If you are from Douglasville, Georgia, you may have seen my illustrator Toni and me on our local news station being interviewed by Lee Brogden Culberson. The interview was a great experience for us. We appreciate the wonderful people at the City Connector and especially Kelly Holland Hunter for helping us to launch our first book.
One of the questions Ms. Culberson asked was posed like this, “Many people talk about writing a book. Please tell us what inspired you to follow through on this dream?” Well, first let me say that Toni and I love children. Toni has worked for years in Georgia with foster care children through a private foundation. I retired from the Douglas County School System after 31 years of teaching. Between Toni and me we have nine children and seventeen grandchildren. As busy and full of love as our lives are, we still found ourselves desiring to affect other children’s lives in a positive way.
My brother Bob Ichter is a very successful artist. He has galleries that carry his work all over the United States. You can see his work at www.ichter.com. Bob has a very good friend from California who called him one day and said, “I tell my baby boy, ‘I love you a bazillion gazillion,’ and he giggles like crazy. Can you do something with that phrase?”
Well, Bob is very creative, and although he doesn’t want anyone to know, he is like a big teddy bear. Anyway, he wrote the most beautiful poem. When I read the poem I became obsessed with him turning the poem into a book.
Well, the book just came out, and it is available on Etsy. What is unique and special about this book is it is about the love of a child from the perspective of a dad and also speaks of the love he has for the child’s mother.
I am not artistic like my brother but have been told I am creative, so I kept having this idea for the ending of a children’s book repeatedly run through my brain. I am a huge Oprah fan and have listened to her for years speak about following your heart and listening to that little voice inside you. Then, one day I was at Target and I saw this journal with bright orange lettering that said Trust Your Crazy Ideas. I bought the book and began jotting ideas down. The next week I went to see my son in Melbourne Beach, Florida, and memories of my childhood came flooding back.
Life on the Space Coast in the Sixties was an exciting time. My Dad, Robert Melvin Ichter (my hero) was a key member of the Lunar Module Project team. So one day while there, I went out to one of the piers and wrote my first draft of The Sky Is the Limit. I was super excited about the reaction I got from my family.
Toni Friddell Jordan and I have been friends since I walked in the doors as a seventh-grader at Chapel Hill Middle School in 1972. If you know Toni, she is so friendly and fun. She is beautiful both inside and out. She is also very artistic and creative. I called her the day I finished writing, and she began sketching. We have collaborated long distance. She lives in Panama City, Florida, but there is no one else I would rather work with. We are very excited about the potential success of The Sky Is the Limit and by giving back to the community. We both hope that this will be the first of many books for us.
Toni and I have many ideas and opinions and plan to blog on a variety of things, so check us out!
My advice to you if you have an idea over and over again is: