Macmillan Books- GET TO THE POINT!
As an author and illustrator, my ideas for my books rarely come from one source, but rather the merging of imagination, real life events and emotions. Two major events came together in the creation of my new book, A Vacation for Pooch.When my daughters were young, we traveled as a family, to Florida on winter vacation, leaving our cute little dog, Bianca, behind in snowy New Hampshire. Like the book character, Violet, we wondered- “How will our dog ever survive without us?”
And like Violet, we imagined the worse. We were sure that our dog would starve, get lost, and be lonely without us. But of course, Bianca did survive, and so did we. A few phone calls always made us feel a bit better. (Side note: You might be wondering, why I didn’t use Bianca as my model for Pooch in my book. It just wasn’t possible-a white dog in snow is very hard to paint! Hence, Pooch became a cute brown dog- with the spirit of Bianca! )
But years later…it was the thought of separating from my daughters that brought the story together. My oldest daughter, Janine, was preparing to live on her own and my youngest, Kristin, was getting ready to go away to college. Can anyone say- empty nest? Those same questions nagged at me, will my daughters survive without me? Will they starve, get lost or be lonely?
My daughters will be the first to tell you that MY imagination is much more vivid than my alter ego, Violet! I was sure they would starve; could Janine really learn to cook decent meal? I was sure they would get lost; when Kristin was studying abroad and I didn’t hear from her for 5 days-I was sure she fell off a mountain. Okay- I worry. (I had to read my own, yet to be published, story many times to assure myself that my daughters were safe and having the time of their lives…just like Pooch.)
Whether pet or loved one, separation can be difficult for a child (and for a mom!) Missing someone can be hard…imagining that they are miserable, is harder. But like Violet discovered, our loved ones do survive without us. Not only do they survive, they thrive! And in turn, we learn to relax and enjoy the time apart, knowing that when you are together again, the love will be stronger than ever. But you still miss them!
I’m getting use to not having my daughters home and I have learned to visualize them eating healthy foods, studying hard and getting a lot of sleep in a room which is neat as a pin. (mmm… I DO have a good imagination.)
PS. Kristin and Janine- Call your mother.