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The first time any of my grandchildren heard me read Violet’s Vision out loud, I was very nervous.  What if they think it’s silly or stupid?  Brandon and Brittany, my daughter’s children, were visiting for a day and they had asked me to read the story to them. As they settled themselves in for listening, my heart was racing. I took big deep breathe. I felt like I was about to face my worst fear. And, so I read.

Brandon (10 years old at the time) exclaimed “Gramma, I saw pictures in my mind the whole time. You used such juicy words!”  And then Brittany (8 years old at the time) sat up straight in her chair, folded her hands neatly in her lap with utmost propriety, and said “Now, Gramma, we are going to appreciate you!”  Whew.  I passed the test of the critics I feared the most – those closest to me.

Then Brandon said, “Gramma, I am excited about having the book in our school library and having our teacher read it to my class.  I sure want to be the illustrator!”  I had an epiphany experience in that moment. I saw it immediately and I felt awed by the idea of connecting with my grandchildren in this way. I had approached a couple of professional illustrators over the years, but those relationships hadn’t panned out. So, it struck me, No wonder it took me ten years to bring Violet to press. My grandchildren had to grow up, so they could be the illustrators!

In that split-second epiphany moment I saw flash backs of times I honored my intuition in the writing process. There were times I felt literally guided to move Violet onto a back burner, sometimes even off the stove completely and onto a shelf. I felt blessed with the gift of seeing the wisdom of my guidance, how it plays out in the divine scheme of things when I get myself out of the way and trust the process.

While Brandon and Brittany were drawing pictures that afternoon, we agreed to invite their cousins to join in the project. A few months later I spent a holiday with my son and his family. Whitney, Heather, Scott, and Michael were quite delighted with Violet and the idea of drawing pictures for the book. However, there were two obstacles, in my enthusiasm, I didn’t expect. First that they would be held back by their consideration about not being good enough at drawing, and secondly that over time they would be so busy with school and their extracurricular activities that they would have a hard time finding the time to draw illustrations.

It occurred to me that this, yet again, is part of the process. What I learned was that I needed to let go of my attachment to the result – back to my initial insight about trusting the process.  I was not willing to have any sense of pressure or obligation associated with this book. Over time, the pieces continued to come together, in their own time and pace.

And so it is that the sons and daughters of my son and daughter are the illustrators of Violet’s Vision.

Whitney Elise Young
Heather Leigh Young
Scott Mathew Young
Michael Jeffrey Young
Brandon Michael Danielson
Brittany Jean Danielson
Monica Lynn Rahn


Click here to view the illustrators' photos & bios.

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