Kimberly, Her Mother, and the Twig
This is the first book I self-published. Well, maybe published isn't quite the right word. This is the first book I wrote, illustrated, and assembled.
It's the charming story of a mother who terrorized her daughter with a stick. It seemed like a good children's book at the time.
My dream of writing started when I was a kid. I loved to read. The stories would transport me to new places, let me interact with interesting characters, experience a life I had never known. I was in awe of writers.
I tried writing as a kid. I would sometimes spend up to two hours alone in my room writing. That might not seem like much time, but it's practically a month in kid years, especially on a Saturday afternoon.
I dreamed of writing the best story ever told. It would have action, adventure, and of course, a twist no one saw coming. I had the passion, but I wasn't ready yet.
I wrote Kimberly, Her Mother, and the Twig about twenty years ago. I can still remember the day I wrote it. I was a stay-at-home mom to four kids. My three daughters and I had been playing outside while their older brother was in school.
We had just purchased our first home computer. The gigantic beast needed it's own space, something we were short on in our little house. It ended up on a desk in our master bedroom.
With three little girls watching, I sat down and wrote out the story that happened only moments before. I added some rudimentary illustrations using Paintbrush. There must not have been many options, based on my interesting color choices.
I printed out the pages, found some clear plastic sheets for a cover, and stapled the edge. The experience was so joyful, I wanted to keep writing, but I didn't. I had the passion, I was ready, but I didn't have the time.
Occasionally I would read Kimberly, Her Mother, and the Twig to my kids when they were little. But somewhere down the road it got put away with the things of the past. I’m not big on keeping things, but for some reason the book just stuck around.
One of the greatest joys of my life was reading to my children so I couldn't wait to read to my granddaughters. We bought lots of colorful children’s books to keep at our house. About that same time, the homemade book reappeared. I’m not sure where it was or how I found it, but it got added to the pile.
Finding the book brought back with it, a reminder of my dreams. I still have the passion, I'm ready, and now I have the time. So I write.
My dream is not one of personal fame. As you can see, even back then I used a pseudonym. My dream is not tied to monetary gain or literary acclaim. I just want to write a story someone else would like to hear.
By my own estimation, I have already accomplished my goal. As, very often, my granddaughters will pick out the ratty homemade book from the pile of brightly colored professionally published children’s books. They’ll snuggle up next to me, their eyes following along the ridiculous illustrations, as I joyfully do as they ask and read them the story of Kimberly, Her Mother and the Twig.