Ever night when I put my kids to bed there is a ritual. It begins with me looking up from my tablet to realize its bed time, and getting them cleaned up and ready. There is inevitably some type of wrestling match with my son, and a piggy back ride for my daughter. (Honestly I have had to power bomb her onto the bed before though.) It is at bedtime though that my children have my most devoted attention. The house is quiet, the sun is long gone or waning in the summer months, and it is here that they request a Bed time story. One day they won't, and it will break my heart. I know this, I know this despite being frustrated and stressed by my work load and impatient at times. I have learned to love these minutes past the twilight that belong to me, where their ears hang on my words. The stories vary, they love hearing about their grandpa Jim, and me in my youth. I am glad the moments of foolishness from so long ago can bring both giggles and dreams to them. However I have a favorite story to tell them, and it has changed slightly form the first night I told it so long ago.

There is a story about a little girl, who lives in a green house with a cherry tree in the front yard. Every night she gets ready for bed, changing her clothes and brushing her teeth. Every night she says good night to her mother. There are kisses and blankets tucked. For the last year or so though since her father has been gone something else has been happening. Every night once She falls asleep, her bear Patches wakes up....

This story is one I made originally for my daughter. One that I have rewritten so many times to catch what I wanted to say. To tell her no matter where I am I am with her. To tell her no matter what our life brings she can handle it. I am co writing it with my sister Kira who understands elements about where we are from in a way that I do not, as well despite the ass whooping of our upbringing has managed to maintain a certain glee, at least on most days. My goal with The Ballad of Nod is to bring out a story based the strength children have in spades. I have been fascinated with the dream world since I was a young young child. Its always been something I loved to think about and spend time on. Drawing is a way for me to reach out and touch that realm, to build in it like an ethereal sand box. In gaming I get to take my friends with me. Nod is my home away from home. Many days Kira and I spend more time there then here, and we want to show a glimpse of that world to everyone from the eyes of someone finding it for the first time.

The plan is that the pages will be appearing digitally. I am unsure whether that is here or on Tapas. That detail is yet to be worked out. However there will be tales of Nod. Everyone will get to come meet Patches, and see why the dream world our source of every creative thought is not solely filled with flowers and sunshine. Far too many of us bring nightmares from the real world into that realm.

So for the ones who have been paying attention to the bits of Nod work I have been doing, and sending me emails or talking to me at cons about it. Thank you. For everyone else who is bright enough to know that there is a reason none of us want to forget