Crazy story – about my talented friend Tim. A warning, though: Tim is successful at, like, everything. He’s an award-winning journalist. Plays violin like Nigel Kennedy. Bakes the most mouth-catering cakes.
These days, Tim spends most of his time writing children’s books. But it’s a career that almost never happened.
Here’s how it came about. A few years ago, Tim’s niece came up for a visit from Colorado. During her stay, she reminded Tim of a poem that he’d written many years before.
“What poem?” said Tim.
She reminded her Uncle of the poem he’d written for her as a gift, back when she was a little girl. A poem about a frog who is appalled to learn that that not all animals share his love of spiders and bugs.
Tim’s niece took the poem to school. Her elementary teacher loved it and read it aloud for the class.
The class, predictably, LOVED the poem. And so, for years, that teacher went on performing it. An entire generation of Colorado kids grew up on Tim’s poem about the frog – and Tim didn’t even know!
Not long after the niece went back home to Colorado, Tim was telling a group of us about this story. We were at a friend’s book launch, and a literary editor happened to be standing nearby. It’s a good thing Tim has a loud speaking voice because the editor overheard the story, and asked to see the poem. And presto! That poem got turned into a book.
The book sold a lot of copies. So Tim was asked to write a sequel. That one sold well too, so a third book was requested. It’s coming out in November, with a fourth book already in production.
And it all began from a poem that Tim forgot that he’d written!
What writer doesn’t have dreams like this? That at some point in our scribbly past, we wrote a brilliant poem, or short story, or novel, and forgot all about it? Lord knows we’ve got enough journals and floppy discs and thumb drives full of forgotten writing lying around… Surely, somewhere among all those literary droppings there’s gotta be something worth publishing, right?
As this wonderful story also attests.