Do you remember having a dream? Something you wanted to accomplish, but only had a vague idea of how to make the fantasy become reality? Or maybe you knew how to get there, but weren't sure if the end result would be what you expected?
I think we all can relate to those desires. At some point we wanted to become a rock star or a famous actor or an astronaut. Some dreams happen magically, others require a ton of work and a little bit of luck, while other fantasies drift off into a mist of "what the hell was I thinking?"
Writing, for me, has been a warped bit of that journey. Did I dream of being an author? Not really. I toyed with the idea once or twice, but there was no burning desire to sit down and write words. In fact, most of the time, I would sit down to write an assigned essay or story and my mind would go totally blank. The same thing happens when I tried to be an artist or a songwriter. Nope. Nada.
Until the day, the story/dream planted its carcass in my pea brain and wouldn't leave until I wrote it down. Then more ideas filled the hole and refused to budge until I shoved and molded that sucker into a book. (Let's not talk about the other five ideas waiting impatiently to take their turn in that hole.) Then my OCD took over and made me organize, edit, and proof until I couldn't see straight.
That's when I decided I needed a cover. I knew what I didn't want (unrealistically depicted 8-packs glistening in the sun with a bulging...well, never mind) but I also didn't know what I wanted. Cue in Myrtle the Younger.
As previously mentioned somewhere in the bowels of this blog, I think I have mentioned maybe once or twice that I have two extremely talented girls, the younger of which desires/fantasizes/dreams and is well on her way to becoming an outstanding artist and animator. As any good and responsible parent, I want to help my child build her self-confidence, soooo...I asked the child to create a book cover.
I can tell you that there is no greater feeling than placing your child's work into their hands as a finished product. The look on MTY's face when I handed her the proof of If You Touch My Mind was overwhelming to say the least. This was more than posting a drawing on the refrigerator door. This was part of her portfolio and resume; a stepping stone to her future.
The same thing happened ten months later when I published Keep Your Eyes On Me. No one can take that experience away from her. Nothing can take those memories from me.
With my third book waiting a cover, I again turned to MTY but with her busy college schedule, she ran into difficulties. What to do? I turned to a the son of a friend. He is about the same age as MTY and is studying graphic design. Over the past few months, he and I have worked back and forth until he delivered cover art which mi esposo could work into the finished cover.
Last night, I placed the proof into this kid's hands. Guess what? I got the same response from him as I got from my own daughter. Overwhelmed. Thrilled. Maybe just a little scared, but that's okay. Yes, there were things he wanted to change. Yes, there were things he and mi esposo need to experiment with, but this young college student has something in his hands which moves him forward in his dream.
Today, his mother shared his Facebook post. He had posted a picture of the proof and summed up his feelings eloquently: "wow".
I may not have birthed this kid, but I am just as proud of him as I am of my own girls. I am thrilled to be part of his beginning.