Fidget & Dot: The Beginning

Eliana and I were out to dinner after her evening eye check up and she started looking at me funny. Turns out I was staring at my food with a stupid grin on my face and a glazed look in my eyes. Oh. And I was nodding occasionally, like I was listening to an invisible conversation in my head.

"Mom?" Eliana had her head cocked to one side, examining me. I'm figuring she was trying to determine if it was polite to ask me if I'd taken my meds this afternoon.

"What?" I looked up her, my eyes clearing a bit. She was annoying me. She had just interrupted the book writing itself in my head.

"So... have you taken your adderall?" She was still eyeing me. Amused, but probably glad she's chosen the back booth while I'd ordered our food. No one else could see me.

"Yes. I mean, no." I dismissed her with an impatient hand of my hand. "I'm writing a book. Well, actually, it's writing itself in my head. I've been working on it for a while now, but I only had the main character and her best friend in my head. I don't know why, but I can literally see the book in my head now."

She smiled, relieved. Mama hasn't lost it, after all. Then she asked me to tell her what I was seeing in my head. This is how you know she's being raised by a writer.

"The main character is named Kateri Ramirez. She's 10 and her nickname is Fidget. She had high functioning autism/asperspers. And her..."

"Oh my god, mom! Eliana interrupted me. Her eyes were dancing with excitement. "Are you serious?"

"Yep! And her best friend is Dorothy and her nickname is Dot. I don't know her last name yet. I think Dot might have ADHD."

"OMGMOM! LIKEYOUANDME."

I grinned. This felt good.

"Yep!" I nodded. "We don't get that a lot, do we? Anyway, you know those Dork Diaries books you love? How they are written like it's a diary? Well, Figdet and Dot start a blog, with their moms' help, and alternate writing blog posts. So, instead of chapters, the book is a series of blog posts." 

Eliana had a stupid grin on her face. I beamed.

"Is Fidget homeschooled? And Dot could go to public school?" Eliana asked me. She looked hopeful.

I shrugged. "Not sure yet. That could be a good thing in the story. Anyway, now you know why Iooked like I was having a conversation in my head. Because I was."

"Can I be your beta reader?" Eliana asked me.

Yep. She's a writer's kid, alright.

"No. I'm kidding. Like I wouldn't ask you? Now finish up. We gotta get home. I've got a book to make happen." 

I blinked.

"Well, after I do the laundry. The dishes. Pack up Etsy orders for shipping tomorrow. Finish that essay I started today. Pitch the essay. Walk the dogs. Pay bills online. Not get lost on Facebook with stupid quizzes. And make daddy's lunch for tomorrow."

Eliana burst out laughing. "Yeah. Okay. You got this, mom." 

Born to Be a Dragon

I had almost forgotten what it felt like. As a child, I was known for my love of books. The magical world of Narnia. The mysteries of Nancy Drew. The reflective words of Judy Blume. My sisters and I spent weekends at my aunt and uncle's house regularly. And before it had become considered a danger to do so (or maybe it was and the security guards just didn't care back then) my uncle would leave me in the book section at Meijer while he shopped for groceries. He didn't have to tell me not to wander and that I'd better be sitting exactly where he left me or else because he just knew. Before he had even had a chance to push his cart out of the aisle away from me, I was already lost in a new chapter of a new book and loving every delicious second.

I was probably eight when this was happening. The deal was if I managed to speed read my way through one book, he'd buy me two. My personal faves for this little challenge were the Nancy Drew books because really?  Once you read one, you could pretty much skip all of the required Bess, George, and Boyfriend Ned background, also known as Chapter One, and get on with the story. I always left with two books.

Other people's worlds.

I was too young to appreciate (but old enough to marvel at) the opportunity to hold entire worlds in the palm of my hands. Friends were few, vacations to escape the hum-drum of reality were fewer since my father worked two jobs to keep us afloat, but none of that mattered because I had a little library at my fingertips. All I had to do was choose the pages I wanted to lose myself in.

I had almost forgotten what that felt like.

And then I read Eisley Jacob's debut middle grade novel Born to Be a Dragon. And I remembered.

The novel follows Meia, a ten-year-old foster child who has been bounced from family to family because of her tendency to daydream about the  dragons she believes are real, and Deglan, the ten-year-old dragon who must flee from his home to protect himself because of the ancient mark he bears upon his skin. Told in alternating points of view, Born to Be a Dragon is truly an inspired work that will take readers along for a breath-taking ride filled with twists and turns as the unlikely friends discover the truth behind a legend that is destined to change both of their lives.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup." ~ Anonymous Dragon

This cracks me up every single time I see it. Thank you, Eisley, for giving us the gift of your words. I can't wait to read more. Or attend the movie premiere...

Order your author signed copy today. And stay tuned because I have an incredibly fun interview with Eisley that happens to include a giveaway...I tried talking her into an autographed bottle of ketchup, but she insisted on a book instead.

Your welcome.