Nov 2, 2012

A Face To Africa

I wrote my first children's book three summers ago.
On a legal pad.
While vacationing at my sister's house.
Watching my two kids swim in her crystalline pool.
I was supposed to be working.
All that yellow paper was designed for some thing legal.
But it was destined for some thing lovely.
As the kids swam and splashed with their new aunt,
I swam and splashed through my tears at the edge of the pool.
How so much can change in a small span of time.
We hadn't been together four whole months yet.
English was still an accent on their tongues.
Most smells and sights were new and each experience more exotic than the last.
And Africa was still very much in my heart and thoughts.
I think I've said before that I believe David when he said
"God sets the lonely in families."
I believe that because I never knew how lonely I was until I got my kids.

As the kids splashed and played,
I wrote.
Wrote the story of the boy who walked every day for water.
A boy who carried the liquid on his back,
while my new kids covered themselves in water I was telling them not to drink.
I wanted a way for kids every where to learn about his story that stole my heart.
A story that would bring him and others clean water.

I found an illustrator that weekend.
It was a pure divine encounter.
He fell in love with the story too.
As he began sketching the outline, we met several times.
He asked me when I envisioned my story set in Africa, did I see a face?
I laughed out loud.
But of course, I did.

This was the first picture I sent to him:

This was one of the first illustrations Jerry sent back:

My words didn't seem to do the art justice.
But now at least Africa had a face.

In other news, I just heard from the printer and books will ship November 21!
I'll start taking pre-orders in the next few days.
Scared out of my mind.
But the kind of scared you get as you top the incline of a roller coaster. :)

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Can't wait to purchase one for Jackson's stocking :)