Writers have an audience that we think about when we create our stories.
For the first time this Christmas, I was the audience. I don't mean a book was written for thirtysomething women in a particular demographic. A book was written just for me, as a gift. I was given a hand made, custom picture book. The amazing thing is that it was from someone I had never met.
We spent the holidays with my husband’s family, including his brother’s wife and her parents and sister. Because there were twelve adults, my sister-in-law drew names for a gift exchange. Her sister Heidi got my name.
Heidi lives in Saskatchewan. I live in Virginia. We all met up in Park City, Utah. Heidi and her boyfriend Jeff were scheduled to arrive around dinner time on Christmas day. Throughout the night before and all day on Christmas, blowing, blinding snow fell on Park City, accumulating to around two feet. Southerner that I am, I was doubtful Heidi and Jeff would get there.
Park City has committed road crews and determined drivers. Just as we finished our meal and were clearing the table for dessert, they arrived. We hugged like old friends, having heard all about one another. After they ate and settled in, we opened gifts.
The book is made of cardstock, bound by metal rings. Heidi made detailed paper collages as illustrations. Everyone who has seen it has been impressed, asking if she is a professional artist. She isn’t. She’s just a wonderfully creative person, who thought I’d enjoy a handmade book. And she was right.