Raven Oak

Happy Little Accidents

Last week, I was trying to take a selfie, and like many, the shutter did its thing yet none of the photos were what I wanted. It wasn’t until I was about to set my phone down that my thumb slipped and the following selfie was born.

Accidental selfie of Raven Oak featuring blue computer glasses, rainbow hair, gray shirt, and a wide-eyed stare.

Funny thing is, this happy accident looks better than most of my intentional photos—pics where I blinked or I have something in my teeth. Sometimes, happy accidents can lead to unexpected greatness, which is how I feel about a project coming up.

See, I never set out to make a holiday collection filled with short stories and art, but that’s what happened. It was the pandemic “happy accident” that kept me sane during quarantine and my double-bout with Long COVID. 

When my brain fog prevented the words, painting became my creative expression of choice, and thus, The Bell Ringer & Other Holiday Tales was born. Being neurodivergent and well, me, I’m a control freak. I schedule schedules and my to-do lists have to-do lists. When it comes to writing, I’m what they call a plotter and then some. I’m careful about writing order and world-building, and I’m a stickler for detail. But when it comes to art, there’s a freedom in letting go of control and just being inside the colors. It’s freeing in its own way and very different for me. 

It took a year but I created 28 paintings from the holiday stories I’d written, two of which I wrote during the beginning of 2020—before I got COVID and my life and thus, creativity, changed. 

So when I think about the happy accident that is my recent selfie, it reminds me that happy accidents are all around us and sometimes, they lead to wonderful explorations…such as a Kickstarter!

See, I love big books. I love big, fancy books. Pretty books filled with art and adventure, which is what this collection really is. 

This September, I’m running a Kickstarter for a beautiful, full-color hardback. We’re talking color dust jacket, color cover, and color interior, featuring all those paintings and stories I was just talking about. The book will be available as an eBook and paperback eventually, but never as this awesome full-color edition. I want to turn this happy accident into something beautiful that others can enjoy, something that sits on my shelf and reminds me that despite the struggles we’ve been through, there is beauty in the world.

Full color painting of an old house by Raven Oak from the book The Bell Ringer & Other Holiday Tales

You’ll see and hear me posting more about this project as we approach the end of September, but for now, I wanted to share a bit of it with you. If this is something you might be interested in owning, just click this link and once there, ask Kickstarter to notify you when the project goes live. That way, you won’t miss some of the awesome early-bird specials I’m planning to have. 


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