My next project was even more fun. I began to write and illustrate my next children’s picture book. I wanted to see if I could still draw at all. The project started prior to the massive shutdowns in California, but ended up being a sort of lifesaver once the real hysteria hit and all the children were yanked out of school. It gave my son a project to do with me, and I began to see his face light up once again. He never seemed to be into drawing or coloring before, but he took an interest in what I was doing and even started making his own illustrations for the book.
The Lemon Seed is a story of thriving in adversity and flourishing, even in dismal circumstances and environments. It has a very handmade look to it, and that was intentional. It wasn’t meant to be a message of the times, but it definitely ended up being one.
After my first children’s picture book, Mommy Thinks She’s a Monster, I discovered a company called Amuse. You see, I had all these crazy songs that I would “sing” to my kids when they were babies, and they were all recorded on my phone. They were all comical and made the kids laugh. What would happen if I released an album of them? Well, I would soon find out.
Amuse is great, and allows people to release their music and keep 100% of their royalties. Being as into passive income streams as I am, it was the perfect match for me.
Mommy’s Gone Mad! was born!
You can listen to it on Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Napster and more! It’s everywhere!
I surprised my husband with it for Christmas and I’m sure he was horrified. With tracks like I See Your Boogie and Pee On The Potty, it’s sure to be relatable to anyone who spends time with small children. As I see it, if it entertains just one child, or makes one frazzled parent laugh, I have done my job. Plus, my kids love it – they still play the songs and crack up every time.
And, I didn’t stop there. I also released Mommy’s Gone Mad! The Lost Tracks and three music singles that go along with some of my CIA-themed books.
One thing is for sure, my kids will be able to look back on their crazy Mom and laugh, plus receive royalties for the rest of their lives – as they should – after all, they inspired the lunacy.
Never content to sit around without a creative project, I decided to bring a short children’s story to life in the form of a children’s picture book. I decided to collaborate with a local artist for the illustrations in the book. This part was so much fun! Day after day, I would go back and forth with my illustrator, Paul Kent Sewell, whose comic style I love. He was great to work with.
My daughter, who was two at the time, helped out by viewing each illustration and by giving me the time to work on this project. In the end, it is one of my proudest achievements – Mommy Thinks She’s a Monster is a children’s picture book honoring moms everywhere for the sacrifices they make – the time they take, the professions and careers they put on hold and the mostly thankless work that they do to raise children in this world. It is also a sort of recognition of the issues that many mothers with small children face – whether it is PPD or just not enough time for self care.
Whatever the message you choose to get from it, it was fun to do and I’m looking forward to doing more of these in the future!