So novel writing seemed like a natural fit and it's something I've always wanted to do and am thrilled to be having more success in now. But when my 5-year-old asks me to tell her a story at night, I don't turn her down. I also don't tell her novel-length stories. Sometimes, I just tell her what we did that day or what we are going to do the next day. Other times, I come up with something more imaginative.
One night several months ago she wanted a story about a sheep specifically. She always enjoys stories where things are lost and want to find their mommies as well. From those requests, "Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut" was born. I spun a story with a wiggly baby on my hip trying to stick her finger in my mouth and a 5-year-old laying on her bed, back exposed so I could tickle it. As the story came to a close, my 5-year-old laughed. "Good story, mommy," she said. And then she asked me to tell it again.
The next night, she wanted it again. And again and so on and so forth. She enjoys variety and this was the first time I'd told her a story she requested again. So, the writer in me knew I had to write it down...if only to remember it later! I wrote it down and in a slow moment when I was caught up with my work and on a complete and total whim, I sent it to a children's publisher. The author in me took over, I guess.
Several months passed and though I still occasionally tell it to my daughter, I had mostly forgotten about the story...or at least the fact that I actually submitted it for publication. When I got an email from Wee Creek Press, I assumed it was a thank, but no thanks type of letter that most authors receive over and over again during their careers. When I opened the email, I realized it was a contract offer. Wait, what?! Did I just get a contract offer for the children's book I never intended to write and sent in on impulse?
Um, yes! And so now I am pleased to announce that "Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut" (title could change, who knows) should be available in February of 2016. Now if only I could draw... haha Luckily the publisher will take care of the illustrations for me because I most certainly cannot.
This is just another piece of proof that when you dream, you should dream big because you never know what could happen. It also proves that if you don't try, nothing will ever come of anything. And you never know what WILL come of trying, even if you don't expect it!
I can't wait to read "Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut" to my daughters. Even if one will probably be too old for the story once it comes out in a few years. It's something I'll always cherish as the first creative story I told her that got a good laugh out of her. I hope it brings joy and laughter to many other children.