January 11, 2012

He Whistles for the Cricket

I'm not sure where to categorize this: sort of a "featured artist" post I guess.

 Today's post is about one of my all-time favorite books: He Whistles for the Cricket by Gwen Walker (my grandma).

My Grandma Walker wrote a book (yes, I come by my writing skills honestly) before she died called "He Whistles for the Cricket." This book is a sort of family heirloom, as there are only 6 copies in existence. I had borrowed my parents' copy a couple of years ago, and realized this past Spring that it was really time to get it typed up into soft-copy, because the original was beginning to fall apart.

I started the endeavor in mid-March, and it took me a few months to get all the typing done. Partially because life is busy and finding time to do this was difficult, partially because I had other writing projects I was working on at the same time, and partially because of the miscarriage in April.

You really get to know someone when you copy their words. Moreso than when you just read them. You focus a lot more on their style of writing and putting things, you see/read every word without skimming or skipping at all. Typing this book during one of the most difficult periods of my life was such a huge encouragement as I got to dwell in the words and thoughts of my grandma. She saw things very simply, very clearly, and she wrote them beautifully.

Another thing I've always wanted to do is get this book published for my family. So, I asked Angelina if she would collaborate with me and paint a cover for the book so we could publish through createspace and give it to my family as a Christmas present. The final result?

How awesome is that?

The book is about a young girl living in the mid-West in the early 1940s. Although the story is fictional, most of the events and characters are drawn from my Grandma's own history and people she knew. It is a charming story about several families and how one little girl, Miriam, and her dog, Moses, touched and changed their lives. At 160 pages, it is a quick read, and one that the entire family can enjoy reading out loud together. In the vein of books like "Where the Red Fern Grows" or "Bridge to Terebithia" this book is one of my all-time favorites, not just because my grandma wrote it, but because she wrote it so well.

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