In the mean time, it’s time for a new project.
My new undertaking is a children’s book. I completed the manuscript years ago but shelved it because of a number of life changes–and because I was the victim of the very issue plaguing my protagonist (more about that below). While working on “White Storm,” an image in the trailer triggered a vision of my abandoned book. I rummaged through three-and-a-half-inch floppy disks (don’t worry if you don’t know what these are, it’s old tech) and found the manuscript. The horror of it–it was in GEOS format! With a little wizardry and elbow grease, I recovered the file, and to my delight, the text was nearly intact. Reading through it, tears came to eyes, and I knew that despite the years gone by, it was the right next project.
Now I am researching self-publishing, talking to illustrators, and developing my pitch. Here, dear readers, for your evaluation is my synopsis:
“Misho of the Mountain” is a children’s picture book for young readers (K-3). I expect this book to be embraced by any parent who struggles to walk the fine line between sheltering and preparing their children for the real world. As adults we know that not all paths through life are easy. We encourage children–our own and those we mentor–to dream big and to persevere, but we don’t always do such a good job preparing them for when dreams fail. Not everyone gets to be an astronaut, and not every little engine truly can. This book dares to fill that gap.
For your average young person, the story is an allegory about how life may not turn out how you expect, but it can still be filled with beauty and meaning. To the lonely child who may be living a hard life–to the child who may feel trapped or broken inside, it is a message of identity and hope.
The story follows the adventures of a tiny seed high atop a pine tree who bursts forth to be driven by the wind to unexpected places to grow in ways it did not expect. As our tiny seedling becomes a little tree, it discovers life is hard. Our little tree develops a serious case of low self-esteem.
As our tiny tree’s will to continue is shaken, disaster turns into rescue and revelation. The little tree, learns that everyone has beauty, everyone deserves love, and that everyone has the power to save someone’s life.
Visually, “Misho of the Mountain” is a book of mountains, forests, and sky. Parents will enjoy the beautiful vistas as they read to their children, and youngsters will learn an appreciation for the wild places of our planet. Teachers, librarians, and counselors who help children to grow and to heal through reading will want to include this book in their arsenal of tools. A book of beauty and self-acceptance, perhaps it’s not just for children.
(Formerly, “The Tiniest Seed”)