I wanted the kids to be able to guess what the story was by looking at the covers. We've accomplished that with most of them. Book 4 was mostly her & Sam's own story with a familiar twist to the end. If you look good, you'll see the star of the book in the backpack - Opal the dragon. Valerie had (has) a big thing for dragons. We had to get them in at least one of the books.
For #6 & #7, I asked her to read the books first and do her own rendition of the cover. I got these...and holy smokes, I discovered she'd picked up some new tricks and skill along the way. She's self taught on this whole art thing. She uses photoshop and a drawing pad on her computer. If she needed to learn anything, she went to youtube and figured it out. I love watching her draw!
Everyone I showed #7 to thought it was a picture. It's set in the Science Museum in St Paul, where she loved to go. I sent a book off to their president and was thrilled to get the A-OK from him with a nice letter back.
I wasn't sure if I was going to stop the series or not. So much had gotten in the way after our move north of Minneapolis. I finally read #8 again, had her read it, & got the thumbs up. Sometimes getting a cover out of her was a challenge. She always had so much going on with her own stuff, I had to do my share of "Mom nagging." I said, "If you want this book out, you need to give me a cover before you go to college." I knew I'd never get it out of her once she was gone. She did it in record time. Once again, her ideas came from the story so it would give away the main story line. I'm leaving this one huge because, WOW!
So...the reason for this page? I've been jealous of Valerie for a long time. Not just her drawing abilities ('cause I could mess up a stick man!), but for the fact that she has had her college picked out since the 7th grade. I don't know the whole story on how she even found it, but she did, wrote them, and a package came in the mail. Things have been coming ever since. I'm in awe of the dedication to honing her skills with art & knowing that it's what she wants to do with her future. I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up! How wonderful for her to have known, stuck with it, and made her dream come true.
Full Sail University is in Orlando, Fl. Boo hoo to us for her being so far away. I have an aunt and a dear friend a few hours away, so I know help could reach her soon if need be. Being that Orlando is a tourist area, I suspect rent and cost of living to be high - so yikes. The college is also unique in the fact that there are not normal semesters and such. She's pretty much graded on her life for the next 2 years. She also leaves 2 weeks after graduation - no summer off for her.
The one thing I do love is that since the 4 year degree comes in such a short time, her studies are concentrated on what she needs. No sailing, basket weaving, and math/science credits just to fill a day. She already has more than enough of those last two. I'll have to brag she's always been a straight A student. Being that as it may, I thought more scholarships would be available for her for grades. I guess when you've moved as we have, you'll find when you don't really mingle with your community, the businesses don't donate to your kids. Everyone knows someone & they get the dough. She did manage a one-thousand dollar scholarship from dollars for scholars donor and another 2K for one she found online so w00t for her - that's a start. :)
Her dad was injured in the Coast Guard and has been on disability practically since she was born. Mom....well, you know Mom's a writer. The best that contributes is to have something for her to tell her shrink in her later years. ;) LOL All kidding aside, through all my jobs and our business ventures, even though we knew this was coming and said over and over, "Boy, not having a college fund is going to bite us in the butt..." well, it is. All the 4 year degree in a 2 year span is still 4 years of college fees. I'm trying to come up with a way I can help other than go into debt. Exploiting her art and what she's inspired seems like a great option to me!!!
I looked into GoFund Me, etc, but there is a 5% fee they take for hosting it, then another 3% transaction fee. (Just say you take 8%! Grrr!!) Um, no. Unless I totally suck at getting the word out on my own, I'm going to avoid sites like that. It pains me enough to put a pay pal link. They take so much in fees as well - I avoid them when I can. If you can be careful in how you send it, I think they can be waived for something like this as well.
Because my site doesn't play well with HTML, this button will just take you to Pay Pal.
My account is auntybug [at] yahoo [dot] com
(The nickname that started the pen name of Ann T Bugg :) )