A couple weeks ago, I was thinking, “It’s kinda crazy that I wrote this book.” And as I’m sitting in my thinking, all of these memories start coming back to me.
I remember siting in my grandpa’s oversized recliner with my copy of Amber Brown Sees Red and my spiral bound notebook. I sit there, reading, yes, but mostly copying the book into my notebook. “I’m writing a book,” I would tell the people who asked me what I was doing.
A few years later, I’m sitting in the fort that my little sister and I built on our bottom bunk. We have our dolls and we have the “kitchen” and the “bedrooms.” I have my spiral bound notebook with the colt on the cover and my sister has her art set. As we play, I start writing down what we’re doing in chapter book form. My sister draws what we’re playing. I still have that unfinished book. It’s hilarious. We call our older sister our “annoying neighbor.” Classic.
A few years later, in art class, we have an assignment – illustrate your own children’s book. I come up with a charming story about a little girl who gets chickenpox. (Fun fact, this book is the only reason I ever served a detention. However, I did not earn said detention. That’s a “fun” story for another time.) I gave this book to my mother and I’m sure she still has it somewhere. I need to find it.
A few years go by and a story idea comes to me. I start writing some things down. Outlines, notes, character development. But that’s still sitting as a bunch of notes on my computer.
A few year more go by and I’ve changed the lyrics to The Farmer in the Dell to entertain my first cousins once removed on a car ride. One 1st cousin once removed, however, finds an original copy of the Farmer in the Dell and then proceeds to tell me that my version is wrong because he found another version in a book. So, I ask a friend to draw me some illustrations and I print a copy of my version of the Farmer in the Dell and give it to my 1st cousin once removed for Christmas. He looks at me and says, “Oh. I had no idea.” Hilarious and so worth it.
Then, a couple years later, I have an idea for a handshape book. I haven’t ever seen anything like it, especially not for children. And there’s a little girl in my life that I think would really like it. So, I plan to do the same thing I did with The Farmer in the Dell. Print it on Shutterfly and give her a copy. But then I think, what if I made it available for more people? And, thus, My First ASL Handshape Book was born. (Available now on Amazon.com.) My first publication.
And now, two years later, I’ve written another book: This is Your Story. And not a simple picture book, but a full on chapter book. With 21 chapters. And it’s not fiction, but it is entertaining. And what’s even crazier, I feel Jesus told me to write this one. And that’s where I was a couple week’s ago thinking, “It’s kinda crazy that I wrote this book.” You see, Jesus never told me to write any of the other books. Those all seemed like fun little projects that I was doing for myself, a teacher, or a little kid I know. But I wrote this because Jesus told me to. And what’s crazier – I don’t really feel like I wrote it. I was listening to a sermon and the man was talking about a book he had just written. He said, “Do you know why my name is on this book? It’s just because I’m the first person who got to read it. I didn’t write it; God wrote it.” And I felt seen. That’s exactly how I feel.
So, I like writing. 50+ blogs posts will tell you that. The little girl sitting in her grandpa’s recliner would tell you that. And the books I wrote “just for fun” would tell you that.
But I get my urge to write from Jesus. He stirred it up inside of me when I was little and he’s been cultivating it ever since. That’s what he was reminding me of when all these memories came to me. “Kate, you’ve been preparing for this your whole life.” Fun projects, little side creative pockets, new inspirations all leading up to the biggest thing I’ve ever written… and not written.
I hope you get the chance to read it. It’s really good. I can say that, because I don’t feel like I wrote it.