Pictures speak. Well, not literally. But, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Most of us have heard this common expression. However, I got to experience it firsthand at my book signing last Saturday.
I arrived at my friends’ store, Angels & Outlaws, a bit before 10:00am. Andi and Amy set up a cozy little area for me to display my books, golden pens, and golden keys. They had delicious cookies, treats, and beverages ready for their customers. We were prepared for a full day of book signing and shopping. Then, I heard the door open at 10:00am sharp. “Front door,” echoed the soft recorded voice as the door handle turned. A sweet couple entered and began to look around. Andi and Amy warmly greeted them, as well as each and every customer who entered their store that day.
The couple made their way over to my table. I asked them if they had any children on their Christmas shopping list. They did! We chatted about my book for awhile and then I grabbed my golden pen. I signed my name and wrote the child’s name, Bentely, across the top of the title page. It was my first book to personalize at my very first book signing and I’ll never forget it.
Now, here’s where the pictures started speaking. Around 11:00am, a woman entered the store with her young twin sons. One of the boys immediately ran over to my table while the mother and other son continued to browse. I guessed that the boys were about six years old. I asked the child what his name was and he said with an eager smile, “Ethan.” I asked, “Ethan, do you like to read books?” He said, “Yes! I do!” I told him that I had written a book and Ethan asked to look at one of the copies on the blue table. “Sure!” I said. He slowly flipped through the pages, looking at all of the pictures. Then, he tucked the book under his arm, walked over to his mom, and tugged on her shirt, asking to buy the book.
Ethan walked around the store holding on tightly to my book. He stopped by my table at least twenty times and said, “My mom told me that I could hold on to it.” He kept eyeing the keys. On the twenty-first visit to my table, he asked to look at the keys. I let him pick out his favorite one. I knew that it would be virtually impossible to share one golden key with his brother. So, I told Ethan that if his mom decided to purchase the book in his arms, I would give him a bonus key to share with his twin. He was thrilled!
That is when Ethan plopped down on the floor just inches beside me. He sat there and looked through the entire book with me, page by page. He spoke a thousand words…at least. It was precious! Ethan giggled and laughed as he looked at all of the pictures, as if they were speaking to him. Ethan then began to show me the pictures. He looked at me and pointed to each picture, “Hey! Hey! Look here! Did you see this?! Look at this! This is so cute! Look at these angels. Let me tell you what they’re doing.” He then proceeded to explain to me what each of the seven angels was doing on page 10 of my book.
My smile could not have been any wider because yes, dear Ethan, I had indeed seen those pictures before...about a BAZILLION times over the last year in my meticulous attempt to make sure they were “just right” for the story. My ever-so-patient illustrator did an incredible job! I was delighted that the pictures were talking to Ethan. That was my intent. That was my hope. That was my goal for having an illustration on every other page. I wanted my book to be FULL of pictures. If a child couldn’t read the words of my book just yet, I wanted the pictures to speak to them.
My dream for the book that Ethan held in his arms that day is for every child to have a copy on their book shelf. I want Gabriel’s Golden Key to be the tattered, well-worn book that has been read over and over again. I would love for it to be the “go-to” bedtime story each night.
Pictures speak. They do. Ask any passionate photographer or artist. Why do we hang pictures on walls or decorate our homes and places of business with them? Why do we take photographs? Why do we color and paint? Why do we draw? A great deal of emotion and meaning can be conveyed in a single photo, image, illustration, or other piece of artwork. Many times, a picture can do this more adequately and effectively than a million words.
Pictures speak. God speaks too. But, oftentimes, He just knocks and patiently waits for us. If you hear God knocking on your door, just answer it. You don’t know what He has in store for you, but it’s going to be an amazing ride, no doubt. You have gifts and talents that He wants you to use. Do it!
I’m so pleased that I decided to answer the door when God wanted me to write a children’s book. It’s been a beautiful journey so far and I look forward to enjoying the rest of the adventure!
My next book signing is this Saturday, November 12th at The Market of Victoria. I’ll be signing books from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Many of you have purchased your copy on Amazon already. Great! Just bring it in and I’ll personalize it while you pick out your golden key. If you don’t have a copy already, no worries! The Market is selling my book, in both paper back and hard cover versions.
Please stop by The Market this Saturday, as it’s a marvelous store full of “home furnishings, décor, clothing, and gifts with panache of the past, present, and future.” I can’t wait to see you there!
P.S. As Ethan left the store that day, he flashed me the biggest grin as he held his new book in one hand and two golden keys in the other!