Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Girl Whose Heart Was Too Big's "story"
The Girl Whose Heart Was Too Big is a children's story I wrote a couple years ago actually. I had originally wanted to publish it traditionally, or at least try to. I did have someone interested in publishing it. Then my grandmother got sick, and I wanted it out sooner than later. The publisher told me about self-publishing. I had attempted to do it, but then realized I hadn't a clue what I was getting myself into. And every picture I drew up, I didn't like. I had a vision for this story and I just couldn't get it to work.
Then I just put it aside.
And tried finishing a young adult book that I was working on so my Grams could read that instead. (I just wanted to give her something to read that I wrote...)
Then my computer crashed 2x. Yeah. That didn't get written either. So I think I just ended up drawing my Gram a picture. I knew she would be proud of me either way. A year later, I wrote The Shifted and she was the first person and only person to own a typed, unedited manuscript. I didn't even have a printed copy.
But once I finished that book, I started book 2. "Full Moon on the Rise." Once I finished book 2, I secretly started working on the children's book again.
I thought it was going to be simple.
And part of it was. I did the sketches for the book in a hour tops. It was fun. I was excited.
Then I tried self-publishing. Not so fun.
I guess I didn't read the part where it tells you how to format and what not. All my sizes and fonts, pictures, etc were ALL WRONG. I had to start over, and over, and over.... You get my drift. And then I realized I really didn't know what I was supposed to even do. What was supposed to go in the book, etc.
That's where Author Shawn Kirsten Maravel came to the rescue. She answered all kinds of questions I had, and if it weren't for her I would probably still be yelling at my computer :)
So again, I give a great big "THANK YOU" shout out to her!! [And if any of you haven't read her stuff, head over to her blog, http://shawn-kirsten-maravel.blogspot.com/ - and check her out. I've been lucky enough to read 3 out of 4 of her novels, and I've enjoyed all of them.]
So anyway, I told you guys I would tell you why I chose the Associated Humane Societies as my choice of donation in my last blog, and why I chose to donate fifty percent of my royalties.
Let me start with I used to be scared of big dogs.
Yup. Me. The huge dog lover.
I was bit when I was younger and I was scared ever since. Puppies didn't bother me. (Puppies are too cute) but big, older dogs did.
I used to say I was a cat person. I loved cats. (Still do) Except I realized cats don't like me. I am allergic.
Therefore I can't be a cat person.
My husband wanted a dog, I was weary.
Then we went looking for property in upstate NY. While we were at Salmon River Falls, we met an american bull dog. It was the first time I ever heard of an american bull dog. (I later learned this is the breed of dog that played "Chance" on Homeward Bound) This dog was awesome. Friendly. Trained. BIG. And I still liked him.
Not even a year later we went to the Popcorn Park Zoo as an afternoon out and about. The Popcorn Park Zoo is next to the Associated Humane Societies. Inside the AHS there are many animals waiting for adoption,in hopes of finding a new or their first home.
We decided to walk through there to say "hi" to the animals.
That's where I met "Alex."
A white and black american bull dog. He was BIG and he was only a year old. I instantly connected with him. I think I was starting to see a pattern. I was okay with American Bull Dogs- or probably just because he looked just like the awesome dog from NY.
So anyway, we found out why Alex was there and not adopted. Turns out he's been there since he was a little puppy- and the story I heard broke my heart. We went home that day and I started begging my husband for Alex. I mean, to the point I was in tears and crying.
I think I startled myself and him that day- actually that week. I didn't let go about it. And worse, we lived in an apartment where we weren't even allowed animals. But no, I wouldn't give it up.
Finally I must have broke down my husband because he agreed. But when I called the AHS back about Alex, he was already in the process of being adopted out. It was a sad and happy day for me. I was happy Alex was finding a home but I was sad, it wasn't with us.
We might not have gotten Alex, but it started us on a whole new search for American bull dogs. I wanted a rescue dog but my husband suggested with my fear of big dogs, we should start with a puppy. So I could get used to it small, and growing in stages. And that I knew its background.
That's how we ended up getting Chance. (And no I didn't name him after Chance on Homeward Bound, I didn't even think of this movie until AFTER someone mentioned the coincidence. I actually named him after the line, "taking a chance." I was taking a chance on him.)
I was nervous because we still only lived in the apartment, we had only just started house hunting, and we were on our way to Maryland to pick up our new "and totally not allowed or we would get evicted" puppy.
Except when I saw chance for the first time, I fell instantly in love. Then when the little boy picked up a shoe and paraded around our feet with it hanging out of his mouth, I don't know I fell in love even more. He looked so proud of himself. He looked so comfortable around us. And he looked so awful tripping over the shoelaces. I knew him and I were going to be a match-made in heaven. Clumsy, big-hearted and adorable, he became my best friend.
Somehow we found a home in less than 3 months, we moved out of our apartment and we started a family in our new house. 3 months after that, we got another american Bull dog.
And I started sponsoring more at the Associated Humane Societies- because 1. My husband wouldn't allow us to get anymore puppies at the time being, we were already in over our head with two lol and 2. because I couldn't forget about Alex's story and how he was the reason I now had two wonderful dogs to call my own. So in thanks to him- I wanted to help out other animals.
And that's how my annual drives started....
My children's story started....
And why I wrote it with intentions of donating more money to the Associated Humane Societies.
And with your help, by just purchasing one book, I will be able to give more than I am able too. And I thank all of you that have already helped.
I remember when I was scared of big dogs, but you'd never know I was if you've seen me now.
Posted by Natalie Carlisle at 4:31 PM