A “Read-Beside-Me” Book Video

If all goes well, this book will be available in early April. It is the first to be published under the Gracie Press imprint. I hope this video captures the sweet and hopeful feelings I would like readers to take away from this story.

The only illustration in the video but not in the book is the first one from The Feed And Seed Store. I do like it though because it shows the vulnerability that we all may feel from time to time when things don’t make sense and we are unsure about life and the future.

This is what I call a “read-beside-me book.” That’s because it is best shared side-by-side in a big comfortable chair. The story contains words children may need to hear aloud from the important adults in their lives.

One of my favorites is “You are more important to me than anything.” I imagine the reader pausing at that point and saying, “I feel the same way about you.” With all that is going on in the world and with all of the distractions of daily life, it is something children need to hear from the important people in their lives. Another is “You are so much more than good enough.”

Maybe, if nothing else, this book can help us speak from our hearts to children (and chickens) so that they will know, “This world is truly A Most Wondrous Place for me because you and I share it together with Love.”

 

If this does not play inside your WordPress reader, just open this post in your internet browser. (I think it looks better there anyway!) Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated! 

What’s The Message?

The last few weeks have been very busy for me in both of my jobs. I say “both” because while I do have a part time job that I go to four days a week, writing and illustrating have grown into another job! I’m not complaining, of course!

What are some of the things that have been going on? Well, I took the leap and bought my own ISBN’s. That is a big leap for me because it says, “I’m serious about this.” This also let me establish my own publishing imprint name: Gracie Press.

This week I received a print proof of “A Most Wondrous Place.” There are still a few edits to do, but it should be ready soon. Overall, I’m very pleased with how it looks. Of course, I still need to read it to the chickens as they have final approval over any of the stories that are published about them.

Maybe we can sit and read it together this afternoon. But I remember how they have been hinting that we need to get out and dig in the garden. They may say it’s to prepare more space for flowers and vegetables, but I know it’s to hopefully find some earthworms!

But back to what this post is mostly about. I’ve been thinking about “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” and now “A Most Wondrous Place.” I’ve been asking myself, “What’s the message?”

Do you remember how in “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” Pearl struggled to figure out how to be “a good normal chicken”? Do you remember how she never did figure it out, but found out it wasn’t as important as what she had thought? In the end, she discovered she was much more than good enough.

The same happens in “A Most Wondrous Place” for Gracie. She did not look like the other chicks from the beginning. She developed a lump on her side that kept her from doing what the others did, but she still danced and that is what she loved the most. She was the least likely to ever become the leader of our small backyard flock, and yet that’s exactly what happened. Like Pearl, Gracie also discovers she is much more than good enough.

And so perhaps that will be an important message in my other books too. Maybe people (both children and adults) need to know “You too are so much more than good enough.”

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated! 

Rewrite, Redesign, Reinvent


This week was not a particularly productive one for me, friends. I was not well on Wednesday or Thursday this week. Wednesday is my usual mid-week day off at work and I normally use that day to move forward with my writing and illustration tasks. But that didn’t happen this week. Towards the end of the week and then yesterday, I was able to put together today’s post offering. 

For rewriting, this is a new opening page. I have heard that you have to capture a reader’s interest from the first page. It’s my hope this beginning will accomplish that important job much better than before.

For redesigning, there is a “chicken-y” font for the chapter title and a serif font for the chapter text. Rather than having a large full-page or partial-page illustration, the title banner now includes a smaller illustration to hint at the content. I’m hoping the smaller signals the story is for a slightly older reader.

For reinventing, much more needs to happen, but I think I am getting to a better place and hopefully more willing to try new things. It has been difficult for me to write events that did not actually happen in real life to my chickens, but I am getting better. I suppose if I can talk with chickens and they can talk with me, then most anything is possible.

Perhaps there is a much broader story to tell over a series of stories. That would indeed require a huge amount of rewriting, redesigning, and reinventing.

Do I believe in the grander story? I do. Somehow I have to get Gracie onto the stage of The Paris Opera Ballet. It is our dream, and it all began with a simple “Peep!”

So I’m feeling better now and wanted to share this post with you and spend some time today catching up with my WordPress reading.

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!