Creating The Gift
by Rebecca J. Hubbard
I had to sit with Buck’s part of the story for many days. I talked to my friend, Alicia, about Buck and how he was different from Cash. Talking to her helped me identify what part of Buck’s experience I wanted to focus on. I decided to focus on what it was like for Buck leaving his herd and moving to a new place where he knew no one and was alone. The moment I started to write Buck’s story from this view point I knew this was the right focus because the words flowed easily.
After finishing a rough first draft I read all my stories out loud. It is important to me to hear how the words sound. I will adjust word use and tone to reflect how I want it to sound when being read aloud. Usually during this period of editing I try to think of what the story sounds like to a child and adjusted the language as needed. My second round of edits involve sending the story to one or two friends to obtain their feedback. I sent The Gift to my friend, Alicia, because she had asked me to write a story about a child and a horse. Her feedback was extremely important to me as I continued to shape the story. After receiving her feedback I made changes to address the areas that were not clear or did not seem to help the story.
The next point of development was to send the story to a few friends who did not know anything about the story. After receiving their feedback and making the necessary adjustments I sent the story to Laine Cunningham who I affectionately refer to as “my editor.” Laine helped me clarify some of the points in the story and encouraged me to expand other parts. After this process was completed I again read the story aloud to insure that the cadence felt good. Then, I sent the story out to about five friends for more feedback. Usually at this stage there are few if any suggestions made to improve the story. In about two months the story was completed. I jokingly say it takes a village to write a good story. But honestly I could not produce the quality of stories I write without the honest and creative feedback I receive from my friends. They are the glue that holds the process together.
This was my first book of fun fiction. In the beginning I wasn’t sure I could write such a book because the only stories I had ever written were therapeutic stories for the traumatized children I treat. But as it turns out it is not only fun fiction but a therapeutic story. Although I did not initially intend for this book to be used in therapy, it is a very useful therapeutic tool. It can be used to explore relationships, and discuss what it takes to make, and be a friend. It can be used to help foster parents understand the importance of family to foster children. It can be used to teach children about cognitive distortions and unhelpful thinking patterns, and how those negative thoughts impact the way they see the world, and their lives. In the end my brain did what it knows how to do, it created a story to help kids.
About the Book
Author: Rebecca J. Hubbard
Illustrator: Krickett King
Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade Adventure
Length: 62 pages
Release Date: August 10, 2015
Synopsis: All eleven-year old Pip wanted was a best friend. When Pip gets a horse for her birthday she is delighted. She thinks that the horse she names Buck will be her best friend from the moment that they meet. But she finds out that friendship does not come that easily. Her father gently guides her so that Pip can discover for herself how to make Buck a true friend.
Pip's new friend, Buck, has a story of his own. After leaving his own herd, to move to Pip's house, he is looking for a relationship that will help him feel safe. He, too, learns that making a friend takes patience and understanding.
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