In February, 2019, I hit the magical number of 55 years of age, the freedom 55 goal! I am semi retired, with grown up kids, two wonderful grandkids and a second marriage of extreme happiness and massive support! I raised my children, gave them the tools to go on their way into life as best as I knew how, which I am very proud to say they were and always will be my greatest accomplishment!
As life continued on, like most moms, empty nest set in at the beginning, relearning how to find myself was very difficult as my life centered around my children and home. I was lucky to be a very big part of my sons’ lives, and a stay at home mom in their early stages! I got a full-time job after they were in school, and motherhood still was my biggest accomplishment!
With turning 55 this year, my husband, whom is my biggest supporter, gave me the freedom to do so and I am grateful to him for enabling me to semi retire and enjoy my new chapter in my life at a young age! Not many are able to do this and I am always thankful for it!
Now here was the eye opener, who was I now, where was I heading? I hopefully have another good 40 plus years ahead of me, life and health willing, that I had to rediscover myself. I have had so many talks with women around my age, mothers especially, who were in the same boat as myself. The kids are grown and now what do I do?
You would think I would be utterly elated!!! In a small way the independence of your life is wonderful, but like I said, relearning who you are is a big adjustment after 30 plus years! Parenthood never ends, it’s a job with constant redefinition to it, and if you don’t go with the flow you will utterly drown in your tears of change and frustration!
So I had to look at myself and think, what did I want to be when I was a young age of 18, graduating high school, ready to face the world wide eyed and bushy tailed? I wanted to become an elementary school teacher! As life had other plans for me, those dreams were put aside and I took the path of the world I was destined for!
Now 37 years later, I am given an opportunity in a round about way to reach the preschool and elementary school age children I so wanted to teach so long ago! I had the inspiration of wanting to write a children’s book some years back but had no idea what I wanted to do or how to do it. I was sitting in my kitchen, it was September, 2018 rethinking this dream, but thought, what could I write about that hadn’t already been written? Who was I to think I could even write a book, lol and how the heck was I going to do it? So many questions and a whole lot of doubt in myself. After all, I was no Robert Munsch, or J.K. Rowling!
When my kids were younger, I loved reading them Robert Munsch, they always made us giggle and kept the boys interest when we read them! So now I wanted to write for younger kids, with a little moral and teaching along with learning how to read the words along with mom or dad! After all isn’t that what the best part of reading with your kids, when they actually start knowing how to the read the words or know what is coming next when you do?
So on a September morning, I thought long and hard over breakfast what subject I wanted to write about, and where I wanted to go with this! What could it be, what did I want to get across and how did I want to present it? The world is going through such turmoil with its craziness and children are subjected to it all the time at such an early age! Fear, that is the biggest part of a lot of troubles going on, fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of someone who is different, fear of not being accepted, so on and so on. Teaching our children not to be afraid is a big lesson that can be very tricky as every parent knows.
With myself experiencing life as a child of interracial marriage, I experienced first hand of life of feeling different from a lot of my friends growing up! My mom was white, my dad is black and myself, well half and half! We were always taught to love others for their differences, not to judge others, and never make assumptions about someone if you didn’t know them. This was passed on to my own kids, and now my grandchildren!
This was where the journey to my new world begins, with Bugsy & Taz! As I sat eating breakfast, they played at my feet together, she purred and he nibbled at her, and they were so happy together! That was it!!! They were the perfect subject to what I wanted to write about, I mean who was suppose to be mortal enemies but a cat and a dog, right? They didn’t care that they were of different species and their journey to becoming close was like watching children getting to know one another! With their innocence and their patience, so simple to get across to such a young age!
Then the idea took off, my head was reeling with tons of ideas, so I sat down and wrote the first draft within 5 minutes and had a sample book idea within the hour! Holy cow!!! Now the process of getting this idea was the next step, where do I even start? Looking up online, (good old internet), I found a couple of publishing companies I could get in contact with! I wanted to keep my book within the Canadian companies as I am always so proud to be Canadian, and support our awesome country!
Friesen Press was my choice and from there it took off! They were so quick to get back to me, and were very enthusiastic about the idea, which made me very happy! They are based out of Victoria, BC and so very helpful with the process of publishing my book! Their guidance, and expertise has made the whole journey quite enjoyable! With the book in its final stages of editing, the next steps were to get the social media stage going, the website, and the job of getting my name out there to prepare for the launch! https://books.friesenpress.com/store
Now the waiting for the final stages is around the corner, the nervousness of starting the next stages of my life’s dreams have begun! Where will it take me, how successful will it be and will my simple little idea reach those beautiful little minds of the children, like so many wonderful authors before me have successfully done? Let’s hope so!
So thank you to those who have supported the pages, website and idea of my journey to the world of story telling! I hope you will enjoy the finished product when it finally emerges into your world, and that there are more journeys Bugsy and Taz’s world!