For the last two years of working I was looking forward to retiring and was getting tired of getting up at five thirty am. I gradually cut my week down to three days and joined an art group in my community. It was a fun way to spend Wednesday afternoon. It felt strange going to work for one day, because Friday was always a day off. This schedule was easier to manage on long weekends, because the days could easily be shuffled over and then came the last two weeks of working. I was training someone to take over my job. It was nice to have someone to work with, because most of the time you were on your own. I went around to downtown offices watering and maintaining tropical plants. The last week was a bit boring, because by that time the trainees knew their job. I was doing gardens that just needed a bit of pruning and tidying up. At first it was hard to let my accounts go to someone else . The last day was only a half day. It was difficult to keep busy but I managed. There was one last lunch with the supervisors and then freedom.
The first week or so I simply relaxed with my morning coffee. It was summer so the garden kept me busy most days. As fall approached there was a lot of clean up so the days were busy. Late in the fall I started wondering what I would do with my time. I had bought a book on writing picture books and started one, which is now finally finished and ready to send out. At the back of the instuctional book on writing there was a section on how to come up with ideas. Over coffee I started scribbling and came up with an idea for a book. It seemed like a bigger project and too much material for a picture book. At the time I had no idea how to write a book of that size. So I enrolled in a writing course and that laid the ground work for a middle grade book, which I have just recently finished.
Then someone approached me about illustrating the picture book she had done for her grandson. This is something I had never done before, but I agreed to give it a try. She liked my black and white illustrations. That was when I decided to illustrate my own book. A year later I had finished the illustrations for Granma Mouse Tells A Story.
I have sent Bess’ Magical Garden, a historical middle grade book, into another publisher. It took several revisions and help from different sources before I sent it in again.
It has been five years since I retired. I don’t know where the time goes but it seems to have flown by. I have other projects that I am working on. I keep working back and forth on different projects, so that I don’t start to memorize the stories. I am presently doing a rework on Annabelle and Jessica of Whistling PInes, which is now called the Secrets of Whistling PInes. I am also working on some short stories.