In the 9 months since we launched The Little Pink Book series with When Your Teacher Has Cancer, our audience & pathways have continued to expand beyond our field of vision. It all began as a book dedicated to a friend and has since become an extraordinary journey of sharing, giving & helping. Cancer affects lives in inordinate ways, bringing pain and confusion, uncertainty and loss of control in its wake—even the loss of life itself.
With each title in this Little Pink Book series it is above all else, our desire to bring hope to those who read them. As we’ve been called to share the books with cancer centers, conferences, libraries, schools, churches, camps, individuals, support groups and others, we have been blessed. Blessed by touching others’ lives with Pink Hope; blessed by sharing our whimsical stick-characters that let humor shine in the midst of difficult circumstance; blessed by hearing stories from adult readers about how their “inner child” was touched while reading to a child in their lap.
Book tours have taken us to Tennessee, Alabama, New York, Massachussets, North Carolina, Georgia, California and our home state of Florida. Virtual travel has taken us across 2/3 of the US map and into foreign countries & we’re striving to keep up with our Pink Map on the main page of the website. With a presence on Amazon.com, the books are also traveling to places that we sometimes don’t get feedback from…we just know we are touching lives as we virtually watch copies get picked up.
Each Little Pink Book has a story behind the story. Each one has a foreword written by a signficant contributor, someone who understands the journey through cancer in a personal & professional sense. Someone who has a heart and passion for also sharing hope—a Pink Hope through faith. God & prayer are touched upon in each book, not as an evengelical decision, but as a tool for coping, learning and thriving during difficult & painful times. Being in touch with our physical, mental and spiritual health are all necessary components of healing. No one gets through life alone, and especially during trials that rob one of energy, resources, and even joy. And with every title, my writing is blessed by personal interviews with families who experience these dificult paths. Their willingness to share affects my writing and my life.
Traveling with these Little Pink Books has opened our hearts and our eyes to other struggles which children must journey through with their parent. Bringing difficult topics to families through the eyes of a child is what we love about writing and illustrating. Children simplify things by focusing in the moment & that’s a trait adults could use to adopt more often. Children are at the heart of every story while the foreword and afterword tips & resources embrace the adults supporting those children…and caring for themselves in the journey too!
In that same spirit, we began The Little Patriot Books to help children cope with a parent being deployed to war. On 9-11, we launched two titles: When Your Dad Goes to War and When Your Mom Goes to War—Helping Children Cope with Deployment and Beyond. As with the Little Pink Books, these were born out of watching and listening to struggle, and choosing to be a voice for those in the midst of it. Using my gifts in writing & research plus my experience as a military member, military spouse and mother of two (grown) military brats, I set out to bless our troops and their families. The war on terror evokes a lot of emotion in many circles, but my attention goes to the troops defending our freedom and their children capture my heart of compassion. I’m grateful to the troops & their families, the National Military Family Association, Military One Source, Operation We Are Here, Airman & Family Readiness Centers, and the numerous individuals who have coordinated support for these works—including my family! No work is ever done alone.
What’s next on the writing agenda? When Your Grandma Has Cancer in winter 2011 for the Little Pink Book series. Plus a collaborative work with Bob Deits, author of Life After Loss. Bob is an amazingly talented writer and speaker who’s been helping people deal with loss and grief for more than 30 years—and someone I’ve admired since 1995. So together, over the next several months we’ll be writing together: When Your Grandma Forgets–Helping Children Understand Alzheimer’s.
As for speaking and traveling, I’ll be in Birmingham (AL), Nashville & Murfreesboro (TN) during October for several breast cancer events, as well as events here in Florida. I’ll be on talk radio, local television and leading two events that I’ve organized in two cities, and featured in Coastal Christian Magazine. Other events: military council meetings, cancer centers, guest panelist at “women in the media” workshop, and speaker at Camp Bluebird, a cancer camp for adults. As for travel, we’re scheduled for Florida’s east coast, Ohio, Tennessee and Hawaii with the Little Pink Books & The Little Patriot Books!
My daily prayer: to stay in touch with the “heart matter” of everything I’m doing–whether writing, speaking or exhibiting and whether its an audience of one or a thousand. I’m humbly grateful to all my readers, the professionals helping families journey thru the tough times, the incredible invitations we continue to receive and to God, for showing me over and over that when “you bless others, you too will be blessed.”