The New Bed Book

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Long before I was writing awesome children’s picture books about zombies, I was writing equally awesome children’s picture books about transitioning from a toddler bed to a full-sized bed.  That was my first venture into the world of literature and, judging from the response of publishers, it was quite successful.  Does the sarcasm translate?  Much like the zombie book, the plan was never to write a children’s book until I … well … wrote a children’s book.

The mattress was delivered and I, severely misinformed, did not have the slats needed to prevent my beloved from crashing to the floor.  The lure of the new bed was hard for the girl to resist.  Waiting for mom to come home so I could head to the store to pick up some 1x4s, I needed a distraction.  I picked up my guitar, played a few power chords (because that’s all I have mastered in 20 years of playing) and boom.

I want to sleep in my new bed.

I want to sleep in my new bed.

So soft and cozy for my head.

I want to sleep in my new bed.

The girls surprisingly loved it and the diversion worked.  The song had a good beat and you can sing along.  Turns out the bed was soft and cozy for her head.  I guess life does imitate art.

It was the most requested song of late 2012 and early 2013.  It needed to be cemented into history and based on the content, rhyme and length, a children’s picture book was the option that made the most sense.  The children’s part was covered; the picture part was not.

Searching around the app store, I found Drawing Carl.  I have no idea who Carl is but his app was pretty cool.  Designed for kids and apt for a terrible artist like me, I began sketching loose translations of the girls in the basement and the significant stages of the new big bed.

Each drawing took about an hour that was comprised of me trying to draw a circle, hitting the undo button, circle, undo and circle again.  Turns out the circles are really hard to draw.  People must be using compasses or protractors; maybe some sort of string/ pendulum setup.  Regardless, circles are hard, but I cheated in some spots by reusing backgrounds and only changing colors of clothes.

Words on a legal pad and pictures on an ipad.  I was told this does not constitute a book.  I tried shutterfly, picaboo and snapfish figuring that I could make a photo book the add the text.  This was mostly an utter disaster as the book shapes did not work or the templates did not allow me to split the sketch across two pages.

Head hanging low with the weight of failure, I discovered blurb:  A website with the primary purpose of creating books of all content, shapes and sizes.  I painstakingly pieced the drawings in place and added the text.  Ordering with the upgraded imagewrap cover and glossy paper made the finished product look legitimate when it arrived to the door.

We read “The True Story of Alyssa’s New Big Bed” every day for six months.  Alyssa would sing it to herself at bedtime, able to recall each word due to the frequency of exposure.  Obviously, Random House and Harper-Collins passed but the satisfaction in creating something that was so well loved proved remarkably rewarding.

Five grand would have been remarkably rewarding as well.  Oh well.

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