Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Honouring through Story—Carolyn R. Wilker

This past week has been an exciting one as I distributed copies of my first picture book, Harry’s Trees, to my family. The book started as a way for my parents' great grandchildren to remember their great grandpa who died in May this past year. Some of the children are preschoolers and in early school age years, as my own grandchildren are, and may not remember him later, but it is my hope that they will enjoy the story and some day appreciate the legacy he left for them.

The theme of trees has been paramount in Dad’s life. He learned about them as a boy. They were Christmas trees; they were firewood to heat their home. They were a home for birds, a place to pick fruit, and as a boy, something to climb. They're a way of holding the earth in place, of cleaning the air. He learned lessons of life through them too, through the season changes and a place where squirrels climb and birds build their nests.

As Dad grew older, he learned more about trees, such as how to trim them when they were broken so that they might continue to thrive, and when they needed to come down. Just as important he taught us to name them and respect them as well.

Dad learned about grafting branches from one tree and putting them on another, much as doctors take an organ and transplant it into another body when the donor has died, so that someone else might have a second chance at a healthy life.

Dad checking out the trees on a holiday in Jamaica

 Fellow writers offered much wonderful feedback on my story in various stages, such as arranging the story into seasons. I thank them all for their valuable suggestions.

As I celebrate this book, and the memories of Dad that it evokes, along with the vivid and colourful illustrations of my talented artist, Maja Wizor, I dedicate it to my father for all he gave us as we were growing up, especially the passion he shared of honouring God’s creation.

a sample of  illustrations within the book

Carolyn R. Wilker, author of Once Upon a Sandbox and contributor to several anthologies, including Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon. Watch for Good Grief People book coming in late February. 


Glynis said...

I am so excited for you, Carolyn. I can hardly wait to get my signed copy! Maja's style reminds me a little of Eric Carle. And I am so thrilled to say that one of your 'Dad Trees' is still alive and doing well. I brought it in for the winter. I couldn't bear the thought of it overwintering - the poor wee fragile thing it is right now.

This book will be a precious treasure for you and for family. What a beautiful heart you have.

Well done!

Ruth Smith Meyer said...

I think some of the best stories that are written are about someone who has greatly influence your life, someone you love and admire. Your dad is lucky to have a daughter who not only wants to keep his memory and his values alive, but who has the ability to write about it and see the project to completion. I'd love to read the whole book.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Carolyn. Your love and affection for your dad shine with a winsome quality in this reminiscence. Your book will surely serve as a continuing legacy and tribute to his character and endearing qualities. Lovely pics. ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Thank you, Glynis. You've not too much longer to wait for your copy. Our tree is out in the cold, but it is protected by a wire cage around it so the bunnies don't eat it.

Maja gets her copies soon too. I know she's excited.

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Thank you, Ruth. You'll get to see a copy when we gather again. I'm pleased to see that my family is excited about the book and my granddaughters get their copy tomorrow when I see them. I look forward to seeing their reactions.

Most of the copies are now spoken for, minus a small number. A networking friend asked me this week when we met for lunch (her treat), "Where can I get a copy?" Fortunately I had one for her.

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Thank you, Peter, for your kind comments, as always. My Dad was a good father, a great model, though very humble and never looking for kudos. I love the art too, so delighted with my artist's work. I sent her the story and waited to see where she'd take it.

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