“Eclectic Emily”: What is it all about?

“Eclectic Emily” is a children’s book about a girl with big dreams, yet she has limitations. Her story is illustrated by events in her childhood that highlight the importance of a persevering spirit. The book celebrates the encouragers in her life who keep her moving forward on a creative path.

This book is for anyone who wants their child to overcome the childhood obstacles of fear, worry, and insecurities about being different through discovering who they were meant to be. Kids can feel small finding their way in a big world and they need examples and role models of real people who can identify with those feelings.

I wrote “Eclectic Emily” with those kids in mind to allow them see a character who walks them through her life as a baby all the way through her high school experience. I felt it was important for the reader to see someone overcome challenges and realize that they are not alone, even though they may sometimes feel that way.

There are the people in the background beneath our wings that encourage us as well as those in our day to day lives who are bolder with their insistence on our persistence. This book is for them as well, to let parents, teachers, and friends know they make a real difference in the lives of the children who struggle with finding their way in the world.

I’ve created resources to help readers use their hands and their minds to create. These resources are free and my hope is that making them together at home or as a class will foster warm memories that will inspire them to make more art on their own.

I listened to a podcast recently that mentioned these three quotes by by Jason Blair. This is the heartbeat of my life and the spark I hope to help light in the people who pick up my book and the activities that go along with it.

The dispositions of an artist are what we need right now...Artists slow down and notice, they are playful and curious…We need creative thinkers more than ever…[Your child] may not grow up to be a fine artist but [through learning about art] may gain the mind of an artist.”

Jason Blair

Advanced Reader Review:

Pre-Order Your Signed Copy of “Eclectic Emily” Here!

Your signed copy will be shipped on October 6.

20.00 $

Creativity Takes Courage

“Creativity takes courage” is one of my favorite quotes. It’s so true. Starting with a blank page can be intimidating, but just like in life, you just have to take the next step in the right direction to add beauty to the world. This is true in writing as well as in art. My first children’s book comes out in less than a month and it has taken an extra measure of courage to send this out into the world because it’s a piece of my personal story of perseverance in creativity. I added 2 photos here to show how much confidence I gained from a Kindergartener who was afraid to take on reading to an art school graduate ready to take on the world. There were a lot of hurdles and challenges between the first and second picture, but I had people who believed in me who made the difference in my life. Who are you encouraging today? Who are you cheering on? You matter to someone in a big way so keep on speaking those en(courage)ing words to your people, your readers, and whoever crosses your path who needs them.

Pre-Order Your Copy of “Eclectic Emily” Here – Books Will Ship 10/6

I just received the first batch of my hard copy books and they look fantastic! I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it and read it to the kiddos in your life. Since I now have possession a large quantity of books, I’ll be having a book signing on 10/3, details will be coming soon. If you pre-order, you can pick it up then, or it will be mailed to you on the following Monday. Until then, you can find out more about my new book here and can order your copy below.

Signed Copy of “Eclectic Emily” – Includes Tax and Shipping

“Eclectic Emily” is a children’s book about a girl with big dreams, yet she has limitations. Her story is illustrated by events in her childhood that highlight the importance of a persevering spirit. The book celebrates the encouragers in her life who keep her moving forward on a creative path. Meet Emily. She’s eclectic, which is a big word for having a variety of ideas from many places. She has so many ideas and wants to create them all! Being creative makes her unique. Being different can make her feel lonely sometimes, but she was not alone! She had parents who cheered her on, she found a friend who was her artsy soul sister, and she had teachers who believed in her dreams. Even though she faces challenges, she’s determined to persevere towards her dreams. Will she make it? Follow her along on her journey to find out in the debut book by Emily Peyton Cook, “Eclectic Emily.” Paper dolls are included as well as a link to free printables that include lesson plans, directed drawings, crafts, etc. (link will be at the back of the book).

20.00 $

Behind the Book: The Making of “Eclectic Emily”

Have you ever had something you knew in your heart you were meant to do but had no idea how or when you’d ever get to it? Have you been praying for something for so long yet haven’t seen it come to fruition? I have been there.

I hope today you’ll be inspired to write your aspirations down, pray about them, and be ready to take action when God moves in your life. (I also wrote a backstory to this post so you could gain perspective for what motivates me).

I don’t know the things (big or small) you want to accomplish in life, but I do know one thing for sure. I believe there is no better time than now to put a stake in the ground for your dream.

I’m here to champion you that you can accomplish something big this year and gain skills in the process. Last Summer Emily P. Freeman challenged her newsletter subscribers to write down 5 things that we would do for fun if we had margin in our lives. I wrote down this list. I then said aloud on an Instagram video that I wanted to write a book and immediately upon turning off my camera thought, “ I shouldn’t have said that. When will I ever have the time?”

This post contains an affiliate links to help you find the products I use. You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but any income I make will be used for me to create more fun things! To see my full disclaimer, click here.

Who knew a year later that 2020 would be the year of wide margins for many of us? Personally, I’ve had more extra time to fill than ever before.

Just a few months ago I leaped into this new decade a Preschool Teacher and long time Professional Photographer. I’ll end this year an Author and Art Teacher. Talk about an unexpected but exciting pivot I didn’t see coming!

I started out this year declaring the word “launch” as my theme for the ’20’s (thinking about preparing my kids for the world) and God had a sense of humor and told me I’d be launching more than “arrows.”

Oh the irony and the power of words!

In the midst of all of this time at home, letting go of distractions and working through a lot of emotions, I began to pray again about the book I knew I was supposed to write.

I had time, the title and said out loud to my mom, “I think I’m going to write a book.” Yet, the book for women that I had mentioned off of the cuff to her still goes unwritten because May 29 I was awakened with every word of a children’s book.

“The Lord gives and The Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

It was as if the book I’d been wanting to write had been handed straight to me which I believe to be the answer to my prayer. It was so clear that I quietly got out of bed as not to wake my family and typed every word.

By 8 a.m. I had a book proposal, title, and a general marketing plan. I texted it to my husband and my parents. They loved it!

By the end of that week, I had the dummy of my book laid out on notebook paper, folded, stapled, with sketches and words scrawled on each page.

I had been in a creative drought for so long and now the ideas were pouring.

That’s why I have to give all credit to God and the power of prayer.

I made it a goal to illustrate one spread per day and study the process of publishing.

I kept myself going knowing it wasn’t wasted time. I had nothing to lose. If nothing came of this, it would be a learning experience for me to gain marketable skills that I could pass on to my High School Digital Art students. Plus, it would be my attempt to put something happy in the world in a very sad year.

This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products I use. You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but I may earn a small fee for recommending my favorites to you. To see my full disclaimer, click here

From start to finish it took me one month from grand idea to “available for pre-order” on Amazon.

“Eclectic Emily” is for creative kids all over the world and an encouragement for the people who come alongside them to give them inspiration to be who they were made to be. My story affirms that the little things parents, teachers, and friends do play a pivotal role in the life of a child.

It’s been a family project with my kids giving input on my wording, illustrations, ideas, etc. They were honest. “I don’t like that.” “That looks better.” “Say that a different way.” Now the’ve each memorized the whole thing and feel so invested. They’ve been learning Photoshop along with me and listening in as I glean from authors all over the world.

This book is a personal story of tenacity that honors my parents, my childhood best friend, my favorite English teacher, and my High School Art instructor.

Each of them played a part in keeping me on the creative path and I believe the lessons I learned from them kept me from the temptation to despair in the midst of this global pandemic that turned my professional world upside down.

They taught me to persevere and I pray this book encourages kids and kids at heart to keep on keeping on in spite of our sometimes difficult reality.

Staying focused on a creative project during this time has been so good for my soul. I’ve thrived during this season by having the mindset “chase the fun.”

Painting with the kids? Sure!

Ordering Wizard of Oz pajamas? Confirm payment!

Make fun stickers to go with my book? Yes, please!

Make a soundtrack for my book? Play it again!

Being safer at home doesn’t mean it has to be a lost year. With a little ingenuity and a bit of hustle we could individually turn 2020 on it’s head and put some goodness out into the world!

Need some podcast inspiration? Here’s a great one featuring Angela Duckworth, author of the must read book for go getters, “Grit.