“Coo” pen and ink/watercolor

Let me introduce you to “Coo.”  She has been hiding on my shelf for awhile now but I think it is time to set her free.  I wrote this story in between day jobs and didn’t do much to try to get it published once the new job and life with teenagers became all my time could handle.  Now that the children are raised I have a few others, in a different form, waiting to leave the nest and “Coo” is one of them.  “Coo” is the name of this mourning dove as well as the name of the book in which she is a star.  The story was inspired by some children, including my own, at a church we used to attend.  It is a juvenile chapter book that involves adventure and a mystery.

Several years ago, we came to church one Sunday when our three children were elementary school age and we saw a mourning dove resting in her nest on top of a light outside the parish hall.  She wasn’t there the week before and she didn’t seem to mind us noticing her and making a fuss over her unusual choice of home sites, when there was a huge tree just a few feet away from her.  She was quite the topic of conversation and she inspired the book I wrote.  The idea for the book germinated for many years until it poured out of me about five years ago.  I don’t know when or how I will get it published but I do know it is time to try and not give up!

My excitement today is definitely attributable to the Capital Bookfest I attended today in Charleston.  I sat in one workshop after another on writing and publishing, spoke to authors, many first-timers, who found a way to see their dreams come true, and I felt my heart sing like “Coo” in the picture above, which I drew a few years ago.  It wasn’t like this was the first time I’d been to a writing workshop but this time I came with a new attitude.  I see the hard work and perseverance it takes to get there and instead of feeling discouraged by publishing horror stories, I feel emboldened and thought “If they can do it, so can I!”  Well…I’ll let you know how it goes but “Coo” is ready to take off, and I can’t keep clipping her wings to make her stay.  Wish her luck!


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