Welcome to the Unicorn Says Series.
This month I will share some excerpts from my nonfiction book titled Just A Unicorn. The book was self-published in 2018. It was a passion project that started in 2016. I wrote the book to encourage, educate, and empower. My book can be found on Amazon.com or be purchased at a wonderful store called Work the Metal if you live in the Louisville, Kentucky area.
The first several chapters of my book conclude with Making the Connection Questions. These questions are for the reader to ask themselves. I will include some of these questions throughout the series as well.
My hope is to encourage everyone to actually buy and read the book. I really do hope some of you do. If you do purchase – please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear about it.
Excerpt from Chapter 9 – My Writing Journey
“What are we made of that keeps us going?”
Life consists of so many tiny stories that never get full exposure. Sometimes I feel like I am holding a box filled with little trinkets that are looking for their final home. Are we not all little trinkets looking for our final destinations? We cannot stay trapped in a box. I do not live my life in a box, and I will not keep my writing there.
There is a big world out there, and I am not trying to claim it all. I do not want fame. I just want a small part in the play.
Making the Connection/Writing Books
It is important that children have books with characters that resemble them physically. I tell people all the time about how wonderful it was for me at thirteen to discover my first book with black girls in it. The book I am referring to is “The Friends” by Rosa Guy.
Representation does matter.
Have you had a chance to read a book by an author that had a similar childhood to your own? Let’s say they may not have physically resembled you, but they grew up impoverished. How did it make you feel to read that book about someone whose family struggled like your own? It was nice, right? It was nice to feel SEEN, right?! I believe we need to share more of those types of books with young people. We need more books out there for people who come from all types of backgrounds. I personally believe that’s what young people need. They just want to feel SEEN.
A lot of adults forget what it felt like to be 8, 10, or even 12. Once we hit our 30s, we kind of abandon the kid in us. We forget until something triggers us to remember how upset we were that we didn’t get the bicycle we wanted for Christmas or that we didn’t get a cake for our 10th birthday because our parents were struggling financially that year. We forget that we were embarrassed to go to school with off-brand sneakers when were 7.
We all have those memories we hold onto and take some of that hurt and pain into adulthood whether we realize it or not. These are the stories I love to tell in my books. I like writing about the human condition. My goal is to one day get my words out there to as many people as possible on a bigger scale. I don’t know that I will always be writing books, but I will be educating people in some capacity. I want as many people as possible to feel connected by the human experiences that we all face. The reality is that we are more alike than we are different. I try to make those connections with characters that are of different ethnicities.
As a note: I don’t actually believe in different races. If I ever refer to different races it is based not on my personal beliefs, but on what has been taught by the American educational system. I want to make that distinction. The US still refers to people as being of different races and I don’t think that is going away anytime soon. So, again…if you see references to different races this means I am going by how the US identifies people and not my own belief system. I have done plenty of research on this topic. Different races do not exist. It was a creation of certain people to keep different groups divided – it is not backed by science. People DO come from different ethnicities/tribes/groups and have different cultures. This is real.
Look at it this way: people from Montana live a different lifestyle than people from California. Well, I think that’s obvious. There are going to be people of Norwegian descent in Montana that are going to relate more to other Norwegian decent people in Montana simply because they both live in Montana. They both share a similar life because of growing up in the same geographical region and not necessarily because they are both of Norwegian descent. Well, a person of Norwegian descent who lives in California may share some cultural aspects with the person in Montana, but there will be a lot of things they don’t have in common because the lifestyle in Montana is so different than in California.
I want to give you all a project – read two books (audiobooks are good too). Read a book by someone who physically resembles you (it can be on any subject) and then read a book by someone who doesn’t physically resemble you but had a shared childhood or young adult experience as you. Take notes and compare the two books. What did you learn from it? If you want to share your experience in the comments – I would love to hear it.
Peace and Blessings!