One major project that has recently checked the FINISHED box is something that sprouted in my mind about a year ago and I'd like to share it with you today. It starts with some exposition, so bear with me.
I have a friend I met freshman year of college. She was my biology lab partner (we sign letters "Bio 4eva") and we quickly found shared interests in jokes, Margaret Atwood, space exploration, physiology, and microscopes. Even after going our separate ways and over the years, finding ourselves on different coasts, we keep in touch. When she announced she was pregnant with her first child last spring, I knew something epic was required.
So I wrote her newborn daughter a book. A science book. Teaching the ABCs, to be exact.
This children's book takes the reader through the alphabet in sing-song rhyming fashion, matching each letter with a scientific term, accompanied by hand-drawn watercolor illustrations.
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed sitting down on rainy, blustery autumn Saturdays last fall with Crayola watercolors in front of me, re-learning wet-on-wet technique and practicing some very sketchy calligraphy with some pens I bought at Barnes&Noble.
Perhaps as a self-fulfilling prophecy, the part that took the longest was the part I dreaded most: figuring out how the hell to get these images (done on watercolor paper) into book format. Some high resolution scans and a large amount of internet searching later, I found UBuildABook. This company was exactly what I needed in terms of easy formatting and high-quality printing. My intention was never to have this be a "book" book - no ISBN number, not looking to sell online (my only hope is the amateur-ness of the entire production is viewed as "charming" -- I'll even take the slightly more patronizing "endearing"). This was intended as a single issue dedication to someone I hope will grow to love reading and science as much as her mother (and her mother's friend) does.
Just last week, the finished project (referred to as The Super Secret Project and Sorry This is Taking So Long in letters, given that the child this is in celebration for was born in November) finally made it into the hands of the intended and I received a few texts confirming what I expected: a thank you and the knowledge that the mother was going to get more enjoyment out of it for a while before her daughter learns her ABCs. But, you're never too young to start enjoying books. And I think the glossy print pages are probably drool-proof. So I wish you many adventures in both reading and science, little one. The world is your Crassostrea gigas (oyster).
Until next time, happy reading, happy writing, happy vetting.