exactly what I envisioned, but I got "Is This Cowboy Food?" accomplished in time for Christmas 2016.
The reaction from my children and their children was not what I expected. My oldest son announced, "Mom, there are seven of us. We each expect our own story." I swallowed hard. He said that now I knew just what to give for the next six Christmases. So, in 2017, I wrote and illustrated a story about our third daughter, "Who Will Be My Friend?" The problem was that I did not realize that printing the pages landscape instead of portrait was going to pose a real problem. My favorite local copy shop couldn't print a book in landscape. I also did not realize that I needed to make sure the program I used had printer-friendly colors not Web-friendly colors. I found another copy shop that could print landscape (although in a much smaller size), but the colors were not good because I used the WEB color settings. This is such a learning process!
I decided that I needed to get more knowledge about illustrating storybooks. So, obviously, I started watching YouTube videos. And I learned I needed to invest in a Wacum drawing tablet and stylus and learn Photoshop. Soon I figured out how to clean up my drawings and fix the colors to be brighter and more consistent for the finished product. Then I could use other programs to design the pages and arrange the text. A whole new world opened up to me. I could be a so-so artist and still be able to produce more professional-looking drawings. Amazing!
So, this year in 2018, I have been working on a story about my oldest son. Wasn't sure about the title for his story. It was a toss up between "The Best Big Brother" or "Too Many Sisters." I finally decided that although Michael has turned out to be a really wonderful big brother to a large family, "Too Many Sisters" more appropriately represents the storyline. This book has been a great distraction from the anxiety I have felt in caring for my husband who has been fighting pancreatic cancer this year. It has been therapeutic to think back and relive through drawing and thinking up rhymes some of the happier times in our family's history. Such a blessing!