Scribbled Journeys

A Poetry Collection

by Alaena Hope and V. Shalace


Scribbled Journeys is an illustrated collection of 49 poems that range from funny childhood anecdotes to stories of magic and adventure.

Join two brothers on their crazy journey to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Meet a girl who receives a magical piano from her grandmother, a boy with an ill-tempered jack o’ lantern, and a goldfish that turns out maybe not to be a goldfish after all. Learn about the world of socks, what guide dogs actually do for their blind partners, and more.

Inspired by childhood dreams and the turning of seasons, this quirky and whimsical collection is one that parents and children can enjoy together.


Paperback: $14.99

Hardcover: $22.99

Size: 6 x 9 inches

Pages: 100


Price: $2.99

Format: Kindle

Table of Contents

1. Spots and Stripes

2. Fiction

3. Of Tables and Chairs

4. End of the Rainbow

5. My Goldfish and Me

6. Scribbled Roses

7. The Shoe Life

8. Teatime

9. Puppy Eyes

10. My Guide Dog and I

11. Childhood Friends

12. Our Secret Base

13. Fog Watch

14. If I = You

15. Pet Rock

16. Not Haunted at All

17. My Strangest Audience

18. Waterways

19. The King of Kites

20. Howl

21. A True Dilemma

22. The Serpent’s Clothes

23. Footprints

24. The Thing About Pets

25. Dragonfly

26. Trot to It

27. Good Hunting

28. A Fluffy Journey

29. Reflections

30. Stage Fright

31. Just Ink and Paper

32. Stuck

33. Autumn Fire

34. Jack O’ Lantern

35. Sunsets

36. Snowfall

37. Missing Tunes

38. Home

‘39. Tis a Verb

40. This Dreadful Scarf

41. Ugly Ducks

42. Sock Stocks

43. Sometimes I Dream

44. The Music Oven

45. Gone but Never Lost

46. Little Christmas Tree

47. Sir Pricklypine

48. Building Bridges

49. A Painter of Dragons

A photograph of the interrior of the book where there is an illustration of a fairy sitting on the rim of a teacup as she drinks from a tiny cup of tea.
A photograph of the interrior of the book where there is an illustration of two lab pupplies in a basket.

So, what inspired some of these poems?

My Guide Dog and I by V. Shalace

There are a number of dog poems in this collection, including Puppy Eyes, Tis a Verb, and, of course, My Guide Dog and I. We owe all of these poems to my guide dog, Rachel. I started brainstorming for this particular poem because I noticed that many of the people I met were a little confused about what guide dogs actually do. I gave a talk once to a group of kids who thought that maybe I could just tell my dog, say, "Go to Starbucks," and she would be able to take me there. As great as that would be, that's really not how guide dogs work, and I thought it would be fun to put in poem format some of the basics.

Working with a guide dog is really a partnership. We share responsibilities when we go walking. I need to know where we are going, for instance, such as how many blocks away Starbucks is and where we need to turn left or right down a street. It's Rachel's decision, however, how fast we actually walk. I need to match my walking speed to hers, and I need to be careful not to "out-walk" her, because it's her job to help steer me around obstacles, and she can't do that if I get ahead of her. This poem outlines some of the basics around how guide dogs and their human partners actually work together to make it safely from one place to another.

Having a guide dog has really brought a lot of different colors to my life. To read about some of my experiences traveling with her, you can check out my nonfiction piece, "The Person Sitting Next to Me".

Childhood Friends by Alaena Hope

This poem is based on a stuffed animal that one of our aunts got for Alaena before we were born. It's been on her bed for most of our lives and only got retired to the closet when the fabric became so thin she was afraid it would tear. For the longest time, we both thought it was a bear, and I think I still think about it as her old teddy bear even though we now know better.

Our Secret Base by Alaena Hope

Alaena wrote this poem based on one of our more memorable childhood ventures, one that definitely did not go the way we planned. As kids, we were thrilled by the idea of having some kind of secret base, and we had all these plans for how we would want it to look and what it would include. In retrospect, those plans were astoundingly ambitious, but back then, we never really stopped to consider whether or not something was possible. At the time, the house we lived in had this patch of bare dirt that seemed like the perfect spot to start our project. I wonder sometimes how far we would have gotten if we hadn't hit concrete when we started to dig.

Pet Rock by V. Shalace

Collecting rocks was actually a hobby of mine when I was a child, and I often paid special attention to the ones that I thought were shaped like eggs. Part of me wanted to think that they were the eggs of some unusual creature, and I would wrap them up in tissue paper and put them in warm places in the hopes that they would hatch. I think I was hoping for a dinosaur or a dragon. It never happened, of course, but it's still fun to imagine.

The King of Kites by V. Shalace

This poem was inspired by a kite that someone gave us when we were in elementary school. We were super excited, because the kite had the shape of a dragon. Unfortunately, the only way we could get it to stay up in the air was to hold onto the string and keep running super fast.

The Thing About Pets by V. Shalace

There are a number of Chinese folktales that revolve around someone finding some kind of animal, usually one that's been injured, and taking it home to care for it until it heals. Oftentimes, those creatures turn out to be something other than what they seemed, such as the snake that turned out to be a dragon. That was kind of the idea behind this poem and the goldfish that turned out not to be a goldfish.

Reflections by V. Shalace

This is more a scenery poem than a story poem, but I think it's one of my personal favorites in this collection. I wrote it on a rainy afternoon after returning to my apartment from a class that I was helping with as a teaching assistant. The ground was wet and dotted with puddles, and I was thinking about how the rain affected my ability to get around as someone with a visual impairment. All the lights gleaming off water and damp surfaces along with the grayness of an overcast sky can make the world a very confusing place, and I tried to capture that surreal feeling and sense of disorientation or displacement in this poem.

Stage Fright by V. Shalace and Alaena Hope

This poem was one of three poems in this collection that really were collaborative works. In this case, I wrote the first draft, but didn't like the way it turned out. However, we liked the idea, so Alaena took my draft and revised it. The end result is the version that finally went into Scribbled Journeys. My the poem My Strangest Audience, this one drew from my experiences playing violin as a child. I participated in three competitions and a whole bunch of recitals, and every time I got on stage, I was more nervous. Many people told me the nerves would get easier the more I performed, but I had the opposite experience. This poem was an attempt to collect and comment on some of the pieces of advice that people give for trying to deal with stage fright.

The other joint poems were Good Hunting and Ugly Ducks. Both of these were first written by Alaena and then revised by me.