Ego wall. Glory wall. Wall of fame. A “Me” wall.
If you haven’t seen one in person, it’s likely you’ve seen an example in a television show or a movie. An ego wall is a place where people flaunt their “connections” by displaying photos of themselves with famous people such as politicians, actors, singers, or athletes. It might include degrees and awards designed to impress people.
I don’t have a glory wall yet, but I’m putting one together. And it’s not what you might think.
Publishing my first illustrated children’s book this past September was a momentous occasion for me. I recommend a grand learning adventure such as this for everyone. Oh, and may you be as blessed as I’ve been to have helping angels alongside.
People have asked me why I wrote Scooter Takes a Walk, the story of Scooter the dog who has the opportunity to take a walk by herself down Main St. of her hometown. HINT: It’s not for the money. Unless you’re already famous, it’s all but impossible to become a New York Times bestselling author of a children’s book.
I had six reasons for writing the book.
First, the book remembers Scooter, a real and much-loved dog who belonged to my daughter and her husband. Since Scooter died in 2016, my illustrator Loralyn Noragong painstakingly poured over dozens of Scooter’s photos to capture her authentic look.
Next, I adore the town I live in and wanted to boost tourism in Warrenton, VA.
Third, small local businesses hold a special place in my heart. By highlighting some of the real people and real places in town, I can bring them new customers.
Another reason was to bolster support for my local, independent bookstore. As of today Scooter Takes a Walk is available locally in Warrenton, VA, at Old Town Open Book, and at Teachables, an independently owned educational supply store in Bristow, VA. Personally, I sell the book at events, and on my site https://scooter-takes-a-walk.square.site/, I can personalize it and ship anywhere in the US. As of today, Old Town Open Book has sold nearly 250 copies of my book!
The fifth reason was the inclusion of likenesses of twelve children who died as young adults including my own son Tim (found on the center of the Boy Scout parade page). The mothers of these children are friends of mine. I wanted to honor the lives of their sons and daughters and remind all who love them that these children are part of the story of life and will not be forgotten.
And finally, I wrote this book because I love children and have long understood how vitally important reading books is for a child’s language and communication development. The minimum goal is to hear 1000 books before a child begins kindergarten.
So what will my glory wall encompass?
PHOTOS: People have been so kind to share photos and videos of reading my book to their children or grandchildren. Look at the capture of a child’s delight as this photo of my friend Ken reading about Scooter to his grandson shows.
TEXTS, EMAILS, HANDWRITTEN NOTES and VOICEMAIL: I have received the loveliest and most meaningful notes of appreciation for my book. A mother-to-be who received a copy as a gift said, “This is our baby’s first book!” And one friend shared the excited enthusiasm of her young niece on voicemail who received a personally inscribed book from me. “You know the author?! How did that happen?!”
ARTICLES: Warrenton Lifestyle, a community monthly magazine, publicized my book in their October issue. I’ve had dozens of people remark to me at local bookselling events, “I read that article about you!” Some customers have included a photocopy of the article as they’ve given my book as a gift.
MEMORIES THAT I’VE CAPTURED: The day I spent at St. James’ Episcopal School reading individually to seven classes still fills my heart with joy. The younger children found delight in the story on its own while the fourth and fifth graders asked intriguing questions about the writing, illustrating, and publishing processes.
So yes, that’s the glory wall I’m building — brick by brick of love and gratitude for everyone who has found Scooter Takes a Walk as enchanting as I’d hoped you would.