Having adult children... the best!
At this point in my life, it's time to reap the rewards of trying hard not to mess up my kids too much... which is the point of this whole blog. How to try and raise people... good, intelligent, competent people.
Our three children are all grown, they live and work on their own, they make a living that supports them, and they are people I am proud to know.
My husband and I consistently advised our children to follow their passions, pursue their dreams and make work something you are excited about... at least most of the time!
Now, one of those three people, our oldest daughter Anne, has helped me with my passion... writing books for kids... children's picture books. We got to do it together!
I came up with my first book idea about 3 years ago. At that time, I asked all of the family for their input... built in editors and critics. That worked well, and my first book, MAX AND BEAR, was published in June of 2014.
Then... I had an idea for my next book... and Anne, having graduated from NYU with a degree in fine art, said "Hey, I want to do the art for this book!" ( She hasn't been slacking off.. she spent the last 10 years using her art to build an artisan cheese store in New York, called Saxelby Cheesemongers.)
I was thrilled... so off we went... building this fun new book together!
Both of my books, MAX AND BEAR, and now JOISE THE GREAT, are stories based on Anne's children. I had spent so much time trying to come up with the right story ideas... it really is true that the best ones come from your own life. Who knew? Just have adorable grandchildren!
We began by talking about the story, reworking the manuscript, thinking about the look of the book, and off Anne went! Every couple of weeks I would receive the newest and latest drawing... it was like opening a wonderful present each time I received one.
This new book has an entirely different look from the first one. It is more whimsical and fun, more personal, and of course that is due to Anne. Who knows how to draw their children better than their own Mommy? ( If had to draw that would be a sad story, as I have absolutely no artistic talent!)
What a blast it has been to see what Anne drew... to see how my words were brought to life by her pictures... she even got input from the real life Max, who told her that in one of the drawings the bridge had to go somewhere...it couldn't stop on just part of the page!
When your children are little, and you're immersed in the process of helping them become who they are meant to be, you don't think about how that might look 20 years later.
Twenty years goes by WAY too fast... and then you get to collaborate with your own talented adult daughter on a project that brings a whole new depth to your relationship.
Now we get the chance to enjoy the finished project... together!
Let's see what happens next...
Anne wants to do the art for my next book too!