Before last year was over I had written and published the third book in the series of Simona’s Adventures, Simona’s New Friend.
At the core of the story is the priceless gift of friendship, and the memory of a particular friend, an imaginary friend who inhabited my world, for a little while. He became larger than life not only in my memory but in the memory of my parents, a family foundation story.
Children’s develop imaginary friends for personal and wonderful reasons. And adults get to encourage the innocent fantasy and perpetuate it through stories. For that reason, it became even more real to me after “he” was gone. It made me believe I could retrieve the magic and do it again, create again, populate my world again, in writing.
As with any other work we put out there, we do it with trepidation, we wonder if the time and effort were worth it, especially when we did it for love, to satiate the intrinsic need to write and share when we won’t get loads of Amazon reviews and royalty checks. But if we are lucky, like I was this past week, we get something better.
So, when did I know it had been worth it?
- When I was told a child had asked to be read the book for the third night in a row.
- When I was told a little girl was so pleased she wanted to write the author to thank her and share her thoughts.
- When I felt the intense satisfaction of knowing I had contributed to a quiet, cozy moment between father, mother, son, daughter. I had open the door for a little self-reflection.
- When I knew a child out there had connected with the story and its characters, smiled, laughed, felt assured about the power of his or her own imagination.
I’ll keep measuring Simona’s success by the ordinary “thank-yous” that make a day extraordinary. Remembering that for a moment, someone out there simply read the words aloud and made them come alive.
Confess: What object, character or event in your childhood has become a family legend?