When my oldest child was ready for college my husband and I were prepared for him to leave, but within a month of him moving to his college of choice our 15 year old was offered a spot on a Jr. hockey team and overnight I was empty nesting. Being a therapist my feelings got pumped into creative pursuits, I built an innocent little fairy gardening project, then as winter hit I started writing about these wonderful little creatures that were occupying my mind. Enter Matilda.
For the next 7 years I gardened all summer and wrote all winter. I had no intention of ever publishing these stories, I was writing them simply for my own mental health. But as our political world shifted, as I watched world leaders struggle to take even basic responsibility for their actions, my inner therapist took over and I began to edit these stories as a learning tool with the message that if you don't take responsibility for yourself you can't change your life and make it better, and if you don't learn to accept others for who they are your life will always be filled with angst instead of joy.
I have tried to keep in mind that my opinions are mine alone. I have tried to address issues of acceptance and diversity as non issues, as just normal everyday occurrences in hopes that the next generation will come to an appreciation of the need for diversity in life.
I did not want the stories to illicit any anxiety or stress, I wanted them to stay easy and fun.
I wanted to challenge readers vocabularies while keeping everything age appropriate.
Lastly I wanted them to teach that we, as a culture, need to cultivate our own joy.
We need to choose to live our lives intentionally rather then believe that we are at the mercy of fate.
We need to take back our lives and teach our youth that they have total and complete control over the life they live.