If a photo is worth a thousand words, why is it so hard sometimes to grab those words and put them on paper? If it’s a place I need a character to be, it’s best that I close my eyes and fully immerse myself in that location. I ask myself, what does the character smell, hear, and feel? Cody the Cockatrice lived in Basel, Switzerland for at least a thousand years, but when we first met Cody, it was the year 2019. So, what was Basel like in 2019? I imagined standing up on the tall hill near the cathedral, feeling the summer sun and the slight breeze coming from the Rhine River. Taking in a deep breath, I felt the heat rise from the cobblestone road. The smell of fresh baked bread from a nearby sandwich shop and a hint of cheese lingered. Clink, clink, clink, the sound of shoes as someone rushes past me, maybe late for work. A soft thunderous sound of footsteps by the dozens, slowly meandering as tourists slowly take in the sights. Tink, clunk, thud—rubber wheels—a bike cruising down the alley, hitting every bump and dip the cobblestones laid out for them. A familiar hint of delight, a dessert, chocolate—Cody’s favorite treat! So, this is a sample of what I see when I shut my eyes.
“I shut my eyes in order to see.” –Paul Gauguin