As you may know, I started my masters in writing and literature at Deakin Uni earlier this year, and last trimester, one of the subjects I took was The Picture book: reading and writing.
For my final assignment, I was tasked with writing and illustrating (with the help of google images) my very own picture book. I originally planned to write a piece about my Nonno, and explaining dementia through the lens of a child. However, after having written a creative nonfiction piece about him in another subject, I felt exhausted at the thought of going back down that path. Writing the first piece took quite a bit out of me, mentally and emotionally, and I wanted to focus on something a little more fun.
Searching for inspiration in confinement proved difficult, until I looked up and saw the one guy who had been in lockdown right beside me- my husband!
Florian and his family moved from France to Australia back in 2002, and I thought why not base my story loosely on the transition, not just from one country to another, but to a different culture, too.
I submitted the piece alongside a dummy copy of the book and received a distinction grade in exchange- happy days!
Elated with my results and feedback, I made a few tweaks and decided I’d join the club of rejected artists and spend an afternoon submitting my manuscript to dozens of children’s publishers.
Expecting not to even hear a reply at all, let alone an addressed response, I was both astonished and skeptical of the subject line sitting in my inbox.
Unable to wait a moment longer, I squeezed my eyes shut and clicked on the email to open the contents inside.
Upon reading and rereading, naturally of course, because it wasn’t a rejection straight off the bat, I began daydreaming about the prospects of being a published author.
What would the illustrations look like?
How much say would I get in the final look and feel?
Do I need to find an agent?
Needless to say, I definitely jumped the gun, but I guess sometimes it’s nice to daydream every once in a while.
I’ll update you all whenever I know more.
Until then, I’m available for pre-orders of signed copies from next week 😂
3 Replies to “Here I Go Again Jumping To Conclusions…”
I have just read your touching piece about your Nonno. I was born in Sydney on 11 May 1934. That was only two years after your grandfather was born. My father was born on Panarea in 1909. He died 30 years ago. I would like to share with you my written account of the last hours of his life. I don’t have a blog, but I do write quite a bit and share it with my friends. I have been collecting a lot of folklore and history about the island and I’m desperate to write it up before my life is over. over 65 years ago I studied history of philosophy English and Italian for my arts degree. but only in the last 15 years have I started teaching myself to speak out disappearing dialect. My father would have been very proud of me. two weeks ago I lost a dear friend who would have known your grandfather. although he was about 12 years younger than me and had had no formal education he was able to teach me so much that I would not have found in any books of research. I owe it to him to record as much of his material as I can. I don’t even know your name but there’s a fair chance that somewhere in your ancestry there will be people with my surname. my wife who is six years younger than me has been assessed and already the all-too-familiar symptoms that you describe are beginning to weigh on me. I would like to have the opportunity to speak to you or at least to send you what I wrote about my father’s last hours.
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Thank you for your comment and for sharing some of your story.
My name is Dominique and Vince Cusumano was my Nonno- did you know him? His mother’s maiden name was Tesoriero.
I would be honoured if you would share your story with me. Please email me on email@example.com
I’d also love to know how you came across my blog? Did you see it on Facebook?
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
I did not know your grandfather very well, but I had met him at a funeral. I am better acquainted with his younger brother Victor (Vittorio).
I note with interest that your father is Spanish. One of my dear friends, (and a distant relation), Vincent (Vincenzo) Cincotta was the course director of Spanish studies at the University of Wollongong for 10 years. His father was from the island of Stromboli. Vincent was born in New York and is a graduate of Columbia University.
His wife Madeleine, who was a brilliant scholar and translator is also in an advanced stage of dementia. Their daughter Angela is married to a Japanese and lives with her children in Japan. They are both anthropologists. He is descended from a samurai family. At Angela’s wedding, Madeleine (who had been coached for the occasion) got up and gave a speech in Japanese which astonished the bridegroom’s family. It was not your ordinary Japanese. It was courtly Japanese, the language that is used by the Emperor! You can imagine how impressive that must have been. Madeleine was sent to China to instruct English teachers on how to teach English as a second language. She has translated a number of books from Italian into English. So it is quite devastating to see Madeleine in her present condition.
I was fortunate enough to be staying in Madrid when Vincenzo received an honour from the King of Spain. Vincent is an expert on Zarzuela, the musical theatre of Spain. He received the honour from the king for his monumental book, “Zarzuela, The Spanish Lyric Theatre: A Complete Reference” .