R E F L E C T I O N
My house is under construction.
Nothing is normal right now.
During this chaotic time, I am constructing an art show that opens October 5th. I have been given an opportunity to build a dream, and now I have figure out how to do just that.
For over 15 years I have been on a path to publish my children's book. I wrote it when I was 30, and then spent years undecided about how to illustrate it. After several failed attempts, I settled on paper collage and began the 6 month process of completing 20 illustrations. I designed the layout for the book and printed it out. After 10 hours of cutting and pasting, I had one copy.
|my original manuscript|
When you tell someone that you are working on a children's book, you get "the look." Part pity, part condescension. Everyone is working on a children's book, and everyone, but an elite few, has failed. It's like being an actor who wants to direct — all the while, waiting on tables.
|first rough sketches|
Knowing this, I went ahead anyway. I joined the SCBWI —the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Spent $600 on a weekend conference in NYC to get a peek behind the scenes of children's publishing. It's bleak. I sent my book out to editors I met at the conference, agents who were friends of friends, and even to Bill Moyers wife (he used to attend our church). I kept thinking something magical would happen, but that's because I was brainwashed by Disney as a child.
My attentions turned to my paintings and blog while the book sat in a zip lock bag in my storage room. Seeking new exhibit spaces, I contacted the Dolphin Book Shop in Port Washington. I was invited to come in for a meeting. As an after thought, I threw the copy of my book into my portfolio.
Well, as luck would have it, I was asked to do an exhibit of my children's book. I left on cloud nine, but fell through to cloud 3 when I realized I was promoting a children's book that was never actually published! A slight glitch.
Frustrated with traditional publishing, I entered the world of self-publishing. After much back and forth and technical tinkering, my book file is at a local printer and for several hundred dollars, I will have 100 copies of the book. It even has a barcode. It's legit.
So starting on October 5th, my book will be available for sale at the Dolphin Book Shop, and so will prints of my illustrations.
Why have I fought so hard for this? Why did I embark on this 16 year long journey? Because deep down I believe in my little book, and if it touches the emotions of just one child, it was worth it.