I don’t know that I would’ve come up with "tattered birdsong" otherwise, and I loved the little picture it put in my mind-- a cold winter setting with a raw wind rattling old berry canes, and from somewhere deep within the tangle comes a snippet of song, just a frayed little tatter, nothing more. It begged to have something more done with it, so I wrote a little haiku-inspired verse around it:
Nice. Still wasn’t enough, though. That little shred of a picture kept at me, wanting to be expanded into something more. I finally sat down one day and wrote it at the top of a blank page of college-ruled notebook paper. (No keyboards for my rough drafts—I’m a pen-and-paper gal!) Started to write, not knowing what the heck I was writing—fact or fiction, children’s or adult, story or essay. The story took shape word by word, and I was happy to see it turning into something that could be a home for some of my own memories. While the story is fiction, many of the details came from my childhood, and the main characters are composites of some of my relatives.
When I began writing the story, I had the thought that if it turned out to be something I was happy with, I’d send it around to publishers and see if I could find one who liked it; if not, then I might look into self-publishing. However, the closer I got to finishing the book, and the more I was learning about self-publishing, the more that option made sense, and that is indeed the route I chose. So, after receiving feedback from several readers and making the necessary revisions, it then became a matter of finding an illustrator and a printer, and now finally, at long last, I have a book!