While cleaning up my office, I found the first book I ever wrote. I wrote the story as part of my school assignment from my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Dimattia. The binding is hand-sewn. I covered cardboard with floral contact paper to create my book cover. I wrote in a mixed medium of pen, pencil, and marker. The 19-page story has illustrations I drew and colored throughout. And, I even thought to include an author bio, back ads, back cover copy, and (faux) awards and endorsements.
The topic is a bit complicated for my mere 11 years of age: divorce. The accompanying book title is quite worn but (barely) visible, Divorced! My parents are still happily married after more than 40 years. However, several of my friends at the time I attended elementary school, had single parents or parents who were going through the process of divorce. So, I think, I wanted to represent my friends on the pages of my story.
The premise of the story is about two young BFFs, Ashley and Carey, who wish they were sisters. Both girls have parents who are divorced. So, one day, they plot to bring Ashley's father and Carey's mother together in the hopes that they will fall in love and become sisters in real life.
It starts with an innocent dinner invite, counseling sessions for the children of parents who have been divorced, and an adolescent prank by one of the boys in class. In the end, despite all of the girls' ups and downs, they get their wish. Their parents marry and they finally become sisters.
I love the ingenuity of my younger self. I am so very proud of my first book. Despite its many grammatical errors, basic dialogue, and poor illustrations, I love how I wasn't afraid to write about what was considered a "taboo" topic back then. Although only 11 years old, I wrote about a subject that mattered to me.
Need to fall back in love with what you do? Go back to childhood. Sometimes, to find inspiration, you only have to search within ...