This short story was a Christmas present. In the spring of 2004, I was reunited with my dearly loved chosen family. I wanted to give them something special, and so I wrote this story where each one of them was represented by one of the characters.
To give you an idea of how compelling the writing addiction is, at the start of 2004 I all but crippled my hands with very severe repetitive stress injuries (RSI). When I started this story in late September/early October, I could type for no more than five minutes at a time. So, the first draft was done mostly using voice recognition software. Once the first draft was done, my hands had improved enough that I could edit at the keyboard.
I knew something was missing: illustrations. I wasn’t sure if I could manage much, but with patience and a lot of rest periods, I was able to create enough art that the book felt more complete.
The original, gift version of this book was then bound, by hand, by me. The pages were sewn, the hardcovers glued and end-papered. It turned out well, and was very well received. I even did a “command performance” reading of it on Christmas Eve 2004.
Since then, it’s been through several printings and has become a holiday staple.
You can check out the illustrations here (link).