Every once in a while, I feel the urge to change course and do something different from what I’m doing. To write a different genre of book than I currently do or to write in an area I come across as I research Indigenous education—in which there are so many potential areas. Sometimes this happens because I read an article or thread someone posted on social media and I realize how far we still have to go for even the faintest possibility of reconciliation and shared understanding to occur. And because there is an endless stream of ideas and information appearing every day—it can become very easy to get distracted.
There were also times in the last five years where I thought I should write things and try to publish in the traditional industry and while it is still one of my goals to write and publish as a hybrid author, I’m super happy I stayed committed to a goal of creating and publishing books in the language—even though it took me a long time to figure out what it was that I could help create. All I had was a vague idea that I could make books to read to my girls and something that could help me learn, too.
One thing I definitely did not expect was that my desire to create more language resources for myself and my daughters would also reveal a dream I had of becoming an illustrator, or that the language book project would become one of my first opportunities to illustrate someone else’s story. But that is exactly what it did and for the first time, I’m able to show how that project is shaping out!
This book is the first of five in a set of Cayuga language books that are written by my husband, Kehte Deer. They represent one part of a larger resource development effort that is being guided by a curriculum we created to help increase Cayuga language use in our home. I’m super excited to share more about that in the upcoming months but for now, I just want to share that the project exists and that Kehte has done a really amazing job writing these stories. They are fun, creative and informative books packed with some really helpful content and we're looking forward to releasing them! I’m excited for all of the projects that I have coming up this year, including the next book in The Vampire Skeleton Series, but I may be the most excited for these ones :).
As the five-year anniversary of my blog approaches, I’ve been reflecting back on the choices I’ve made so far and the kinds of projects I hope to do over the next five years (as well as planning some really fun giveaways!). So far, this has involved a lot of discussion, research and planning but all in all, thing are moving in a good direction and I’m very grateful for the art and creativity that is in my life. It’s an exciting time :).
So without further adieu, here is a sneak peek at some of the illustrations from the book!