Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the Season...Gifts Unseen! By Amanda Thrasher

Tis the Season…Gifts Unseen!
By Amanda M. Thrasher
To say some things are meant to be is an understatement; this past weekend was an example of such for me. It started with a State 4A Championship game at the Dallas Cowboy’s Stadium, in Arlington TX. We sat in front of a lovely young couple, making eye contact and small talk, a time or two. It was an exciting game and the Aledo Bearcats are State Champs again! The following day I had a signing that was very important to me for personal as well as professional reasons. First and foremost it was the official launch of, A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch’, it was at my local Barnes & Noble, and as CRM, my Mentor hosted the event and I did not want to disappoint. I also had the privilege of meeting a very special lady, Beverly Hutton.

During a book signing for, Mischief in the Mushroom Patch’, a lady I had never met purchased two copies. I couldn’t recognize her face, or point her out in a crowd.  But, I do know we must have spoken, because I handed her a business card and asked her specifically to let me know what she thought and weeks later she did just that! Her contact came in the form of an email. She introduced herself and described how she had read and enjoyed my book. She went on to say that her daughter would have loved it too. At the end of her beautiful email she made a request; a suggestion if you will. She said, “Amanda if I may ask, could you possibly create a character with a disability? My daughter was bound to a chair and I wasn’t supposed to have her for very long. I was blessed with her for longer than I thought, but she always asked me, ‘mommy where are the fairy tales for me?’  She would have loved this and so would the children from the camps she used to attend.”

I thought about that email before I replied, because it had touched me so. I emailed her back and said, “If you give me just a minute to think, I may be able to do that.” I had two major concerns. First and foremost, I had to be respectful of her request; secondly my mushroom patch and its characters were already in place. I did however manage to create the most beautiful little fairy you can imagine; her name is Pearle. Though Pearle is bound to a wheel chair, I refer to it throughout as her chariot. Although, the reader knows she has no use of her legs, there’s really no need to discuss this, since it’s always understood. All of the fairies know and accept her as is; but more importantly she is comfortable and loves herself too. It slows her down not one little bit and she is loved by all of the others in the patch. Her gift is to fly effortlessly when she is free to do so; it is the perfect trade off. She never complains and is happy all the time, because she knows no other way to be. The other fairies dive in her lap and she gives them rides to the bathing room and often plays her favorite game ‘make a ‘fairling green’, spinning as fast as she can in her chariot while the others try to stay aboard and try desperately not to turn green!

It was the oddest thing; when Beverly walked into Barnes & Noble I recognized her immediately; though I didn’t know her. We embraced and shared a moment only she and I understood. I was stunned when she pulled out the most beautiful photos I had ever seen; they were of course of her daughter, Jeni and she gave them to me! This book is dedicated to Jeni and Beverly bought several copies. As I signed the books, I asked her, “What will you do with all of these books?” Beverly said, “I shall take them to the hospitals that treated Jeni and children like her.” I was so touched that I asked her, “Do you have contacts there still, and if so, may I go with you?” She said, “Would you do that with me?” I assured her not only would I do that, but that would be ‘our thing’, in honor of Jeni from now on. We will visit those hospitals and read and talk about writing; it will bring us all so much joy, will it not!

Which brings me to another beautiful moment that was meant to be; that beautiful young couple at the game was from Aledo, the stadium was in Arlington and the book signing was in Fort Worth. During my signing that couple walked into Barnes & Noble to Christmas shop; we recognized each other immediately. They were as stunned as I was. There had been 27,330 people at the Dallas Cowboy’s Stadium the previous evening and yet, there I was in front of them; the author. They had no one to purchase my book for, but they did! I suggested they donate it to a children’s home or hospital; they named one immediately. “I happen to know for a fact I will be visiting that one,” I said. “When you donate this book, please tell them the author will come and read it. You can tell them that YOU know that for a fact!” 

We are surrounded by beautiful gifts; though often we cannot see them. I choose to take pleasure in the simple things; they bring me the most joy. I can’t hold them in my hands, look at them or touch them; but I can feel them deep within and that’s good enough for me!

***********

My name is Amanda M. Thrasher; writer by heart first and author second to that. I was born in England but moved to Fort Worth, TX, when I was fourteen years old and reside there still. I have been writing stories and poems since I was nine years old. After leaving the corporate world to focus on my family, writing full time became a priority.  The Mischief series is very special to me; a story written for a woman I loved very much. It was my mother who said, “Amanda you write all of the time and yet send nothing in; send your work in, if only for me.”  My mother loved fairies and collected them all over her house and yard and was incredibly ill when she made the request. She never saw “Mischief in the Mushroom Patch” or “A Fairy Match in the Mushroom Patch” in print.  Mischief in the Mushroom Patch was written for her.

The Mischief series is written with the intent to bring back fairy tales in a delightful new way. I hope that I have managed to do this. I would like my little readers to escape momentarily into an unbelievable, believable, place, one filled with adventure. Though the books have gentle life lessons entwined throughout, the children learn them without realizing so. It is written purposely with polite characters, that judge each other not as demonstrated through their love of beautiful little Pearle. The characters are nice and kind because that’s the way it is supposed to be. “There’s a lot to be said for kind.” I personally believe our children are losing these types of classic fairy tales. No scary characters in the mushroom patch or good vs. evil, just whimsical and lovely, that too, specifically written that way.

I love the whole writing and creating process because I simply love words. To me writing is like beautiful art; unique to the writer that crafts them. I love the fairy world I have created and hope my readers do too. My favorite words…“Why not!”


14 comments:

christi said...

Amanda,

Your books sound lovely. And, what a beautiful story with a great reminder to step back and take note of the magic that surrounds us. Thank you for sharing this.

ps. One of my favorites mantras is "why not" as well! :)

Modern day Molly Brown said...

That is goosebumps wonderful. These are the stories that deepen our connection TO stories. This post was a beautiful gift today.

R. Jeffrey Priddy. said...

There are rare moments when a chance meeting between an author and reader can inspire the creation of a new character. This is a lovely and charming post, Amanda and thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

Doreen McGettigan said...

It is so amazing to me how, some way the people who are meant to be in front of us manage to be there at just the right time..
I have a grand son with special needs who has been in a wheel chair all of his 13 years...we were only supposed to have him for 48 hours. Thank you for writing for Jeni and children like her. It really does help make it 'natural' for all the 'other' children.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Amanda, I feel so honored to have you here on the Bird Sisters. This is a beautiful post and I am so grateful for it. All my love everyone.

thrasher321 said...

Thank you all so much taking the time to read this post and for the lovely comments that you made. I appreciate your time and your beautiful words.

All of my best,

Amanda M. Thrasher

Leslie @ Under My Apple Tree said...

Beautiful, uplifting post for me to read on a Monday morning.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments everyone! xo

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Amanda - thanks for sharing the story of Jeni (and Perle and her chariot). You have a great attitude, recognizing that 'some things are meant to be' and embracing 'why not' as your favorite phrase.

I'll be looking for the Mushroom Patch books for my family.

Rebecca - thanks for the introduction!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Amanda is just wonderful, and so are you, Dawn. I hope you had a very happy Christmas! xoxo

Karen said...

Amanda,
I am getting caught up on reading posts I tagged. It's a treat to have inclusiveness to be expressed in such a beautiful way. Blessings,

Mara said...

Amanda, just getting caught up in my 'recreational' reading and you know how I love Pearl's chariot. A spot of magic indeed! Mara

~Cheryl said...

Amanda, this was a beautiful read and great story in and of itself. The touching story of a new character and the young couple... how amazing and joyful to read! Congrats!

thrasher321 said...

I am so humbled by all of your kinds words. "Thank you everyone and Rebecca, Thank You for having me!"

Amanda

"These are the days when Birds come back/a very few/a Bird or two/to take a backward look."

"These are the days when Birds come back/a very few/a Bird or two/to take a backward look."