Dwelling in her ego, that she is special and unique, Sally Snowflake hears the voice of truth.
Challenges of life befall Sally until she looks within her fears at the deepest level.
Eventually led to a point of no return, Sally’s ego is set free as she discovers and embraces the One Great Truth.
“I LOVE this story! Such beauty
and simplicity. Timeless as a folktale.”
Demi Stevens, Year of the Book
Writing of Sally
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Somehow, through the course of time, our ability to get Sally’s Great Awakening off the ground has seemed overwhelming, overwhelming and disappointing.
In the very beginning, it was almost impossible to get Niki to go over it with me for initial readability. The lack of excitement and momentum crushed my heart. Yet, we made it through those days. Further delays gathering editorial assistance frustrated me even more; but those days also passed.
It would be a full nine months after
the initial writing before we could make the story available on Amazon. But that is only the text version, which is not nearly our hearts desire.
Between then and now, we have taken every opportunity to read the story aloud before what groups we could find to listen
to it. That has provided some beauty to the experience; we have even developed a one-hour workshop presentation around the story. And people enjoy it.
Yet for an in-print version, to date, the distant horizon remains out of sight. Our vision of that printed version is as a fully illustrated “Children’s Edition” [although it is not just a kids book by any means]. Given past [quite miserable and unsuccessful] experiences in finding publishers for other writings, we conceived self-publishing this work, but that alone led me down a disappointing road without return.
The first stumbling block was simply what size to make the pages. A few hours in the book stores and I found my perfect size of concept: 11 inches wide by 10 inches high. Problem 101 though, in the realm of self-publishing, that is an odd size, one that would cost us three times the price of a standardized 10 inch wide by 8 inch high book. Yikes!
Surrendering to “what is,” albeit reluctantly, I set about laying the book out for text placement on that 10x8, only to find the next obstacle; it would be the font. Even to this day, I am not 100% satisfied with the current font, but importing other possibilities has proven to be a nightmare seemingly unworthy of the insanity.
None-the-less, pushing through it all,
a 10x8-page layout was created around the page breaks used in the initial text version. What a delight I found in the difference. Yet
it was here that we encountered a household breakdown; it was healing that Niki needed to do, it stopped everything cold for months.
As the dust settled from our diversions,
we again had the chance to read Sally’s story before an audience on a couple of occasions. During those readings, we found a few lines that needed small tweaks, but something deeper was striking me. Perhaps it was the blessings of going through Niki’s ordeal, but
I looked at Sally through the storyline and by the end of the book, all I could see was a whining-little-bitch*.
Surely, by the very end of it all, Sally embraced the One Great Truth, but everything written for her to get there represented emotional devastation. It was a poorly expressed message. An example is shown below. The first line after hearing the water speak was a consistent thread throughout the story. [Now in brackets.]
Then one day, the water spoke, “We are one.”
[Crystal tears shattered upon Ice Berg as they fell from Sally’s face.] She realized she did not have all the answers; she had only known answers by her mind. Now, she held the answer to knowing truth. We are one.
It was that repetition in various forms that began to convey the “whining-little-bitch” persona. Thus, with adding only two short sentences, and changing one, I revamped it to read:
Then one day, the water spoke, “We are one.”
Sally’s heart sprang open with love. She knew the water’s words to mean, we accept you, and we appreciate you. Joyful tears flushed warm in Sally’s eyes. Now she realized she had not known all the answers, she had only known answers by her mind.
Now, she held the answer to knowing truth. We are one.
The end result is astounding. The story feels so much better. Perhaps that alone is the reason for all those delays; the storyline simply needed to grow up. And once it did, other aspects began to change.
Other little repetitions had popped up along the way, almost as an irritation; one of those was the implications of the word “silence.” An original sentence had read: “Silence hung in the air before Samuel spoke.” Each of the three major encounters Sally experienced included the word “silence” and while silence has a very precious aspect to it, there was a verbal hardness in the repetition.
In my mind, there was a desire to impart the “noise” of silence, a simple state of awareness without attachment. Thus the line became,
“The noise of ruffled feathers filled the air
before Samuel spoke.” But as you can see in
the screen shot below, the sentence changed yet again. Now it reads: “The scruff of ruffled feathers filled the air before Samuel spoke.” Though it loses the deeper aspect of the noise of silence, it keeps the story flowing and achieves better readability scores.
As from a "Text Only" rendition ...
From the "Illustrated Edition"
[The page is much larger and easier
to read than shown ... ]
What amazes me the most though, is the highly impactful difference in reading the story from the layout for illustrations. Each line can be placed with appropriate space for meaning and presence, what a difference. Somehow, so very much is lost in the compacted paragraph structure of typical writing.
Two more things changed, which of course took time beyond any advanced perception. The page size, it was driving me nuts, it just felt wrong. While it seemed to suit the illustration concepts quite well, the feel of the printed page was just too small. In addition, once going to the more generous page size, the font once again became an issue. It took uncountable hours to layout the pages that achieve a feel of balance to the work.
But now, now it’s ready.
There is still work to be done on the cover as that became insanity all its own; the printed cover lost all the color distinctions developed on the computer screen; silly me. At least that does not seem as ominous a task to redo. The feeling of direction has resurged since conquering the other holdups.
Amidst the other harries of life, now we can begin searching for an illustrator to round out the ideal. And as for publishing, we are going to do some door knocking. Self-publishing might sound like a great idea since publishers don’t do much of anything to market the books anymore, that is now all our job, but we are going to take a look. There are plenty of illustrated [children’s] books out there at a realistic price point, in all kinds of sizes and formats. The Universe will guide us …
Guru Aum Jah here ...
*It is not that Sally’s emotions had no place, far from it. In my mind, I did not see her tears as emotional devastation, but the language failed to convey her transformation. The acts of crying failed to depict her heart and soul as touched. They represented a continuum of language involving Sally as pleading, wailing and screaming; thus my vision
of a whining-little-bitch.
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