Welcome to Monday, dear reader. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I am thrilled to share that my little story about our abandoned baby goat, Lester, is well underway. The Bibbed Wonder and I went back and forth about artwork and illustrations for several weeks. Eric was thoroughly convinced I could make the artwork happen with photographs and apps. On the other hand, I had a specific idea in my head and knew I could not achieve the look I wanted with my limited skills. It was a bit of a struggle, but we finally found a solution.
That solution is Sue Hrubes. Sue is my neighbor at Ligonier Market and a wonderfully talented artist. I have admired Sue’s work, purchased a few of her paintings, and become friends with her over the years. I took a chance and asked Sue if she would like to illustrate my book. I love Sue for her honesty, no-nonsense approach, and openness. She really does have the soul of an artist, and it shines through beautifully. Sue responded that she would need to read my story to see if it inspired her. She told me she can’t just crank out paintings; she has to feel moved. I’m not going to lie; I was a bit worried. However, I understand how she feels and waited on pins and needles for her response.
Thankfully, Sue felt inspired by my little story and told me she would happily collaborate on my book. This process is new for both Sue and myself. After a bit of a bumpy start, we finally have a plan, and it is a good one. I created a storyboard with my ideas, and we gave Sue a flash drive filled with pictures of Little Lester. Sue looked at my pictures and ideas, building upon them with her ideas and talent. She sent me a sample picture of what she was thinking, and I was astonished.
Sue took what I had in my head and made it a reality. Her artwork and style are exactly what I imagined. I wanted a beautiful book. I didn’t want it to look cartoonish or garish. I wanted my story to come alive with beautiful pictures done in watercolor. The image Sue sent me is perfection. It reminds me a bit of Beatrix Potter, precisely how I pictured it. I am so excited. Even more exciting, Sue is concentrating on our book this week and hopes to have all the artwork done by the end of the week. If so, I could complete and publish the book in time for The Shaker Woods Festival and Ligonier Market. My hard deadline is our little event here on the farm on October 7. However, I will be thrilled if we can have it completed before that.
Once the book is published and I understand the publishing process entirely, I have an idea for a second book if Sue is game. Actually, I have ideas for a series, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I love it when a plan comes together. I shared with you before that when I got the inspiration for my story; it felt like my brain was on fire. I believe that the universe is at work and brings things together all in good time. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Sue became my neighbor at the market. I believe it is the universe making things happen. I am so grateful that Sue is part of my life and is willing to share her talent. I greatly look forward to collaborating with Sue and can’t wait to hold the finished product in my hands.
On this beautiful day, stay safe, be smart, be open to inspiration and ideas, appreciate the talented people in your life, and keep washing your hands.