Friday, July 19, 2019

Dedicated to...

I've not had a problem with deciding the dedication of my books, Lessons Learned to the children and teachers who were connected to the school, and When Christmas Feels Like Home, to children who move, since main character Eduardo, had moved to a new country and a new life. Those decisions were no brainers. My other book dedications were to the individuals I wrote about. Again, no brainers. Those dedications were made before I wrote the first word.

Then I came to the dedication of my moon book, Back on Earth: When Men First Landed on the Moon. Who should receive the honor? The three Apollo Eleven astronauts? No, they've had plenty of accolades. What about NASA? No, although these workers were essential, they didn't match I wanted to get across to the reader.

I mulled proper names and common nouns over and over. Who am I really honoring in this picture book? The title suggests those of us back on earth, those of us in front of the television set biting our fingernails and squeezing our mother's hands. Those of us cheering. I wondered what were they thinking when they clapped.
What about those of us on the sidewalks looking into storefront television displays? I wondered why they took time to stop by the window and look in.
And then it hit me. What I really wanted to honor was those people back on earth who were awed about the whole concept of putting a man on the moon, those who sat on a bench and wondered what was going to happen, those who let their imaginations soar along with the Columbia.
But that was then. I wanted to include more. I wanted to pay homage to those children (and grownups) who wonder about what is next. Could a child reading my book become the grownup who one day walks on Mars? 

I wondered.

In the end, I dedicated this sliver of a picture book finding its place in the great cosmos, to cover past, present and future, all wrapped into one phrase. I lift my wine glass to you who wonder about space and about life. I honor your drive and your passion.

Dedicated to those who wonder.

Catch of the day,


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