I came up with lots of possibilities for muddy as a drawing prompt, but at the same time I was baffled as to how to illustrate them. Mud is fun to play in when you’re a kid, but it’s not so much fun to draw when you’re a grown up trying to teach yourself art.

I decided to focus on the fun factor and forget all else. That’s how I came up with Shaggy, the Fur Monster who at the moment is engaged in a mudball fight with one of his friends. Shaggy was a bit distressed to see he’d been hit a few times. Goodness, he just washed his fur earlier! Now, look at him. What a mess!

Oh, but he’ll get even, buddy. He’s got a big mudball in his paw, and he’s ready to hurl it.


Shaggy gave me another opportunity to use those new ultra-fine point Sharpies. I wasn’t too good at judging where to place my Monsterus shaggus (from the Doodlae family) on the page. As a result his legs are a bit short and you can’t see his feet too well. All part of the learning experience for me.

I am excited to think that I’m nearing the Inktober finish line. I am going to make it all the way through the month, and that’s a first for me.

Now, as for educational info about mud, let’s turn to America’s pastime, the great game of baseball. Quite fitting, don’t you think as the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers battle it out in the World Series?

My husband and I have the Baseball documentary, and I think that’s where we learned about Lena Blackburne and his special mud. Way back in 1938, Blackburne was the third base coach for the Philadelphia Athletics. New baseballs are shiny, and that’s not good, so they’ve always been rubbed with something to take away the sheen. Spit, loose soil, shoe polish and even tobacco juice were tried back in those olden days.

MudWhen an umpire complained about the problem to Blackburne, the enterprising man saw an opportunity. He searched and found a mud that was perfect, began harvesting it for baseball use, and founded a company to sell it.

Even today, all MLB teams use Lena Blackburne Mud — the location of the source is still a secret — to rub baseballs. The mud is said to come from New Jersey — somewhere — but no one knows exactly where.

So, now you know!


      1. No serious thoughts about doing a children’s book at the moment… it’s something to consider though, complete with weird people and fantastic monsters.


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