Christmas for my Fafa

I haven't gotten much writing done as of late. Work has been busy and I've been busy with side projects. See, I'm a holiday fanatic, and I typically begin planning my various Christmas offerings early in the year to make them special. This was especially important to me this year. Why? Well, this has been a big one for my family. My husband and I tied the knot in April, and then three months later (to the day) my brother and his now-wife exchanged their I-dos. My extremely conservative Church of Christ minister grandfather performed both ceremonies -- one for two atheists and the other for a grandson who had gotten his Catholic girlfriend pregnant. Not only that, my mother finally moved in with her paramour of sixteen years. For my grandfather to have married off two of his grandchildren (especially under circumstances he doesn't approve) and accept happily his youngest daughter is "living in sin" with her boyfriend is a testament to the sort of man he is. He's fierce in his convictions and beliefs, and while he doesn't hesitate to make his displeasure known, he isn't the sort of man to shun or lecture. Granted, my mother has informed me this attitude of his is rather new, but it shows me he grows more accepting with age.

As a token of all he's done for us, I set out to do something special. My grandfather often boasts he's where my aunt and I get our writing gene. Indeed, he has penned at least two novellas himself -- one based on a dream he had in the early 1980s and another detailing the life of his father. I was only able to recover the former; between moves, the copies of his other book have been misplaced, but I imagine he'll provide me a copy this December. He pounded these books out on a typewriter and bound them at his print shop. Whether or not he passed on his creative gene to my aunt and myself is beside the point, though his love of storytelling is definitely something I lay claim to.

I had a mission. I typed out the ninety-two pages from his novella and hired the wonderful Elaina Lee (who so recently redesigned the cover to Know Thine Enemy and therein became my hero) to put something together for my grandfather's book. As of last night, the endeavor is complete. I finished my proofread  (looking for typos I might have missed), got a few dates from my grandmother for his "about the author" page, typed a forward, and sent it off to Lulu.

The book will be made available only to those who have a direct link (a service Lulu offers). My grandfather might have passed down his creativity, but the writing itself (which I more or less left untouched) isn't what I would call stellar. The last thing I want is for someone to read it and give it a negative review. However, once I give the book to him, I will approach him with the idea of putting it for sale to approved audiences (I'm thinking church members) and having the proceeds from royalties go to the Fair Haven Children's Home -- his church's charity. I don't feel comfortable making it available (even to approved audiences) without his go ahead.

This is one of the pictures I sent to Elaina with my cover art request: 

This is what she sent me in turn:

The photo on the back is my grandfather (I'd say between 8-13). The blurb is as he wrote it. I can't WAIT to give this to him, and will try to get my brother or mother film it so I can share his reaction.

All this to say, Elaina Lee is a goddess. I couldn't have done it without her. She helped me in ways I can't possibly repay. If ever you need a cover, she should be your first stop.

That's all from me now. I'm gearing up to NaNo and hoping I'll have as much creativity this round. Regarding my grandfather's book, I'll post pictures of the hard copy when it arrives.