About a month ago on a Monday I was sitting in my office at work rendering a video and the process was taking longer than usual. Usually in times like this my computer just bogs down to a crawl and I can't do anything else until said project is done rending and my computer is once again ready for multitasking. So what did I do? Well I wrote a children's book. I really can't describe it other than I feel like Jesus just downloaded this awesomely creative idea into my head and I had to start writing before I forgot it. Usually I will get ideas and can write like 3/4 of a story and then never find a way to end it but this one was different. From the moment I got the idea it was like the entire story from beginning to end was played out in my head and I couldn't write,sketch and think fast enough.
I wrote the first 10 pages at work by hand and sketched out very rudimentary sketches to go along with the story and then resumed my work for the rest of the day. I got home that night with nothing else on my mind but to continue writing. I decided to rewrite the first 10 pages in my sketchbook and then added from there. After the first night of writing I had somewhere around 17 pages crudely illustrated. I just thought and thought about the story and plot and etc and the next couple days it consumed my waking moments.
Early that following Wednesday (two short days later) I was finished with the book and I typed it up in word and then emailed it out to my family to see what they thought. I was overwhelmed with the positive response and encouragement from all of them. I have always been creative but this, I am afraid, I can not take full responsibility for. I seriously give all the credit to Jesus because I do feel that he uniquely inspired this story through allowing me to live through feeing unloved, different and being bullied as a kid. This book is truly about some of my journey and the Lord helped me to wrap it up into a cute children's book that will hopefully encourage others and help them realize that their differences are, in fact, their strengths!
The coolest part is that the Lord has surrounded me with people that are willing and able to help me get this book from my head onto the printed page. For example, one of my childhood best friends, Michael Whitaker is now taking my ideas and crude sketches and adding his own artistic flare to them and illustrating the book so much better than I could have even imagined. With the job I have at the church I have been able to learn valuable skills like photoshop and indesign that will help me to format his illustrations and my words and put it into a format a print shop will accept and that cuts out several middle men for me. I could go on and on about the logistical miracles that seem to just be falling into place and I am more than thankful.
So what is the book about you may ask? Well it is about a toad. Those of you that know me know that my heart never strays too far from animals and I have always had the softest spot for reptiles and amphibians so fittingly enough my book is about a toad. He isn't an ordinary toad though, he is an albino and well, lets just say no one really likes him because he looks so weird. I am very proud of the story and I am praying that we are able to be successful with it. Who knows, this could be the new direction that I am supposed to be moving into. Michael and I have ideas for 3-5 more stories collectively and this partnership is about as natural as they come. So hopefully this book will be the first of many.
I would love to ask you to pray with me so that this project will not only go to print but also bless others and really take off so to speak. We should be done with illustrations by mid May and hopefully by mid June it will be printed in some format or another. This whole process has been a blast and I am anxiously awaiting its completion.