Friday, March 31, 2017

This Little Book of Mine

Word has been getting out that I've written a book and am getting it published. But not everyone knows what my book is about, so today I decided to give a little backstory:

On any given day, I have about eight songs that run through my head and at least four things I am thinking about writing. Almost always, one of those is related to a sermon that needs to be written, but the others include newspaper columns, blog posts, and reflections on life, as well as possibilities for future books.  

Back in 2014, one of those possible future books was what I called Bubble Wrap Girl, a girl who gets hurt doing things like chasing her brother, dancing in the kitchen, and doing other every-day kid things. Getting hurt is a hang-up for this girl, so one day she decides to wrap herself up in bubble wrap so she doesn’t get hurt anymore.  Her plan works like a charm, except for the fact that the bubble wrap gets in the way of doing the things she likes to do.  So eventually, the girl realizes that getting hurt once is part of life-- and that she wasn’t going to let it get in the way of having fun.

It wasn’t until I was on a plane ride to visit my sister that I sat down long enough to actually write the book out and put pen to paper. Literally. To begin with, I didn’t use a computer because I like the way pen and paper feels in my hand. For me, writing the story out made it come alive, because it was no longer just an idea I had in my head. Now it was real, and I was taking concrete steps to do something with it.

However, if it wasn’t for my husband’s support and encouragement, I'm not sure it would have gone much farther than that though.  I learned through my research that unless you hire an agent, self-publishing is just about the only way to get a book published, which meant that I needed to pay upfront for the costs associated with such an undertaking. It’s not an inexpensive process, but because I could visualize in my head exactly what I saw this book becoming, and because my husband believed in going after something I’ve always wanted to do, we kept taking steps forward.

Those steps led me to Beaver’s Pond Press, a great publishing company in Edina that has experience with children’s books, and in July 2016, I sat down with my editor and illustrator to share my vision.  A few months down the road, when I got to see the illustrator’s initial sketches, I knew it was a perfect match.

Now, the illustrations for Bubble Wrap Girl have been completed, the design is getting finalized, and in a matter of months, pages will be printed and bound. I can hardly believe it. For most of this process, I’ve had this feeling of awe when I think about the fact that I’m actually doing this. “This is really happening,” I’ve had to remind myself, and often!  

Something that I didn’t expect was how writing this book is so much more than accomplishing one of my life goals. Like I said, writing a book is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I wrote this particular book because I want my kids-- and especially our daughter-- to know that they are strong, resilient, and can do hard things.  

This is a message we are trying to instill in them because the reality is that life is tough. And we know there are going to be plenty of people and things that will happen along the way that will try to bring them down. But we want them to that those voices-- and those setbacks-- aren’t the things they should listen to most. We want our kids to know, deep down, that they have incredible capacity for good within them, that they have gifts to share, and that they can overcome challenges that come their way.

What I didn’t realize when I began this process-- and what I'm still processing- is how publishing this book is actually reinforcing the very message it communicates. Yes, it definitely is a dream come true for me. But it is also in and of itself an example to our kids of using their gifts, chasing their dreams, and following their heart.

6 comments:

  1. Oh my word Kari!!! What Joy! And you're so right! You are Bubble Wrap Girl by throwing your idea out into the world and JUST DOING IT! I am so excited to read it, and so, so happy for you!!!
    Joyfully, Becca

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    1. Becca! It's so great to hear from you! Is there a book store in Northfield that I could maybe come to and do a signing once the book is out? It would be SO great to see you again in person. Hope you're feeling well as baby keeps growing!

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  2. Thanks Nikki! We'll bring some with when we come to New Zealand next spring (we're hoping to anyway!). :)

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  4. One of the top things on everybody's basin list, including yours, is the way to get a book published.publish my book

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