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Never stop blooming!

I keep seeing all these posts on social media about people talking about getting a late start in the kid lit game...and they are like 40. Well, well, well. I am 63 and my first traditionally published childrens book comes out next year. Yep...when I'm 64. And hopefully it's just the beginning. Another book is scheduled for 2025. I almost titled this post 'Late Bloomer', but late is a relative term! Maybe there are some 80 years old just finding their groove! I was thinking the other day about if I could have started this journey sooner, and the answer is no!

FIrst of all, as a single mom, I was busy working my tail off to make ends meet. And it wasn't easy. I was an artist, but we all know it's not that easy to make a living as 'just an artist.' So, I did large murals, and LOTS of faux painting when that was the big thing. It was hard, manual, physically demanding work. That, plus keeping up with my three kids, was all I could handle.

Then...my kids grew up, graduated from college and started their own lives. I went and hiked the Appalachian Trail and it was a life altering event. I realized I was only stuck in this one spot because I chose to not make changes. I moved to Colorado, where I had always talked about moving, and had to figure out a new way to make a living. Plus, I only knew two people in town, so I had a lot of time to focus on where I wanted my career to go. I worked at a painting/wine studio for several years. It was actually pretty fun, and I also began to work digitally. GAME changer! The first two years here, I focusing on getting in to the kid lit game and honed my illustration skills. Not a lot of socailizing (because I didn't know anyone!) Sent out postcards to agents and editors and that is how I got my wonderful agent, Samantha. I had great friends back in KS, but I decided CO friends would be a good next step. I have always run, and I met some really good people through that. Our little tribe kept growing and now I have great friends who run and hike and gather for cocktails. So I guess the moral of this story is...

never stop blooming! Keep learning, growing, and seeking!

And I LOVE being in Colorado! (not throwing any shade on Kansas. I'm from Lawrence and will always be a Kansas girl) but I never take the proximity to the beautful Rocky Mountains for granted and I am out in them as often as possible. This is from a recent hike up to Ice Lake and Island Lake. Amazing and beautiful!





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