From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Judy Walker; author of “Turkey Trouble.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!
I am a retired teacher and well past the age of giving birth. However, two years ago at the age of 65, with the help of WestBow Press, I gave birth to Pokey, Tillie, and a gaggle of terrible turkeys in my children’s book, “Turkey Trouble.”
Seventeen of my 32 years of teaching, were spent teaching 7th graders in my language arts classes how to write. One of the assignments I gave my student’s was to write and illustrate a children’s book. It was amazing to read their creative and imaginative stories. I still connect with some of my former students who tell me they have the books they wrote in seventh grade and they read them to their own children. All the while my students were creating, I was busily teaching them, and as teachers know, there are never enough hours in the day for fulfilling your own dreams and desires.
After retiring from teaching, I decided it was time to live out my own dream. I had a story that had been gestating in my mind for 40 years. I knew it was time for the turkeys of Yummy Yummy Land to be born.
The conception of Pokey, Tillie, and the turkeys had begun 40 years ago in my first grade classroom in Council Bluffs, Iowa. My teaching partner and I did a puppet show each morning with the puppets, Pokey and Tillie. As they shared their fictional problems about issues at the King’s Royal Turkey Ranch, the children related their own problems and asked advice from the puppets. Many times the issues related to bullying. Tillie and Pokey would give advice and examples from their fictional life on the King’s ranch. Tillie, a sweet, scatterbrained turkey, and Pokey, a level headed, problem solving donkey, were endearing characters who the children considered their special friends.
My 32 years of teaching experience at grade levels one through seven, helped me recognize the problems that children face in growing up. Bullying is nothing new and I believe it finds its root cause in a lack of self esteem in the bully. The turkeys in “Turkey Trouble” learn that when they look their best, do their best, and be their best, they can be confident and love themselves. If they love themselves, they can love others just as the Golden Rule teaches. The book comes across with its anti-bullying message in a positive and fun filled story.
Retirement was the impetus I needed to write my children’s book. I had had 40 years to reflect on all that working with children had taught me. My labor pains began at a Women of Faith conference in Anaheim, California, in 2013. I vividly remember walking past the WestBow Press exhibit. My mind instantly pulsated with this message…”It’s time, Judy, to step out in faith.” And I did.
The labor was long but oh, so worth it. At 65 years old I gave birth to my book! Just like a new mother has hopes and dreams for her new baby, I have hopes and dreams for my baby, Turkey Trouble. I hope it is entertaining and inspiring children to treat others with love and respect. I have high hopes for the difference love will make in many lives.
I gave birth to my dream. God gave life and purpose to my dream because I stepped out in faith.
Like the Author Judy Walker Facebook page and follow Judy on Twitter @TurkeyTrouble. Judy also blogs at https://authorjudywalker.wordpress.com/.
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WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page, by tweeting us @WestBowPress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.