When is the last time you met someone who inspired you?
Over the weekend, I was at The Write Stuff conference in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, the conference was attended by writers from across the country. I had the privilege to be part of the critique panel for Page Cuts, along with novelist, Gayle Roper, and agent, Rachel Stout (with Dystel and Goderich), as well as a presenter of 3 workshops. I met #1 bestselling author and writing coach, James Scott Bell, along with dozens of other published authors and wonderful aspiring authors. I also reconnected with an old acquaintance from high school. It was a good couple of days, full of interesting conversations, fascinating people and inspiration.
However, despite being immersed in a sea of amazing talent, I found inspiration in an unlikely source ... a pint-sized source. Little 6-year-old, Abigail Brand.
I noticed Abigail and her tall, beautiful mother, on Friday evening, but didn't speak with them until the second workshop session on Saturday morning. I came into the session and sat down at a round table beside Abigail. Thinking that she might be bored accompanying her mother to all these writing sessions, I handed her a copy of Vinegar Fridays and turned to the end of the book to the children's story I wrote. I thought she might like to read it. It was then I found out that it wasn't Abigail tagging along with her mom, it was the other way around. Her mother explained to me that she wasn't a writer at all. Abigail was the writer. The little girl handed me her business card. Her business card! A very professional looking business card at that!
|Cover of Abigail's 1st book|
We spent the next few minutes chatting and before the session started, I found myself the proud owner of Abigail Brand's two Indy books, Hello Little Cloud and Hello Little Flower, which I purchased for $5 each. The workshop began, and it was all business from there, with Abigail jotting notes down and paying close attention to the speaker, Curtis Smith.
I didn't speak with Abigail until later in the day during the book signing event. She came to my table, where I was signing books, and graciously signed the books I'd purchased from her in the morning. As it turns out, they were the only 2 books she brought to the event. I felt honored.
|Cover of Abigail's 2nd book|
After I returned home last night, I visited her Facebook page and website. Yes, this little author has her own FB page for her books! I encourage you all to visit them as well (and purchase a book or two!). Little Miss Abigail is a delightful ray of sunshine who will bless your day. Her books are for sale on her website for only $5 each. They are a fun read and are wonderfully illustrated by Abigail. Her first book, Hello Little Cloud, was self-published in July 2011. In January 2012, Hello Little Flower, was released. Even though it was just 6 months between the two, you can see an improvement in both the handwriting and the illustrations. Both books are as delightful as Abigail is.
In edition to being an author and illustrator, Abigail Brand is also an adept marketer, with a professional website, engaging blog, interactive Facebook page, and growing Twitter account. She has a real handle on social media at the tender age of 6. I wish I had the time to glean some tips from this young entrepreneur.
|The back cover of Hello Little Cloud|
Are you impressed yet?
It gets better. All of that does not sum up this brilliant little girl. She is also a philanthropist, donating 50% of the proceeds of her book to her local hospital's NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). To date, Abigail has donated $415.50 to Lehigh Valley Hospital's NICU, with another donation scheduled for June.
|Dedication page Hello Little Cloud|
Now do you see why I am impressed?
This all takes us back to what I shared over the last couple of Sabbath Experience posts --
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing's going to get better.
-- The Lorax
Abigail Brand, you care a whole awful lot, and you, my dear inspiration, are making the world a better place. I am honored to have met you.