As Ian was busy developing as a musician during our summer vacation, Eva was doing her thing as Author-Extraordinaire. Before we left on our trip, she spent several weeks redesigning her business logo and sales booth, working two local craft fairs, and selling tons of material. She’s saving towards a Mac, and she’s doing so well, I think she’s going to make her goal.
While at the craft fairs, Eva began making plans for next summer, with visions of expanding her presence by offering storytelling and koala-shaped balloon art to help her engage with young audiences. It’s kind of an awesome plan. We purchased a pack of balloons and a pump, and she stashed them in her suitcase so she could practice on our trip.
With her sales success bolstering her up, she took to her trusty laptop as we zoomed across the midwest and southeast, working on a new rhyming picture book project. The book is a unique challenge for Eva, as this is her first experience writing in verse. She mapped out her story weeks ago (which is about dealing with embarrassment and features her beloved Kinzy character), and in the car we had long family brainstorming sessions to support her as she worked to meet her rhyme and meter requirements. It’s been great fun, and she completed her first draft.
She’s been writing other story starts and ideas as well, and while staying with her grandparents in NC, she set up a stop-motion filmmaking project which features Doctor Who characters drawn on paper cutouts. I’ll post it here when she finishes processing it.
Among our many packed books was a box of Eva Ridenhour creations. We only packed a few of each just in case folks asked for them, and were surprised that we sold out half-way through our trip. I returned home with a list of orders to ship out! One young fan (a friend of my mother’s) even came out to meet her, bringing along a book for Eva to sign.
While down south, I also fielded an inquiry from EduTech, an organization that supports North Dakota public schools in embracing cutting edge technology. They asked Eva to Skype into a teacher workshop to talk about her books and work with elementary classrooms. Though we were unable to work it out, the workshop participants took a look at her website and materials without us, and let us know via email how much they were looking forward to showing her books and videos to their own students.
After we returned from our trip, Eva discovered that she was featured on a motivational poster in one of our local middle schools. We popped over there to check it out; it made Eva feel very good to know that she was being looked to as an inspiration to help other kids reach their full potential. What a homecoming!
It’s an exciting time – school is upon us, our house renovations are behind us, and we feel energized to launch into a creative, explosive year. I still don’t have all my school supplies ordered, but that’s ok. I think we’ll have plenty to keep us occupied!
What inspired you this summer? Did you or your kids enjoy a creative outlet? I’d love to hear about it!