I’m asked by a lot of people why I chose to write children’s books. Everyone has a story to tell, thoughts to express, desires they could only reveal while wearing the masks of their alter egos. In a nutshell, everyone is born to express something in some form or fashion.
Coming to the realization that children’s books was the place for my talents wasn’t a fast or easy to find answer. I’ve been an artist since I gained the motor skills to finger paint, I’ve considered myself a writer since the fifth grade when I had to write a daily journal entry in my English class and discovered the sheer enjoyment and release that writing brought to me. By putting my bright green pen on a sheet of notebook paper and transforming a one line assignment on the chalkboard into a full page story, full of twists and turns, emotions and color was exhilarating for me. Honestly, I enjoy living in that fantasy world that’s in my head. To take that journey that whisks me away from reality and into the perfect world where I create my own utopia, that’s all mine and that I can escape to is just one hundred percent freedom to me.
I have been bringing my perfect world out for years into my paintings and short stories. I never released my short stories to anyone, but my paintings are out there for all to see. I had always dreamed that someone would take a look at one of my paintings and have trouble looking away. I wanted my paintings to become an escape for others. One look at the bright and bold colors that I always use would suddenly create an explosion inside of you, bringing to the surface that fun and imaginative side of you that is innocent, fun, unafraid to do whatever it may be that makes what seems unreachable suddenly so easy to obtain. I wanted to give the dreamers like myself the inspiration to dream and do, all at the same time.
All of that may sound odd to you, but to me it’s natural. It’s who I am, who I will always be. I’ll always be the woman who looks at someone or something and sees potential for success, for freedom. If you want it, charge! Go for it, let nothing hold you back from reaching those stars that you stare at night after night, yearning for the formula to success so that you may feel free to live the way you’ve dreamed of living. I’m not just talking from a financial standpoint, that usually ends up being the reward for your bravery, determination and hard work of turning those dreams into a reality. I’m also talking about reaching deep down inside of yourself and discovering what you truly want to do with this one life you’re given. For some people, it’s not easy to figure out. For others, that answer has always been sitting on the surface, poking at you, making you feel horrible everyday that you ignore it. We are all meant to do something great, to be someone great. It all boils down to whether or not you swallow that lump in your throat, and forge ahead into the unknown, stopping at nothing to bring that dream into the real world and to transform it into reality, into your life, into who you are and becoming the definition of you, what you do, what you’ve made happen for yourself.
I’ve painted, I’ve done photography, I’ve been a vocalist in a band, I’ve made custom clocks. I love doing anything art related. Vibrancy, color, light. I love it all.
As much as I love art, it never truly clicked. I felt like it wasn’t truly what I was meant to do with my life. Something was missing.
Then my daughter was born. I’ve never been someone who stops doing what they love, but with my husband being a truck driver and no family living in the same city, I was usually on my own taking care of my daughter. After what felt like an eternity of no new artwork I found the time. There was something missing in our living room. We had furniture and decor, but there was nothing that really brought the room together. I realized that I needed to do an acrylic painting of squares on a canvas and hang it up on the fireplace in the corner. That would bring all the colors and theme of the room together!
My daughter was four months old at the time. I figured out how to do it. She would wake up for about an hour, eat, play for a bit and then sleep for two hours or so. Her schedule at that age was very predictable. So I unwrapped a dusty canvas that was tucked away in the closet, set up my paints and easel on the living room floor so I could keep an eye on her napping in the boppy pillow on the couch and got to painting!
What usually took me a day ended up taking me two weeks. I was so happy when I finished the painting and it still hangs proudly above the fireplace. That was the last painting I made.
As my daughter grew I was reading more and more books to her on a daily basis. I was almost obsessed with those books I was reading to her all the time. Her reaction to the rhyming, the characters and especially the bright colors was fascinating and insatiable to me. Then it hit me. I love writing, I love drawing and painting, I love to inspire. Oh my gosh! Children’s books!
It was like a perfect harmony for my skills and abilities. Why hadn’t I thought of it sooner? Well, before my daughter was born I hadn’t picked up a children’s book since I was, well, a child!
I got to work right away, writing fun poems, dreaming up the perfect character that would compliment the story lines. I felt like I had been doing this forever. I felt at home. Yes, this is it. This is what I was meant to do.
I thank my daughter everyday for being the answer to my dreams. She was the key to my destiny and I never would have imagined that!
My dream, my goal is for the books I write and for the characters I create to inspire other children. If I can bring those big smiles to every child’s face who sees my books, who reads my books, I will feel like the richest woman in the world, even if I don’t make much doing it. Strange isn’t it? I don’t dream of making millions from my books. I dream of my books inspiring children to awaken that creative side of themselves, to laugh, to question everything on the page, to learn new words, shapes, colors. If I can make that dream a reality, I will be the most successful person in the world.