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‘Life’s Lessons’: My first foray into illustration and publication

The book

By Emma Rose

Rowan Public Library

Ever since I was a little girl my favorite activities were reading and drawing. I spent many hours of my youth at the public library, where I could access books that fueled my imagination and books that instructed me on how to perfect my creations. Rowan Public Library has many items available for check-out for those with a budding passion to express themselves artistically:

• “Drawing for Mixed-Media Artists,” by Carla Sonheim

• “Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn From Art,” by Helen Birch

• “Illustrating Children’s Books : Creating Pictures for Publication,” by Martin Salisbury

• “Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books for Publication : Two Perspectives,” by Berthe Amoss

In August of 2018, I was fortunate enough to be able to use my passion for books and art to illustrate and publish my first book, “Life’s Lessons.” The opportunity presented itself when I met a man named Ray Delane Bost of Rockwell. It took us no time at all to realize that, although we are an unlikely pair, we can work well together to help one another make our dreams a reality.

Ray’s dream is to share his poetry with the world. Ray began writing poetry as a hobby when he was just a teenager. He published his first book of poetry in 2017, “This and That.” The book can be found at Rowan Public Library (811.54 BOS), nestled amongst an array of lovely collections of poetry. This summer, Ray was ready to publish his second collection of poetry and planned for it to be bigger, longer, hard-covered and designed with his vision in mind.

My dream is to illustrate and publish books. I have always held a deep admiration for talented and creative illustrators such as Dr. Seuss, Gris Grimly and Brett Helquist, to name just a few favorites whose work can be found at Rowan Public Library. Yet, I had always felt that illustrating my own book was a bit of a pipe-dream.

Using Ray’s words and my ability to tame the technology necessary for the project, we decided we would make “Life’s Lessons” a reality. When Ray learned that I had always wanted to illustrate, he offered for me to design images for each of his poems so that I too, could have my name on the cover of a book. I am a librarian and so I am surrounded by books, at work and at home, yet none of them have my name on them, unless you count my worn copy of the children’s book, “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman, which actually has my name all over it — but it is in crayon and I wrote it myself when I was first learning to write my name. (Warning: don’t try this at home, kids!)

Needless to say, I accepted and began imagining and sketching out my designs while keeping each poem in mind. I will always cherish those warm summer nights I spent sitting on my back porch pouring over my designs and characters, drawing and redrawing them with a smile on my face.

Along the journey, Ray and I discovered that we had other passions in common: a compassion and love for canine companions, public libraries and playing the harmonica.

Ray and I are so proud to present the final product to the world which can be found at Lulu.com (product ID: 23762636). Poetry by Ray Delane Bost. Illustrations by Emma Marie Rose. Published by my rookie publishing company, Red March Publishing, through Lulu.com.

•  •  •

N.C. Department of Natural & Cultural Resources traveling exhibit: Learn about the science of kite flying from this interactive exhibit. View Kites!, located in Headquarters’ lobby, during business hours, through Oct. 19.

China Grove Roller Mill Display: South, through Oct. 30. Like many roller mills built during the late 1800s through early 1900s, the China Grove Roller Mill was central to its community. This display, in South Rowan Regional’s foyer, presented by Rowan Museum and China Grove Roller Mill, shares insights about this period of history.

Mystery Machine: East, through Nov. 30. Scoooooby Dooby Doo! A monster scared away Scooby’s best friends. Find them all and be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. This Scavenger Hunt will run through Nov. 30. For more information, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Bookmark contest: All branches. through Nov. 3. This annual contest is sponsored by Friends of Rowan Public Library, and will award first-, second- and third-place prizes in three categories: 4 to 6, 7 to 9, and 10 to 11. Rules and entry forms available online or at any RPL locations. For more information, call 704-216-8234.

Chapter Chats: Oct. 16, 5:15-6 p.m. Weekly book club for teens 14-17, intended primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. For more details, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Lunch at the library: East, Oct. 19, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a clean, air-conditioned, Wi-Fi-accessible and peaceful place to enjoy your lunch. Every Friday this fall, the East Branch meeting room will be open to all between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Lunch not provided, but tables, chairs and ambiance supplied. While in the library, check out upcoming programs and free resources. For more details, call 704-216-7841.

Displays: Headquarters, the Purple Shoe Display presented by Rowan Crisis Council and Lee St. theatre (2018-2019 season); East, artwork by Miranda Foster; South, China Grove Roller Mill by Rowan Museum.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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