The Silver Fox and the Golden Pup

Have you ever taken a single picture and thought to yourself, ‘Man, that’s a great picture” or “Dang, I'm so thankful I got that one”?  I have, but I also discovered something can be more just a great photo.  Luckily, I typed my thoughts out on my iPhone as a reminder, because I knew, one day it would come to me. 

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 The photo was taken on Easter 2018 at my parent’s house.  My son Conrad, who was 2 at the time was looking ridiculously cute in some strong yellow shorts and suspenders and my dad was sporting his Easter suit attire.  He picked Conrad up and I snapped a photo.  After taking that photo I realized I had something...special.  It’s one of those photos that captures everything from pure joy, or whatever positive emotion you would want to describe it as.  The sun hit their heads just right, I was instantly reminded of why my dad earned the nickname ‘The Silver Chief” while he was in the law enforcement, and then I see Conrad’s hair turn blonde with the sun beaming down and I instantly pulled my phone out and wrote, “The Silver Fox and the Golden Pup.” 

I knew I wanted to make something with this, as I have written about before, there’s a children’s book here somewhere, and I saw the opportunity.  I didn’t know what it was going to be about at the time, nor did I really have a plan.  I just simply stored it away in my memory bank as a reminder to revisit it. 

The “revisit” happened one day while I was sitting on my couch.  For whatever reason, I pulled my iPhone out and looked in my notes, and there it was - ‘The Silver Fox and The Golden Pup.”  I just started writing.  I knew it needed to be simple, and I just let the words come out as it came to me.  I was about halfway done when it started hitting me.  Now, I admit – I cry sometimes.  Not so much to have my wife worry about me, but man have I had some good crying episodes in my life.  This one however, was different.  Granted there were tears – flowing profusely; there was snot – running down strongly; there was a dash of shaking - I get emotional folks what can I say.  Then low and behold in walks my son Grayson who looks at me and just does a quick turn around and leaves the room.  Lol – looking back I can only imagine what he was thinking.  So, I get up and walk to the kitchen and my wife sees me.  She asks what was wrong and I just hand her the phone.  I knew then, I had my next project. 

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I sought out local talent on this book.  I had originally asked a very talented local artist to do my illustrations, but life had a bigger adventure for her, and the timing was simply not right.  Luckily, however, I met Katherine Ezell from a small group I was involved in at The Agape Church and I asked if she could draw some rough sketches on the subjects, and I knew it was going to be a great fit for what I was hoping to accomplish.  The process started and now we have a result!  Yet, when I look at the result and reflect on the process, I experience something different than I have for the previous three I have published. 

With "The Adventure of Smelly Sock" it was my first book, and I learned so much going through that process.  With the sequel, "The Adventures of Smelly Sock and His Friends:  Into the Yard" I really felt I was hitting my stride in the writing, the process and overall development.  I shifted gears with developing "The Jelly Toast Monster". I wanted to try a different style and remain true to my personality (and my son’s) so I knew I could diversify.  For "The Silver Fox and the Golden Pup" I found myself connecting with each word and each image on a deeper meaning and emotion than the other books.  This took me to a place in what my goals were for this book. 

After looking at the final product I realized, this book is so much more than a story of Father and son, it is a connection.  Hear me out.  When you think of a connection, it’s something that literally connects you to a memory, a thought, an experience or person.  That’s what this book did for me.  It reminded me of growing up, it reminded me of what my dad means me, and how I hope my children will be reminded of me some day.  I connected with this book, and that is what I want my readers to do. 

I also want my readers of this book to not go directly to their father.  Granted, not everyone has had or has a great relationship with their father.  However, there have been mentors and others who have influenced your life in drastic ways.  Those can easily be represented through the “Silver Fox” and “Golden pup” moments throughout the book. 

Ultimately, this book is a book for a guy who gets it.  Who realizes there’s more to life than a sports team, a job, or wealth.  It’s about the moments in life we may take for granted, like throwing baseball outside on a sunny day, taking a walk through a park, or your son losing his mind over some jelly toast lol.  If we are lucky enough, we have a few pictures to remind us of how awesome life was at that moment.  My goal is to have a grandfather, father or soon to be father read this book, be reminded of the love that was shown to him and pay it forward for a new generation.  To take the old saying “Those were the good ole days” and change it to, “These are the good ole days.”   

So gentlemen, stay present, be a leader, and remember to love, always. 

  

Russell DelkComment