Archive for January 2013

A Dedication to The Troops

Welcome home ceremonies after 10 months in Iraq

My name is Maggie Pajak. I am the author and publisher of the illustrated children’s book,“Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night.” I made up this story years ago when my husband was deployed in Iraq in 2005.

This story was the bribe that got my son to sleep in his own bed at night. Sleep was hard to come by as it was, not knowing what news I would wake up to with the thought that my husband could be in harms way. Having a two year old rolling around all night in your bed didn’t exactly bring a restful night’s sleep either.

As the parent on full-time “night-night duty,” I read more than my share of bedtime books that year. One night I decided to mix it up a bit and came up with this silly story about a boy and his love for jellybeans.

THIS BOOK IS MORE THAN A STORY
Me and my giggly son

Me and my giggly son

To me this book is more than a story about two brother’s love for jellybeans – ALL of them and their plan to get Mom to let them eat them morning, noon and night. It is more than a lesson of moderation and letting your kids learn a lesson on their own.

To me it brought a few giggle-filled moments with my son at the end of some very long and trying days.

It is for this reason I decided to dedicate the book, not just to my husband and our son, but to all of the troops and their kids.

I know my son and I were not alone. I know I was not the only parent on full-time “night-night duty.” I know my son was not the only child missing their parent. And I know I was not the only wife missing their husband.

Dedication Page
To the left is an image of the dedication page in my book, “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night.” It displays a pic of my son Matthew (who’s 10 now) holding a pillow with a photo of my husband in uniform back when he was deployed in Iraq. I hope that “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night” can bring some levity to others as it did for me and my giggle son those many years ago and as it did for my younger son Andrew (5) while my husband was deployed in 2011.

Kickstarter Conversation With Author Maggie Pajak

This was almost my Christmas card that year my husband was in Iraq!
To read this interview in it’s entirety, please CLICK HERE.

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today it’s my pleasure to be speaking with Maggie Pajak the writer and mother behind the latest Kickstarter book project, “Jellybeans Morning, Noon, and Night.”  Thank you for joining us today Maggie.

Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to get the chance to talk to you about my book. As a mom of boys, I’m usually talking about Nerf guns, Spongebob or Minecraft.

[Laughs] Well I’m normally talking about “My Little Pony” with my daughter so I know what you mean. With a name “Jellybeans” it’s pretty obvious you’re either a candy campaign or a children’s book, would you care to describe your project?

Although the name, “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night” is a sweet title, the book is more than about candy.
I wrote this book several years ago when my husband was deployed in Iraq. This story was the bribe that got my son to sleep in his own bed at night. Sleep was hard to come by as it was. Having a two year old rolling around all night in your bed didn’t exactly bring a restful night either.

So, to me this book is more than a story about two brother’s love for jellybeans and their plan to get Mom to let them eat them morning noon and night. It is more than a lesson of moderation and letting your kids learn a lesson on their own. To me it brought a few  giggle filled moments with my son at the end of some very long and trying days.

***To read this interview in it’s entirety, please CLICK HERE.***

Mission Accomplished: My Self Publishing Journey – Part Two

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So now you know why I wrote and published “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night” (see Mission Accomplished: My Self Publishing Journey – Part One). Now here’s a little bit of background on how I went about making my “brilliant plan” happen (insert maniacal laugh here).

It started with an idea of course. The idea turned into a story. Sounds “simple” right? I’ve always enjoyed writing and telling stories and in my professional marketing career, creative writing was part of my daily job and I was good at it (at least that’s what they told me). I thought, “Publishing a book – I could do this.” It is a brilliant plan, isn’t it?

Well, looking back now, the description “simple” would not exactly be how I would describe the process of publishing a book (I know, I know … anyone could have told me that). I have to say that the biggest lesson I learned in self publishing my children’s book, “Jellybeans Morning, Noon & Night,” was that writing the story was the easiest part (for me anyway).

After writing the story, which was about 8 pages typed in length (remember it’s a children’s book), it needed to be edited. I don’t just mean correcting any grammar mistakes, I mean editing the story down in length. Having worked in publishing, I luckily had a friend who agreed to do this for me. Without her (and the help of the illustrator), parents all over the world would be skipping page after page as they read my story to their kids. “And they lived happily ever after … the end.” (You know you’ve done it before. I know I have. You can admit it).

Editing the story down to fit on 25 scenes (spreads) was quite a grueling process at first. I thought that the illustrator would just find a way to make ALL my words fit onto her illustrated pages. In reality, I had to find a way to make my words fit on her illustrated page using a lot fewer characters than I had planned. It required re-working and re-editing the manuscript, quite frankly too many times I care to remember (I try to block those memories out).

At the end of the torturing, I mean editing process … when all of the red pencil marks, the back and forth, the debating on what to keep or the arguing about which way sounds better FINALLY stopped, what I had left was still MY story – just better (and shorter). Even more importantly, I learned a lot about the process of writing and editing a children’s book, which is helping me as I venture to publish my second (Follow the progress of that experience at ElfUnderCover.com).