I’m working through my shelves and getting rid of the books that don’t mean much to me. That makes me appreciate the part of my collection that I’m keeping so much more!
Soun Tetoken is a book that found me instead of the other way around.
Way back in grade school, when I was a kid at Running Creek Elementary in Elizabeth, Colorado, the author Ken Thomasma came to speak to us. I don’t remember all of what he said, but I do know I was absolutely fascinated by having a real author in our school. He knew how to take the story in his head and actually get it into a book, and I was on the moon.
Mr. Thomasma asked us each to write a short story. The winners would receive a print of one of the illustrations from his book, Naya Nuki. To my sheer delight, my story was selected!
So as not to take up time at the assembly, we were told that we could come see Mr. Thomasma after school and he would sign the print. I was absolutely terrified that I’d miss the bus, and so I went straight home instead. It’s a decision I’ve often regretted.
Fast forward a few decades to the closeout of our local used book store here in Illinois. The owners were retiring, and they’d finally reached the point of giving everything away for free. Of course, I went! I brought my girls into the kids’ room and happened to spot Soun Tetoken. I was immediately thrown back to that sad memory of never getting my print signed, but I was rewarded when I opened the front cover and found this.
I might not have made the right decision way back in second grade or so, but Ken’s signature came to me anyway. I don’t even have the print anymore, but this book fits very nicely on my shelf with my other signed books.
Do you have any signed books? I have more I’ll be sharing in the coming months, but I’d love to hear about yours!
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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University. Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside Detective. Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous. Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world. You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.
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