Publish a book? Really? I didn't know how and never took the time....
When This summer was not been like I had ever expected, no one expected it to be as it is. I realized I had taken for granted that I could always go visit family or travel on a whim. Now I know I need to appreciate every opportunity we get, not assume or take anything for granted. Those lessons are obvious to most of us now. I am so grateful for FaceTime, more than ever, and so grateful for my family to take the time to turn the video chat on my toddler niece as she eats breakfast most mornings while I am eating dinner. FaceTime is the lifeline to my family who are a continent away.
The lesson that has taken longer to come into view was that we can "turn lemons into lemonade". I was very sad that I wasn't going home to see my niece this summer and spend some family time in nature's crisp cool air of northern California and hike in mountains of Colorado. My husband and I were destined to spend the summer in Doha, Qatar as borders tightened to slow the spread of COVID-19. The hot weather demanded that we spend days inside. These obstacles turned into an opportunity. With more inside time then ever before, I started writing little stories for my niece about our dogs, who she loved to watch on FaceTime. My family was so supportive and encouraging. My small writing project turned in to "doing it the RIGHT way" and I learned how to publish picture books. My husband was excited to illustrate using his passion of filtering photos and our picture book baby was born. We are now moments (9 days exactly) away from publishing our first picture book for the world on Amazon. We have two more in process and plan to continue writing stories for our niece. My small thought of sharing stories with my nice has actualized in to publishing a book for her and allowed us to share a love of reading with the world.
As an educator who loves picture books who has been granted the gifts of time and an air conditioned apartment in Doha, Qatar. The obstacles the global pandemic created also created the opportunity for my passion project to turn into a reality. I had always thought of writing a picture book and now was the time to learn and publish!
I am still sad to miss my niece in person, but I have so much to be grateful for. We will celebrate our book, Apartment Adventures with Amora and Yalla, being released with a Zoom Book Release party on August 1st, 2020 and we will keep moving forward learning, growing and celebrating along the way. I think the biggest lesson that I have learned is that when many the passions come together (dogs, books, family) and have time to "germinate", then anything is possible.
What a strange school year it was....it certainly challenged everyone. We rolled with the punches and took what came with a "can do" attitude. I am proud of the community I lead, moving forward, learning together, caring for each other and doing the best for the children we were responsible to educate. Normally, school years end with concerts, celebrations of learning and lots of people hugging...well, here was our community's way of celebrating the end of a virtual mountain climbed together.