Introducing my newest “baby” – According to Corban!

That’s right!

My newest “baby” has entered the world!

I actually wrote this sweet story about six or seven years ago when I was a new mama. I spent hours learning to both live as a human and nurture, feed, love, and entertain toddlers. This meant trying to get laundry done, dishes cleaned, showers taken, food eaten… all the while having someone calling, pulling, yanking… or, if things were suddenly quiet, drawing, cutting, smearing…

And if you’re a parent or teacher or childcare worker, you know what all of those … mean.

Trouble.

Well, for the caregiver. The kid is usually having a great time! Thus, According to Corban was dreamed up. While scrubbing the floors, my son Corban was sure I was begging to be a horse on his adventure. Pillows were bridges needed to cross carpets of lava. A bath was an ocean full of his favorite wildlife. Our backyard was his personal jungle, complete with wild animals, the perfect hiding places, and lots of dirt. And worms.

AND, a little sister tagging along in his shadow.

It charmed my heart (when I could get over my desire to actually keep something clean and could just play with my kids). One night, around 1am, this story hit me and I couldn’t sleep until I got it all down. Twenty-some-odd revisions later, my firstborn (though not first-published) picture book has entered the world. I hope it’s as much fun for parents as for children. The current 5-star review on Amazon seems to say my goal is a good one!

Pay special attention to the mama in the background and the way Corban’s imagination grows and shifts to interact with her (without ever leaving his imagination!)

You can watch the book trailer here:

According to Corban is available on Kindle, paperback, and hardback!

Feel free to share the love!

The Artist (AKA {Dad})

My dad is a painter.

And a potter.

A sketcher, a sculptor, a weaver.

He knits, he crotchets, he sews.

He uses every medium, every backdrop, every technique.

He sings, dances, acts.

He’s a designer, an inventor, a creator.

He dreams, envisions, plots.

He’s a writer, an illustrator, a story-teller.

He’s a film maker, a script writer, an editor.

He’s a composer, a musician, a director.

Yes, he’s one of those people you look at and think, “Is there anything he can’t do?”

Kind of like my husband.

Who is also ridiculously talented.

Everything he knows… he learned from Dad.

Although I don’t have the caliber of skill that my daddy does… if I love art at all, it’s because of him (Note confession 🙂 ).

As a writer, I have come across a wide range of amazing artists.

And, in a subtly selfish way, I’m always looking for artists who I would let illustrate one of my stories.

Sometimes I even choose a publisher to submit to… because I love their illustrators. 🙂

Some of my recent new faves are Wendy Grieb, Maria Bogade, Kirsten Carlson, Mira Reisberg (who also teaches writers and illustrators at her Picture Book Academy), Kristen Schwartz, Howard McWilliam (who I just learned lives in the UK- so close!), Thomas Blackshear, Richard Jesse Watson, Kadir Nelson, Robin James (a favorite childhood series),

And of course, Jeremy Pusey. Who has yet to make his website, but one day soon I will put a slide show of his work up (with his permission of course).

And would I be a good, proud mommy if I didn’t mention my children? My four little loves and their creative spirits… whether it’s learning an instrument, picking and arranging flowers, drawing pictures, or putting on a show… all for an audience of me.

But my favorite artist is my dad.

He shares his art for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Creating for the sole purpose of the joy and delight of others. Which makes it his delight too.

It’s not for sale… only for show. But he lets you take pictures. And try to replicate it in your own way… with your own tweaks and imagination.

Here are some of the images of my Dad’s art that I’ve taken most recently:

[slideshow]

Isn’t he amazing?

If I’m honest, I’m a work of his art too. I “ooh” and “ahh” at how incredible his other pieces of creativity are… stand breathless at their brilliance and detail.

Then I look in the mirror and cringe.

As if somehow I’m less exquisite, less incredible, lower on the list of his prized works.

And yet he says I’m not.

That I’m among his best works.

And I must believe him.

Is this true of all paintings? Do illustrations compare themselves to other illustrations? And deem themselves less? Is any piece of work satisfied with its outcome? Does art trust its creator when it hears “it is finished.”?

I don’t know about other art, but I imagine I’m not alone.

I imagine that you need to hear what my dad would tell you as well…

That you are also among his greatest of all pieces of art… a treasured creation, a work worth redeeming.

Greater than any sunset or sunrise, enchanted forest with cascading falls, or gardens in full bloom.

You are priceless… not for sale, his own precious endeavor.

Do you see it? Do you see his fingerprints? The uniqueness of your design? The purpose for which you are to be used?

His greatest work of art.

Us.

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Isaiah 64:8

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 22 of 31 Days in 2012.