Monday, May 21, 2007

Becoming SuperOma

The Oma Storybook Collection has been a dream of mine for a long time. It's my way of creating a family history for our grandkids, in a kid-friendly format. A few years ago I wrote an A-B-C Book about Dee, illustrating some of his favorite things with photos of him.

I wrote a 1-2-3 Book about me visiting my grandparents. I told about counting 6 goldfish in their pond, cranking the ice cream freezer 8 times, counting 10 stars while we sang outside, etc. That book was illustrated with drawings by Amy.

My favorite, though, is a book called The Adventures of SuperOma. It starts out:
Many years ago children didn't watch TV. It hadn't been invented yet! In those days the children gathered in the living room around the radio and listened to stories. The children all loved SuperHeroes and wanted to be Heroes themselves! Because there were no pictures to watch, the children imagined the people in the stories looked like people they knew. If you use your imagination you might recognize some SuperHeroes in these stories, too.

I made up several stories about SuperOma,
"who, disguised as Marty Kent, mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never ending battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way!"
I used photos of my kids and grandkids to illustrate the stories. The kids seem to like this book the best.

Another book, A Prince, a Princess & a Castle, tells how Dee and I met in fairytale form.

I used photos from our family reunion, and wrote a rhyming story so the kids would have something tangible to remind them of what we did and how much fun we had together.

Writing the story is always easy for me. The illustrating and layout has been my challenge. For SuperOma I used stickers, scrapbook materials and glue, cutting and pasting the text by hand onto printed paper. Very low tech, and the color copies cost a fortune.

With the other books I've had the help of my daughters so far, but my goal is to be independent, and do it all myself. This past year I've poured over books about digital layout, digital scrap booking , designing and photography trying to teach myself the skills to create what I picture in my mind. It's very exciting to me to "go it alone!" But I'm scared, too, knowing how limited my artistic talent is. It seems silly, since no one has any expectations at all, and so far the people I'm doing the books for are just as thrilled with a page from a coloring book. I know what I want, though.

I have other books in mind, too. I want to graduate to chapter books on the order of the American Girl books, telling the stories of our grandparents and parents as young people, describing the times and events of their lives. And then, I have a whole bunch of research already done so I can write novels starring my ancestors in the middle ages in England!

I really do have to become SuperOma to do all this. I'm honing my writing skills here on my blog, and I've got my cape and tights handy in the phone booth!


Nimmy said...

Keep going Oma. You can do it!

Stie said...

We still read Super Oma around here (among many of your authored works). Keep 'em coming!

kenju said...

WOW, I am impressed! What a wonderful thing your books are for the grandchildren!

gab said...

My kids LOVE the Oma's the best way to do family history. Please send more...

Heidi Ballou said...

I would love a "Heritage Girl" collection by Oma. What a great idea! I liked a little mystery twist... can you do that?

Kelly said...

even us cousins love the super oma books. Gavin & i were reading my moms copy just the other day.