Where Dandelions Grow – Where the story came from part 2

Click here to read part one.
For me, the coolest part about Where Dandelions Grow is that I loosely based the four main characters off of me, my sister, and Alexa and Aubrey.
The book was a graduation present to Alexa. A tribute to our childhood. None of the characters besides the cousins were anything like reality, but that still gave me something to work off of. A time for me to explore the beauty of cousin-ship.
I wrote for six weeks and it was my favorite book to write.
As I explored the deep friendship we four cousins in real life had growing up, and then transformed the elements (and at time, the stories) to four characters, I was reminded again about all the love I’ve been basking in for forever.
Where Dandelions Grow is about hope, love, dreams, forgiveness and family. All those words have deep and special meanings to me; so to incorporate them into a single story made me want to dance with joy.
Oh! Methinks I’ve forgotten a very important element. Alexa had written a short story and let me read it and that’s what sparked the initial idea and setting for the book. She graciously agreed to let me use it (with minor changes) as the preface of Where Dandelions Grow.
Alexa also wrote two articles and they fit so perfectly into the storyline I was creating that I asked her if I could use them in my book. It was especially special for me using her writing since the book is about cousins.
I have toyed with the idea of creating a series, giving each one of the cousins a chance to tell their own story. Who knows, someday it might happen…
What about you? Have you ever had a story or idea fall into your brain with such clarity that you can’t wait to begin working on it?
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Today we have a guest appearance by Autumn Genre. She’s keeping me company this morning while I’m writing and I wanted to let y’all see how adorable she is:
(Looking at this picture I’m thinking, like, no wonder so many people think I’m in my early teens! Craziness. No way I would guess that girl^ to be in her twenties.) 

Life Recently :)

And the party continues at my house, with our cousins still hanging out. Yes, with over a week of fun and festivities, I think this is the longest time so many of us have hung out together at once. Don’t worry though, we’ve also been getting stuff accomplished. Most days I’ve spent at least several hours up in my office working and planning. Still. Double the kids, double the fun. Most of the time. 😉

My dad and I love to hang out together and play a card game he made up. Since he’s super good with cards, I have a hard time beating him. Let me rephrase that: The times I’ve beaten him at this game can probably be counted with one hand. On one finger of that hand. Yeah, it’s that bad. Winning isn’t the point of this game for me (it couldn’t be, because I would be doomed if it were!), but I still try and win. Like, trying really hard. Anyways. I have tons of fun getting the time with Dad. My dad is totally amazing about finding time to do special things with each of his kids. It’s often during these games that I talk over ideas I have for my books and that kind of stuff.

The other day though! The other day… I actually WON! Now, we won’t mention the fact that dad was sick and that he unknowingly gave me some advice that scored me the winning move. We’ll just focus on the fact that I was the winner! 🙂

Points are bad in this game. 
Abbie (cousin) took a great liking to my dog, Novel. She’s been asking about her, following her around, and playing with her. It’s so darling to watch and I’m thrilled Novel’s such a good dog with children. The other day Abbie was like, “Look, she has brown eyes, and I have brown eyes!” Then a little while later she declared, Novel is my BFF.” It made me smile. 🙂
This picture is totally unposed. 

Of course we’ve been playing Settlers of Caton until half of the kids declare they’ll never play it again… only to be drafted into another game of it the next day. As you can see, the board has expanded somewhat since we got it on Christmas Eve….

I’m red and was in third place with 11 points. 

Among other things that have been going on:
Yelling and cheering right after the New Year is ushered in (while Face Timing with some of our friends who were still stuck in 2013. We assured them 2014 was pretty great).
Writing down goals and plans about how to accomplish them.
Planning and starting new books.
Reading The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey which I had to do for my job, but it was pretty great cause it also counts toward my goal of 50 books this year.
Memorizing Proverbs 1:5-7.
Taking beautiful, brainstorming walks down our amazing country roads.

What have you been up to?