My picture book stories start as deep, personal questions of life’s fundamental mysteries. Questions like what it means to get older, why we are afraid of the dark, and how to yield. In writing the books I don’t hope to answer these questions. Rather, I hope to let them play out, mingling in my mind and, later, yours. In our busy, modern world, we rarely make the time for childlike contemplation. I write so that my readers, no matter the age, are invited to make a little space and time to marvel at the world and so to better marvel at our place among it.
I am currently shopping manuscripts for two manuscripts, The Moon is Afraid of the Dark and The Wall. Below is a sample work: The Rock.
About: “I started writing this book at the threshold moment between youth and adulthood. Fascinated with my process of maturing, I was surprised to find that being an “adult” felt much less sure than I’d expected. On the one hand, I knew myself better than ever before. But on the other, it was increasingly difficult to keep track of who I really was. The real me was only found by losing pieces of myself. By writing, I hoped to play out this scenario to its end, to see what would happen when “I” was just millions of tiny pieces. And so I wrote about a rock eroding over time.”
Thousands and thousand and thousands of years ago, magma erupted through the earth and up into the sky. After the smoke cleared and the rains washed the soot from the earth, a big rock sat atop the scorched plains.
And there it sat for thousands and thousands and thousands of years.
The weight of the big rock made an impression on the earth. Plants grew around it and moss covered its surfaces. Insects crawled on and through its cracks. Animals burrowed beneath it.
The big rock was happy and didn’t notice it was always losing pieces of itself as pebbles flaked off and dust was carried away by the wind.
Over time, the rock shrunk in size and was small enough to be carried away in a large flood. It tumbled across the plains and through a valley until it eventually became lodged in between two canyon walls.
Water built up behind the rock to form a lake. Algae grew on its surfaces, snails crawled up its back, fishtails brush against it and birds stood on top, peering into the water below.
The big rock was happy and didn’t notice that it was always losing pieces of itself as pebbles flaked off and sand was swept away in the water.
Years past and lake dried in the heat of the sun. The rock now sat in a hot, shadeless desert. As the water evaporated from its body, the big rock cracked into several pieces. Strong winds rolled the pieces far away from one another.
In the desert, the biggest piece of the big rock grew lonely. It missed the pieces of itself, now spread across the world in dust, sand, pebbles, and stones.
A thunderstorm crawled across the sky and the heat of the desert cooled under the cover of clouds. A bolt of lightning shot from the sky and hit the rock, cracking it all over.
The sky shook with thunder and the big rock tumbled into a million pieces. Rain fell onto the desert and swept the big rock, now millions of pieces of sand, away in streams of water rushing across the thirsty desert floor.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of passed and each grain of sand made its way to the bottom of the ocean floor. Settling in under the weight of the water they sat, one next to the other, each having journeyed all around the world.
For thousands and thousands and thousands of years, they rested together, until, under the weight of the water they fused together into a big sheet of rock.
The weight of the big rock made an impression on the ocean floor. Corals grew all around it and anemone covered its sides. Eels swam along it and through its cracks. Urchins made themselves at home.
The big rock was happy and didn’t notice it was always losing pieces of itself as pebbles flaked off and sand was carried away by the waves.