Words to Live By
My first children's book, Eden and Her Happy, deduted December 14, 2014! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! At that time I was so confident that I had a New York Times Best Seller! What I didn't know was that I had something even better than that! I had created something that would help me wrap words around some of the hardest experiences of my life, as well as the lives of thousands of children. Now 5 books later and a couple of dogs, I can't imagine my life without Emotion Belly Books.
One of the most common questions that I am asked by adults and children alike is, "Why did you want to become an author?" It's actually a multilayered answer. At the core I am a teacher and I love words, particularly healing words that make people feel better about themselves and this crazy, often brutal, world that we live in. I lost my dad to cancer when I was six years old. There were not a lot, okay not any that I knew, other six year olds who had also lost their dad. That is lonely. My dad was a big reader and he took me to the library every week for story hour. I remember, even though I was so young, sitting on the floor and paging through books with him. Coming home with stacks... My mom continued this for me after he was gone. I felt connection, comfort, and understanding with so many of those book characters. Of course, who I was connecting with was the author! Now I get to do that for kids! And that is my favorite part. Oh, but why did I do it in the first place? Because my mind was reeling after my brother died by suicide in 2011. I remember telling a friend that I would never feel happiness in the same way again. I began visually imaging my happy buried underneath stacks and stacks of primarily sad emotions. After reading every self-help book I could find and seeking the support of a "GET YOUR HAPPY BACK" therapist, Mika Ross, I started writing the words I wish I would have had as a struggling six year old. And now on my darkest days I refer to my own words, "Your Happy can never leave you, it just gets buried under your other emotions!"