Monday, January 11, 2010


Nothing in this story is exaggerated.

On Christmas day, I gave my nephew Dylan his own personal novella, featuring him as the protagonist, along with all of his family members. It was called The Boy Who Was All Alone, and it was a story about how Dylan rescued his mom from a magical shape-changing monster. When Dylan opened his gift, he smiled bashfully, as if he had been caught on camera. The book was passed around the room, the various guests raising their eyebrows over how much work I put into it. That was the first day, and it was quite satisfying.

On the morning of the 26th, I got a text message from Dylan's mother (my sister-in-law). The first chapter scared Dylan so much that he cried and refused to sleep alone. Not to worry, though! His parents stayed up with him and read two more chapters, which resulted in Dylan rolling on the floor with laughter, according to this text.

But, I would see 6-year-old Dylan later that day, for lunch, and as soon as he saw me, he told me the book was "awful." He said it three times. When I apologized for scaring him, he told me "sometimes saying 'sorry' isn't good enough." Oh--and to top it off, he told me during the car ride to the restaurant that I should have gotten him the fifth Harry Potter.

Yes, that squishy sound you hear is the knife going into my heart.

The entire episode reminded me of a rule I made for myself when I was painting more seriously. I promised that I would never give anyone a painting that they didn't request because, really, you just never know if such a gift will be a pleasure or a burden.

Slowly, over lunch, Dylan would forgive me. He eventually told me that he liked chapters 2-12, and really only chapter 1 was the culprit. But, he did repeat that this was not a gift I should have given him. While he could read about other people in high risk situations, he did not want to see himself in those same situations.

So much for my readership of one plan. On the bright side, Dylan's parents, maternal aunt, maternal grandparents, and neighbors have all read the book. So, I did get some mileage out of it. Not to mention Michelle reading and giving me feedback as I was going along.

This adventure has made me rethink the self-publishing route. I don't want to feel like I'm forcing my friends and family to read my work when they might not want to. Right now, traditional publishing seems like there's less pressure put on people in general, especially the ones closest to me--the only ones who would know if I self-published. Let readers decide if they want to buy my book. And, while I was hurt over this whole thing, I have to remind myself that scaring a little child isn't necessarily a bad thing. Maurice Sendak and Beth Revis seem to agree. Dylan will thank me later. Or, I'll make him rue the day.


  1. Leave it to family to drive the knife all the way in and slowly twist it around to cause the most damage. I'm sure in later years, Dylan will absolutely treasure the gift you gave him. In fact, he'll probably show of the novel to his friends, who don't happen to have a book with them as the protagonist. Perhaps your knife wound will start to heal at that point!


  2. Kids are a tough audience. They won't BS you. If they don't think it's funny, they won't give you a courtesy laugh. They don't know how to provide polite feedback, but will usually tell-it-like-it-is.

    I wonder if Dylan would have had the same reaction if the story were not about him. That might have amped up the scare factor.

    I took both my kids to see the movie CORALINE, and my older son loved it and my younger son (four at the time) gave the same review as Dylan. On the way to the car he said "that movie was awful!" It scared him, particularly the idea of having buttons sewn on top of your eyeballs.

  3. Sorry, Davin, but your sad story just put a big 'ol smile on my face. (I think I get a little more than twisted during the winter months).
    I can so relate--"you just never know if such a gift will be a pleasure or a burden." I cringe at all the burdens I've distributed...
    Take consolation in that years from now, he'll truly appreciate the gift.

  4. ??? What does that really have to do with self-publishing? I've self-published multiple books and not once did I solicit my relatives. I've never relied on them at ALL. They didn't even know about my writing. Self-publishers don't have to solicit relatives; that they always do is a myth from the anti-self-publishing crowd. You have plenty of followers here--I bet some would buy your books. Are all these people here your relatives? I know I ain't!

    The reality is: no matter how writers publish today, unless they're J. K. Rowlings and Dan Browns, they won't have much outside promotional help. If you get a book published the traditional route, which probably will get little-to-no promotional help from your publisher, you WILL have to talk to some potential readers directly. And if the first person you promote to/mention it to reads it and tells you it's awful, would you then stop publishing that route?

    Writers must be able to endure (and even ignore) criticism of their writings from readers. Most people on the planet will probably not like each single writer's writing, even Dan Brown's. At some point, every writer will come across a critic. The huge numbers of individual thinking humans simply work against all us writers. But, to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. Everyone agreeing on every single thing would be very boring.

    Having your work read is the point--communicating, with as many other minds as possible. At least that's the point for me.

    I've found that kids are funny: their opinions change rapidly. Two months from now, your nephew could be saying your book is the best one he's ever read. As long as he thanked you for writing it and you thanked him for reading it--the scenario should be okay. Maybe you're feeling stung now because his comments are fresh in your mind; you might feel differently when the swelling goes down.

    Another issue is: homemade gifts. In my experience, most people of whatever age don't appreciate them. One little relative sleeps with the amigurimi I made him and always asks me to make more; another dumped my homemade gift aside like ho-hum, who cares? I won't be giving the latter anymore homemade gifts. This is how I operate now.

    Frankly, I never got the feeling you'd be happy self-publishing; you seemed very invested in going the agent route especially. And if you or whoever feels the slightest bit of doubt about self-publishing, like you look down on self-published works--for sure don't self-publish then! Potential readers/buyers will pick up on your attitude. If you don't think your book's worth anything, why would anyone else?

    Finally, now you know why I don't market myself hard anymore: I got tired of negative reactions. If people find my writing and like it, great! If they don't find it, whatever. I'm not pushing it on anyone. People should read at their own leisure. Reading shouldn't be like boot camp.

    You really have no idea all the nastiness I've endured as a writer (INCLUDING for writing After Ann) because I don't discuss it much anymore. But I'm still here, ain't I?

    Keep writing--in spite of any negative feedback,


  5. I should have added After Ann was my first self-published book. My first time out and I got nasty crap back. Like I said, I still kept at it, I'm still here.

  6. Nothing like spending all that time and effort on one person only to have that person hate your gift! Ouch, and ouch again. But that's the risk we take when giving gifts. And like Rick, I also wondered if he would react differently had the story been about another boy. And Rick, Coraline the book scared me when I read it as an adult. Good book, but I would wait to let my kids read it.

    Ask Dylan what he thinks in about ten year's time.

  7. Ouch! I have a five year old nephew, also named Dylan. I will keep this in mind.

    The same thing happened to me with him, only it was not about a book, it was mac and cheese. I was looking after him for a few days and decided to make "real" mac and cheese for him, not out of the box. We shopped together, during which we talked about what we were going to make. He helped me cook. He was a willing participant. Then he refused to eat the mac and cheese. When I told my sister, she simply said, "he doesn't like macaroni and cheese." You'd think he'd have mentioned that at some point during the process!

  8. Some day when your newphew is old and grey and you are, ahem, just a bit older than he, Dylan will say, "What a wonderful uncle I have. He wrote a masterpiece just for me! How thoughtful." In the meantime, don't hold your breath.

  9. One more thing--slap-slap! That's my gentle wake-up cyberslap at you for saying this: "traditional publishing seems like there's less pressure put on people in general."

    After all I've posted on my blog, you STILL think this? Traditional publishing for a first book especially means MORE pressure--including on YOU. Pressure to market your work and make that first book a smashing financial success within a few weeks' time, because if it isn't a success, good luck getting another contract!

    Forget about marketing to your relatives being difficult; if you want a decent sized advance, you'll often have to indicate you'll do at least some marketing to the public, possibly even whoring yourself out to bookstores on book tours, where all manner of people may be, some quite scary, and you must talk to scary people face-to-face. Going with a small publisher is like the only exception there.

    When self-publishing YOU control the show and can do whatever is comfortable for you and only what is comfortable for you. That isn't always the case when your contract-beholden to a publisher.

  10. No joke: I gave up writing for about five years after reducing my roomate to a tear-filled catatonic state after sharing for him stories that I had recently written that I thought he would identify with. He did. Too much.

    Scared the heck out of me.

  11. Davin, you already know how I feel about all of this. You know your book is good despite that knife still sticking out of your heart. As everyone says here, Dylan will appreciate the book later. Children change rapidly, especially at that young of an age. He will always have that beautiful copy to hold onto. I can't wait to read it again! I thought it was charming. :)

    As far as publishing goes, I know how you go back and forth on this. I think F.P. has a point, though. Your online community here may make it possible for you to just keep any self-published work quiet with your family so you don't feel like they're pressured to buy and read it if they don't want to - resulting in more unnecessary stab wounds. I'm still healing from some of my own. I'm there with you, Davin.

    Chin up. An emotional response, even fear, is better than nothing at all.

  12. I'm years away from publication - self or otherwise. I'll probably go through the query/agent/editor route where my books will consistently be found on the bestseller list. (Naturally)

    I wouldn't fret too much about Dylan's reaction. He'll will treasure it later.

  13. Scott, I am hoping that in the future he will see the book differently. Or, if not, maybe it will become one of those fun stories we are able to talk about again and again: "Remember how Uncle Domey wrote that story that scared you for the ten years of your life?"

    Rick, I now realize that the fact that Dylan was the protagonist really intensified the story for him. I had geared it to not be quite as scary as some of the other things I know he has read, but when him and his parents were involved, it was a different ball game.

    jbchicoine, I'm glad this story made you smile! I can actually smile about it now too, although at the time it caught me off guard. Stuff happens.

    F.P., I said "friends and family" in the blog post, not just family. And, I do consider many people here my friends, even if I don't know you all that well. I don't look down on self-publishing. But, when I was talking about it in the past, I started to view my own writing as a way for me to communicate my art to the people I care about. For awhile, it wasn't about reaching out to strangers, as I know you want with your writing. While I do like the idea of having strangers and non-writing readers read my work, I also was thinking of my writing as a way to tell me I care about how much I value them. That's the connection between this post and self-publishing. It was just a different view I had. I was thinking of only doing small prints of my books, like 20-50 copies and giving them to people who really wanted them and leaving it at that. I don't mind criticism that much--a little, though. But when I try to write a book for one person and that one person doesn't like it, it becomes less fun.

    I'll also comment on your last comment and catch up with the others. I think publishing-house publishing puts less pressure on my readers, which is something that appeals to me. Yes, there is more pressure on myself.

  14. Oh no! But take heart... this was a very clever idea and one he will certainly appreciate a little ways down the road!

  15. Yat-Yee, thanks. You're right. I just thought it was fun to have my nephew as a character in his book, but it did make it worse. I thought the happy ending would make everything okay--I didn't think about the inner journey he would take before he got to that happy ending!

    Michelle, that's a hilarious story! I really thought I had thought up a good idea. The last few times we had been playing together, all he wanted to do was make these little books. So, I figured he'd like another one that was all about him. He didn't. Not yet anyway.

    Judith, yes, I'm not holding my breath. Now, I'm working on a book for his mom and aunt, the people who liked the book! And, since there in their forties, I'm going to make it even scarier!

  16. Major ouch. I'm really sorry. But I agree with what many have said--he may appreciate it when he is older. It's a mighty special thing to have someone write a book just for you.
    Fear is a private thing. I was terrified of one minor character in a Raggedy Ann book. Why did it do that to me? I don't know.
    The scary part of your story might have hit Dylan's deepest fears and was magnified by him being "in" the story. Another kid might have found it exhilarating. Who knows?

  17. I think, however you feel about the publishing route, writing for a "readership of one" might make a lot of sense during the writing. Audience is often a difficult thing to imagine when working on a book, maybe not using the audience as a protagonist(I guess we now know how that goes)but the story written expressly for one reader. I like that idea as a practice.

    Thanks for telling the story, Davin. I wouldn't have expected it to go that way. I can imagine that it was very uncomfortable to experience. Sorry.

  18. Davin, beyond this post, I won't bring this up anymore, but I don't understand what you mean. How is there necessarily less pressure on readers based on the type of publishing? The pressure on readers comes from whoever is marketing to them. Publishers don't often market directly as them; they'll use outside publicists, take out ads, etc. And given that, today, big publishers often aren't marketing anything less than hugely bestselling writers, that pressure you talk about is almost entirely up to authors inducing it.

    No one has ever said to me they feel pressured by me. I've never sent emails, unsolicited or otherwise, to anyone about my writings for sale, announcing them, etc. In real life especially, I wait till people ask me about my works before I mention them. I only ever sent one copy of one of my books to a relative--after she indicated she wanted to read one. In fact, people have told me repeatedly that I should push harder with marketing to readers.

    I've read many different websites, including the ones written by traditionally published writers, and I've often been bombarded with ads and blurbs for their books. Everything they say has a promotional-angle or signature attached to it. When they correspond by email--same thing. They sound like ringers for their own works. Talk about pressure on readers! But then, as I've described, some of these writers probably feel they have no choice. They must push their works because their publishers won't push them enough.

    I think you're setting yourself up for more pain: just because you care about your art doesn't mean the people you care about will also care about your art. Many artists are isolated from their families. Some families even love the money their family members' art brings in, but when those artists are asked about the emotional support they get from family members, they typically cite they get little to none. That's what many artists endure. Being an artist is a lonely profession, in more ways than just the sitting quietly and creating part.

    Also, I think you're contradicting yourself: in any context, if you expect your family members and friends to care about the same things you care about, that's putting pressure on them. And, again, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Are you saying you only expect them to care if you self-publish? Like you feel you'll need them more then and they'll sense this and feel pressured to read your works?

    I don't know your family and I hate getting involved here, but, in general for any family, if they'd feel pressured post-publication, what makes you think they don't feel pressured to read your work NOW pre-publication? Should you stop writing completely then?

    Your writing should be about what YOU want, not about what your family wants. ALWAYS.

    My family once point-blank demanded that I quit writing, and I point-blank told them to stick it.

    Like I've implied, what makes you think your family/friends wouldn't feel pressured to read your books if you got a publishing contract? Actually, I'd say that might make relatives feel even more pressure, especially if your book gained popularity, because they'd feel embarrassed that they hadn't even read the object of their relative's success.

    Your post today is on one specific book that you specifically wrote FOR a relative. If your other books aren't specifically written for a relative, they should sting less as far as if your relatives don't like them. Unless your writing is meant purely as a hobby geared toward your family, I wouldn't recommend writing for your family on a regular basis.

    Again, write for YOU.

  19. I so sorry he was frightened over the first chapter.

    My kids and I have this game - were I will start to tell a story and then they begin to rewrite the whole thing...and change my character's names and the whole plot. Yeah, it's not really that fun of a game. =)

  20. This story gave me a good chuckle, which I needed today, as it is raining and dreary and I seemed to have lost my sense of humour after a night of bad dreams.

    I think the book was an amazing idea, and though it caused a bit of a stir, it will probably be something Dylan will cherish for the rest of his life.

  21. Because I'm the eternal optimist, I just have to point one thing out. The fact that he was so scared, and took the story so very personally is a testament to just how *well* you dug into the characters personalities, and brought them out on the page. Yes, it brought him pain and discomfort, which in turn was distressing for you, but this is some of the most perfect feedback you could ever get, considering that he's a child, and doesn't know enough to "be polite" about it.

    You made him feel intense emotion - fear, laughter, joy. And while the reaction may not have been what you'd hoped, I think it could be very inspiring if you let it. It speaks to your talent with character creation and strongly emotional writing - talents many adult readers will both appreciate and be more able to understand and identify with.

    I agree that our own works probably don't make the best gifts, but now you know. And as others have said, self-publishing doesn't have to be a burden on the family any more than traditional. You don't think your family would feel obligated to buy your traditionally published book? They will feel obligated to support you, no matter how you publish. It's just how families are.

    Chin up! This is good feedback, and can be motivating, if you let it. :-)

  22. C.N., Thank you for bringing this up, and I'm not surprised to hear that something like this can happen. I'm glad you brought this up, because this does go to show the power of our words, whether we intend them or not. As a child and teenager, Maya Angelou stopped speaking, for I think several years after she got a man killed by revealing him as her rapist. She understood for the first time that words sometimes control life and death. She started speaking again, of course, but with that knowledge, I think she saw her art differently.

    Michelle, thanks for saying this. And, I do think part of Dylan's response, after the initially criticism, was him wanting to control the situation, to overcome his fear. I'll say I only take it half personally!

    Charlie, I'm fretting less, I'll say. But, it has just made me rethink an idea that I considered to be quite fun--writing a book for just one person.

    Valerie, thanks. I hope you're right! I did hear that he was reading it again already.

    Tricia, I think that's a very good point, thank you for saying it. An elementary school teacher I was talking to about this said the same thing, that somehow I struck a chord I didn't mean to strike. I think often times what drives me as a writer is what I consider to be deeply affecting/motivating in another person, and maybe I brought that out too prominently.

    Tina, thanks for your nice words. It was definitely an interesting experiment for me, one that was a lot of fun during the writing of the book. I feel like I will do it again, but at the same time that seems like set up for anther disappointment! We'll see.

    F.P., First off, I don't mind at all you bringing this up and wanting to elaborate on it. Please don't feel like you have to nip the discussion short. I do feel like I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, so it's good for me to talk about it.

    As for your comment: "Are you saying you only expect them to care if you self-publish? Like you feel you'll need them more then and they'll sense this and feel pressured to read your works? "

    Yes, that's part of it. I do feel like that's the case, at least for some people around me. But, also, I have been playing with the idea of NOT writing for myself. I've tried that. In fact, I have several files of stories that I wrote with the promise of never showing them to anyone. My motives behind that were to figure out what would really come out of me if I knew no one else would read it. The result was that I haven't liked any of that work. Part of writing is the sharing of it for me. I do see it as a dialog. And, I was thinking of my concepts of value and writing for friends and family, the way I open my life to friends and family, and the way I love friends and family. This wasn't necessarily a permanent change, but something I wanted to investigate. With that in mind, I considered just printing a few copies and giving them to people who were important to me to do with them what they wanted. I think, like you say, that is a set up for pain. That's what I'm rethinking. If that's out of the picture, then the same obstacle of self-publishing arises that wasn't there with my "friends and family" plan, and that's outreach--something you have had to deal with. How do you get your book to strangers if you self-publish? With publishing-house publishing, there may not be much advertising behind you, but I do believe--after following some amazon sales ranks--that you get a bit more outreach.

    I don't give any other writing to my family right now. They don't know what I've written or where I've published.

    Carolyn, That's hilarious. And, Dylan did tell me that I should write him another book. And, he told me what it should be about. I wasn't in the mood to do that! :)

    Morgan, I'm glad it made you smile. That is satisfying to me, and comforting. I hope the sun comes out for you soon! :)

  23. Oh my goodness! I would feel kinda hurt too! Kids are so blunt!

  24. I promised that I would never give anyone a painting that they didn't request because, really, you just never know if such a gift will be a pleasure or a burden.

    This is probably a good rule. It would've saved me many hours of laboring over stories that were opened on Christmas Day to greetings of "Uh, gee. Thanks."

    For what it's worth, The Boy Who Was All Alone sounds to me like PURE AWESOME!!!1!

  25. Jamie, You're right, and I do take this as at least a small compliment. At the same time, this also made me think a lot about the reader. I think Dylan was able to immerse himself into the story more fully than I'm probably able to, and it's fun to think about how he experienced the story that way.

    Stephanie, I'm an uncle and not a parent, so kid reactions are very new to me. It is a subject of endless fascination!

    Loren, thanks a lot. It's dumb that I had to learn the lesson again after I had learned it the first time with my painting--although I don't think I ever forced a painting on anyone. I think I caught that before it happened. The book I wrote for Dylan is riddled with inside references that probably only make sense to a few people, but I AM proud of it. :)

  26. Davin, the fact that you were able to craft a book that (other than your nephew) didn't garner completely feelings of hatred isn't really a bad thing. Your intentions were good, and finishing a book is always a good thing.

    You're right though, that unasked-for gifts such as this isn't always going to be a hit. I once thought about writing a book telling the life story of my wife's grandfather. He has lived a very long time and has accomplished some neat things. I thought it would be awesome if I could write the story, get it published, and present it to him. But my wife clued me in that while I think it's a great idea, he probably wouldn't. He's a very private person and might regard it as an intrusion. So much for good intentions. Anyway, this is a nice post. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Oh no!! So sorry Davin. I had thought it was a great idea. But at least it brought you back into the traditionally published multitude. :-)

    I tend to agree with Rick. He saw himself in the story and that means Davin wrote Dylan's character very believable. But it would not have scared him as much if the boy's name had been George.

    I think that kids are different. What scares one won't frighten another.

    And in years to come, Dylan will shout to the rooftop that his uncle wrote a book all about him. :-)

  28. Hi Davin,

    I enjoy reading this post and love the cover of the book.

    After I read all the comments, I wonder if it made a difference if you emphasized that it was a fiction written by you just for him instead of presenting the book as a non-fiction. I thought he could find out about the character on his own. I wonder if that could have worked better. Maybe he didn’t cry as hard. What do you think?

    Although I read your past blog about self-publishing before, I read it without paying attention to who said what. I was unfamiliar with your site. Now I realized your feeling about it.

    So I thought more about it. I wonder if it was cultural. I don’t know exactly, but I’ve been living in Japan half of the time, and found the difference in attitudes. I don’t know enough about Thai and Chinese. But in the U.S., I heard and read that we should not ask opinions on your writing from your spouse or family members. That recommendation came from American workshop members, UCLA creative writing teachers, and the American authors of the books I was reading. It happened only once, but I thought it interesting when a Japanese professional writer recommended to writers—I was in a writing workshop in Yokohama-- to ask their spouse for comments. He said he asked his wife and daughter comments regularly. I thought his opinion exact opposite.

    I’m sure each individual case is different even the case of whether husband or wife control family finances. In Japan, wife does, generally speaking. He works and receives weekly or monthly allowance. So I wonder if there is certain cultural tendency. In other words, for Dylan’s case, it appears to be working rather than not working. What do you think?

    I’m glad to find your site!

  29. Davin I'm so sorry your nephew wasn't thrilled with the book. However I do know that at some point he will show all his friends that precious gift and brag, "My uncle wrote this especially for me" and he will treasure it for the rest of his life.

    Children don't realize what they say, they don't have that mechanism inside their brains that tells them to lie. Or at least, pretend to like something they don't.

    I'm sure your sister-in-law will keep the book in a special place where Dylan will be able to appreciate it when he gets older. And he will appreciate it. It will just take some time.

  30. Aw! My heart goes out to you--that sounds like an awful experience for you. But I'm sure your nephew will (sooner than later) love this very special present.

    I do see (and agree) to your point about self publication, though.

    Still....harsh. So harsh.

  31. Eric, You're right that finishing this story was really god for me. I mentioned a few days ago that I have far too many projects going at the same time right now, so it really was good to remember how to wrap things up. And, thanks for telling us about your own story!

    Robyn, the one thing that I thought was cool was that his aunt read it and came up to me afterwards to tell me how much she enjoyed it. She said she wished I was her uncle. :P So, now I've been writing something for her.

    Keiko, I'm so glad we can get in touch again. And, I'm enjoying your blog too. My family tends to be pretty honest with me, something that I do value. I really like that Dylan told me how he felt about it. I'm just sorry that I scared him. Well, okay, I'm feeling less sorry, because it is fun to be a little scared, but sorry nonetheless. I really figured Dylan would be able to separate himself from the story, but it wouldn't have taken him long to figure out that it was him in it. The story opens with his full name. :)

    Piedmont Writer, My sister-in-law was very grateful for the book. And, since I know she is a big time reader, I had her in mind for the audience as well. So, I hope she enjoyed in in that sense. It better be on a nice shelf the next time I go over there! :P

    Beth, yeah, that little punk. :) I learn more and more about kids every day. I really admire anyone who can work with them (or live with them) on a regular basis!

  32. So much for the notion of giving a gift of your own creation!

    Yes, I've had a similar situation with my family - my Dad actually. And he requested I write "something" for him. When I couldn't get a better descrip to what he wanted, I decided that since he liked faerie tales, I'd write one for him

    Didn't use him as the character - but he kept trying to compare it to Brothers Grimm. "A modern faerie tale, Dad," I tried to defend myself. Didn't work.

    Now I get my writing and story idea advice from people outside my family.

    This was a sort of cute story though. Thanks for passing on the experience.

  33. Oh man, kids are the toughest critics. I have some teen beta readers and they are the scariest ones to get feedback from. Don't feel too down! :)

  34. I can't say for sure, but the conversation described suggests to me your nephew was struggling with anxiety.

    Even the youngest children recognize the social obligation to "like" all gifts. Bought items are easy, because the emotional involvement isn't the same as handmade gifts.

    I think he wanted to love the book, or at least pretend to love the book so you'd be happy but couldn't.

    Even though is words were "you shouldn't have," his repetition suggests he wanted you to understand his feelings which are probably more complex than he has the words to express. (Or life experiences to fully understand.)

    Ultimately he probably feels bad he didn't love the book you made. He knows he hurt your feelings and he wants things to be okay between the two of you.

    I'd take him to the public library for story time, or read him a few books.If you live far away then you could use Skype before bedtime. It doesn't have to be a daily thing or even reading related. Just make some extra time for him. It will show him that your relationship is strong.

    And I'm so sorry things turned out this way. But your family liked the book and that's something =)

  35. I wanted to thank you Davin and Michelle for the comments y'all made on Christopher's birthday post. I have pasted them into a doc, printed them out, and he plans to frame them and put them up on his wall. I also put them into a special folder. He was thrilled at all the birthday wishes. Thanks a bunch!

  36. Aw. Davin. What a sweet thing to do. You gotta know, though, that little kids are easily scared. Maybe when he's older he'll appreciate it more.

    As far as self-publishing, I agree. It's too much pressure of family and friends. I think that if my book isn't good enough to make it in regular publishing then I'd rather make it better and try again or not have it out there. I suppose this would be different if I were massively brilliant and not being published because my ideas were too complex for the corporate publishing machine, blah, blah, blah, but that's not the case for me.

  37. Its a story for his wedding day when you're a well-known author!
    Just because it backfired doesn't stop it being a lovely idea.

  38. Perhaps your knife wound will start to heal at that point!

    Work from home India

  39. Your heart was in the right place. And Dylan found it as only a six year old can do. You just wait two or three years from now, he will be boasting to his friends about this great story written just form him.

  40. Oh I'm so sorry. You worked so hard on that and were so excited to give it to him. Oh man, kids just don't know when not to say just what they feel. Some day this will make a funny story and he'll feel AWFUL about it.:)


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