First book (excerpt) in the series: "The Sneezing Llama"

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

A few months ago, I saw a painting of a llama and it inspired me! I had already started 4 books in the series. But, sweet Darby ended up working her way into the first book in the series. The series is about an art teacher.

(Scroll farther down to go straight to an excerpt from the book)

A great part of creating is the dreaming! It takes courage to step out of the dreaming into making it a reality. I read a book by Chris Rice and a quote from a poem, "The Best Minds", stirred the embers of a dream that lay dormant. This is the part that began to bring to life a dream, "The world starves for writers again! For great minds to appear. Ah, let there be just one! Who will it be? Where are you now.... Withering unknown on your dying bed because you were afraid to risk?"

The winds of hope and courage stirred inside of me. I began to dream. A God centered confidence surged. I don't feel like a "great mind", but I am creative. I love kids... and people... and encouraging others. I love to write and paint and play with words! I know that God loves when His children dream really BIG! If a dream is possible in our own limited strength, talents and abilities, it doesn't give Him the glory He deserves.

I remember dreaming as a child of illustrating and creating children's books or working for Hallmark. I don't want to be on my dying bed wishing I had tried!

So-o-o, I have stepped into a void of beautiful nothingness and began to write a children's books series! Over the last several months a children series about an art teacher was born. Another part of the poem is my life now, "It's time to rise and do the difficult work! Tend the Garden!" It takes work to write! Late nights with shoulders aching as I weed the gardens I am writing!

I have 6 books in the editing process and about 30 ideas/titles brewing. My mind spins and moves in an unstoppable fashion. It seems like daily something inspires me... and I jot down words, ideas, word sketches of book ideas. I say that not in a proud way. Those who know me well, know I am aware of my flaws and weaknesses. But, I feel like I am holding jewels placed in my heart and mind and I want to be found faithful with what has been deposited inside my heart!

Will it take a several months or years to have a book published? I don't know. I'm content to rest in God's hands as I tend to the garden. I want to live from a place a rest and not striving!

I am going to share part of my first book in the series. It's a teaser. Ms. Paisley, an unpredictable art teacher, is a playful, deep, passionate, wise encourager that loves animals and pointing others to the love of the Master Artist. She understands the power of her words and seeks to bring healing to hearts young and old. She uses different approaches to free people to be imperfect and let go of their fears!

Each book will have its own spins and turns. The students will be every age and color! Art lessons (posted on my blog... extensions of the books) will also be intertwined with art history, life lessons of compassion, empathy, the beauty of diversity/other nations and the worth of each soul! Oh, one of the things I can't wait to write about is the forest on Ms. Paisley's property. It is sometimes magical! She has art night camp outs.... hmmmm.... I can't give the secrets away! And some books give illusive hints of what lie ahead (in the next books)!

This is the beginning of the first book in the series:

"The Sneezing Llama"

The town of Graceville was a peek and plumb town you came across only by chance. People joked that if you peeked around the corner you were plumb out of town. It wasn’t very often anything exciting happened in this little town. As Graceville residents were awaiting spring, the melting snow, gray skies and muddy terrain created a gloomy atmosphere.

One day as gentle winds began pushing the blanket of clouds away, a very curious looking camper pulled up outside a property on the edge of town. A woman towing the camper got out of an equally interesting old car. She wore colorful rain boots. Tromping through the slushy snow, she removed the “For Sale” sign and replaced it with an inviting “You Are Loved. Free seeds. Pay with smiles.” sign.

The land had been for sale for years. The property though lovely, was unusual in that it had an astonishing variety of trees not normal to the area it was in. It sometimes glowed at night and intriguing sounds came from within the trees. Because of it’s peculiarity, people were afraid to go near the property.

The small community came alive with curiosity. Trucks began bringing very unusual things through town on the way to the property. One week it was multiple picnic benches. Another week trucks towing a variety of animals drove through town. (Illustrations show eyes of every size, shape and height peeking through gaps in truck trailers). Vehicle after vehicle came. (Illustrations will show the illusion of a lot of tent boxes and outdoor lighting strands).

On another day the lady was seen driving through town with a trail of glitter coming from the back of her car. The glitter mixed with the dust on the road. Within the sparkling clouds of dust faint words seemed to appear. (In the illustrations a few titles of future book titles will be in glitter clouds) The curiosity among the people of Graceville increased with the billowing clouds of glitter expanding and floating into the air.

When it was rumored that there was a llama in the field at the front of the newcomers property, a group of children walked to see the llama. The llama appeared to be very happy to see the young visitors. But because llamas are known to spit, the children dared not venture too close! The llama ran exuberantly in circles and began sneezing. Each time it stopped to see the children, who were now smiling and giggling, the llama again began to spin happily around the entire the field sneezing...........

(this is only the first part of the story...)


This is kind of an out of body experience! I am captivated by Ms. Paisley even as I write... and the ideas keep coming! She if fun, wise, memorable and her love for everything around her is contagious. She leaves you thinking, pondering and looking forward to your tomorrows. Often, I wish to step into my own story and be there! It's a pretty cool feeling! It's a sobering feeling as well, to understand the power of how my words and character can potentially shape and transform my readers lives. It keeps me in a place where I really want to hear from God and let him guide my thoughts and fingers as the ideas flow from my heart! I don't just want to be creative but I want to be a vessel that God works through!

I hope as the days and years go on, I will meet people who say "I remember reading those first excerpts and sneak peeks. I can't wait to read each book as soon as they are published and find out what Ms. Paisley's next antic and life lesson is. These books have impacted our children, our family and community!" Come journey with me friends! It's going to be a fun ride!

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