Starting a New Book, or Maybe Just a New Chapter

Many of you may know that my “spare” time the past couple of years has been taken up with writing and illustrating children’s books. I guess lavishing constant attention on my labradoodle just wasn’t making up for the few empty hours I’ve had since my children left home. The truth is, I’ve always wanted to combine my love of making art with my love of writing stories, so what better avenue is there than children’s books?

You can find out more information about my books at the publisher’s website I’m so proud to be associated with this publisher and the quality of the books that editor Jeanne Devlin produces. She recently created a new author website for me at, which I’m really excited about. I plan to start blogging about my writing and artwork on that site, and I want to do some video to show kids how to draw simple animals from the books. Stay tuned.

Besides the shameless self-promotion that I’m doing here, I want to say that I know how much you moms (and dads) give and sacrifice for your children. It’s cliché to remind you how important it is to keep something for yourself, something that grounds you in who you are. Sometimes we get so busy with life that we lose track of that – those unique qualities or talents that make us who we are.

It’s so easy to be connected these days that it can be difficult to disconnect enough to figure out where you start and end. If you had to stop and write down who you are apart from your children, your significant other, your social circle, your job, your Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter account, who would you be?

Years ago, when I worked in the Career Center at Tulsa Community College, we used to ask people what they had dreamed of being when they were children, or what they really liked to do when they were children. That’s often a good place to start getting in touch with yourself.

We can’t extricate ourselves from external demands completely, nor would we want to, but every once in a while, it’s good to step back and take inventory. My longtime desire to write and illustrate didn’t happen in a vacuum. This may be the time in my life that I have to devote to those things, but I have always done some kind of art, and I’m constantly writing (not just for work, but creating other things). The books that I’m doing now are culminations and crystallizations of many ideas, loves and interests that I’ve had over the years, and I feel lucky to have found a publisher that sees my vision, and an editor who can tell me when things just aren’t working or need tweaking.

And, completing a book can be like finishing a long run. There are several places along that way that you really want to stop. It takes some mental toughness coupled with a lot of stubbornness to get to the end. It’s not for everybody.

But my point is that there is something for everybody, whether it’s running for school board or planting a garden or finishing a 5K or helping a relative. What gives you energy from the inside out?

Categories: Editor’s Blog