A few years ago I was playing for a church in Pryor. It was Palm Sunday. The pastor read the passage of scripture that I have heard on this day ever since I was a child...about Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. That Sunday something clicked and I started wondering what had happened to that little donkey (actually, him and his mother both) after Jesus went into the temple. I don't remember the sermon that day, but by the time church was over, I knew that his name was Timeus!
That afternoon I sat down and wrote the first part of his story. By the time I time I got him to the steps of the temple, I had a definite problem. I didn't know what to do with the two donkeys either!
I put it away for awhile but he was never far from my thoughts...actually the little fellow kept nudging me from time to time. Finally, it all came together and it became their journey....their "amazing journey."
I showed the manuscript to several friends who critiqued it for me and encouraged me to go forward with it...which meant finding an illustrator. At that point I found that writing it was the easy part! Oh, was it ever!!
Evidently artists and illustrators are scarcer than the proverbial "hens' teeth"!!!! I spent months trying to find someone appropriate.....
Then, in one of those happenings that I call a "God thing", we (the donkeys and I) "met" Ellen. She agreed to take this little story to heart and bring Timeus into "visual life", so to speak. So the fun began.....
Our church backgrounds are similar so the depiction of the events would be easy to work with...just talking through how the scenes would "look." The rest was a training ground of sorts!
I've lived in the country for a long time, plus we had raised cutting horses for years. The area around Grand Lake is farm and ranch land; horses, cattle...and donkeys are a part of our life here. I've been around farm animals most of my life.
Ellen is a city girl and hadn't had the opportunity to observe the "every days" of country life. Armed with my camera, I think I took pictures of just about every donkey I could find in Mayes County for her to use as reference! (My personal favorite is a donkey named Bubba who lives just a couple of miles from me...but that's another story!)
When the day came that she sent Timeus' "close-up", I knew we were on our way!
Ellen's expertise was invaluable when it came to formatting this little book. I had found an excellent company who was willing to print the book...close enough to home to keep the personal touch, yet professional in their work. At this point I became the "learner." Bottom line... it takes a LOT to get a book ready to print!!!!!
For the past few months I have proofread, re-proofread, and found so-o-o many things that needed to be tweaked, changed, or simply discarded. I learned how much expertise it takes to know how set the pages up (where chapters start and end, how and where to put the illustrations, what can, or can't, go here...or there) that I feel like I've had an eye-opening education in things that I (as a reader) always took for granted!
Along the way the proverbial wastebasket was filled with extra quotation marks and unnecessary commas, redundant words were cleaned away, and a few re-writes added to make the scene or chapter flow better. Subtle things like deciding how dark or light to make the evening sky had to be decided. Somewhere in all this, with all the "housecleaning", a book emerged and grew to a ready-to-print product.
This most excellent printing company had a great product to work with (and I can discuss things like "crop marks" and "color separations"...and know what they mean!) Monday morning John Link called me to tell me that Timeus was ready to be delivered. His comment? "I've looked it over. It's beautiful!"
"Timeus' Amazing Journey" is probably no more amazing than the journey it's taken to get him on the road! I know that God gave me the story to write...there's no doubt about that. He also sent the perfect people to complete the work.
Heartfelt thanks to:
Ellen Wilkerson for all the hard work...a labor of love...and for becoming a wonderful friend. One day soon I hope to meet her in person!
John Link and his excellent company, Graphics One Printing, for a beautiful job of making Timeus' presentation a work of art.
and, all the friends who have encouraged, critiqued, and most of all, have loved this little donkey and his mother.
You can find "Timeus' Amazing Journey" at http://thevintagebookworm.ecrater.com
as well as a link for information at http://www.cabincreekcrossingbooks.com/
He's ready to take his journey....into the hearts of others now!