I was sitting in my spartan apartment in Salt Lake City, Utah, staring at the gentle flashing icon on my computer, stumped about the project that I was supposed to be working on for class. I had a psychology class, the title of which escapes me now, that required us to write a thought or perspective about ourselves or an experience.
It was getting late and I had started numerous failures already. I had drawn a total blank and had relegated myself to “F’it, just hand something in.”
I thought about a time years previously when my buddy Mike and I had a ritual whereby we would stay up stupid late, play Risk, eat Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers and drink copious amounts of Cherry Coke, just ’cause we could. One night, we were particularly loopy and were in the lull of insanity when he suddenly burst out with “I AM AN ORANGUTAN!” To this day neither of us know what prompted such an outburst.
Well, that inspired me. We had to write about ourselves, and, not being one for plagiarism, decided that not only am I not an orangutan, but I have no desire to be one. Instead I decided “I wish I were a tuna fish” and typed it in. Why do I wish I were a tuna fish? “So I could swim about the sea.” Why would I want to swim about the sea? And so on.
The project turned into a free flow of thought and self-reflection, the result of which I turned in. The whole thing in poem and rhyme. I didn’t care, at least I succeeded in fulfilling the requirement.
The professor handed the projects back to everyone toward the end of the week, but he didn’t hand mine back. I figured he either held it back to discuss in class (which he was prone to do from time to time) or he was mad at me. Then he didn’t talk about it at all in class, so I decided that he is either mad and I am getting a butt chewing, or he didn’t have it.
After class I went up to him and asked if he had received it. He said he had and wanted to discuss it with me. I braced myself. He went on to tell me how he is actually a child and adolescent psychologist and after reading my piece decided that I should make it a children’s book. I was stunned and spent the next while trying to think about how to go about doing so.
That while turned into about 10 years. I finally decided that I needed to do something with it and chose to illustrate it myself and design the book as well. I had been a freelance graphic artist for some time by then, so I knew how I wanted to develop the book.
The result I have sent to one agent, with no response at all. So, here is the link for you to enjoy, please feel free to comment. I am currently trying to print the book myself and sell it, unless I find an agent or publisher that will take it on. I already have a second book in the works, about a boy and his cabbage, but that will be discussed later.