Many months ago, I gave a picture book writing workshop to a small group of beginners. It wasn’t a long course — maybe four weeks. And it was at a community college, which usually draws a less committed student. I enjoyed the class, and then thought no more about it. A year later, I received the letter below:

Hi All,

It’s been exactly one year ago since our class together in the Children’s Book Writing Workshop at SMCCD! I just wanted to connect with you again to share an update.

For the time being, I’ve transitioned out of my career in business consulting and am focusing on growth in writing and illustrating. The workshop and my first manuscript there helped spur me on to go and do something about my love for children’s books. For your instruction and inspiration, Shirin, and also to each of you – Thank you!

I just recently launched my publishing name, Wildberry Ink, creating children’s books that integrate diversity and heart values for meaningful learning. My manuscript evolved and became my first book Commander Charlee: In Search of a Space Crew, written for young readers ages 4-7 years old.

Charlee and her family will move away from their city and home. However, Charlee has other plans and searches for a space crew to move to outer space with her. While she copes the move in her own way, she embraces her community. 

As I had initially shared in class, I imagined and created the book from the wonderful privilege and experience in serving alongside community members the past couple of years in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. It represents what I’ve learned and hope to pass on to others as well. 
Here’s a short video that launched my book. Feel free to share!



So that’s what I’m doing: freely sharing. Not only Naomi’s achievement but her thrilling self-empowerment. If she can do it, so can you.

Chasing your dream is like jumping off a 6,000-ft cliff. You’ll never feel larger and more alive.

So congratulations to Naomi…and I hope we’ve both got good parachutes!

Happy writing,