Forgot a page: Violen p. 4.5

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For what seemed like many weeks, Lenny  passionately practiced the song his uncle taught him.  He practiced in his bedroom before school, at his secret spot during recess, Mondays after school with Mr. Trumbo, and in his bedroom before he went to sleep. Lenny’s mom loved going to the beach, and it only took them fifteen minutes to walk to the beach from their house. Whenever his mom went to the beach, Lenny brought his violin. It was his favorite spot away from school. The park was also one of his trusted spots. Lenny and his new violin had become inseparable.

Notes: You are reading an excerpt from my 1st children’s picture book, Violen. Yes, I missed including some text on a previous post, so I will call this one page 4.5. Violen is a story about a young boy who has an extraordinary gift and passion to play the violin. If you like my story, please share this post. Thanks for your support. Image shot by Albert Montes and edited by me using an iPhone and Glaze app.

Collaborating on Illustrating The Story

I finished the initial draft of my first children’s book, Violen 15 years ago but didn’t know how to publish it or even how to share the story. Today’s technology with the explosion of social media gives me the opportunity to share my writing to a much wider audience than I ever had before. I don’t have the drawing skills to illustrate my own photos, but not too long after I got hooked on mobile photography, I realized that I could illustrate my stories with photography.

I asked Albert Montes to photograph my first story. We had met years ago through church, then we reconnected on Instagram. After seeing Albert’s incredible work, I asked him to be the main photographer for the story. We shot in 4 locations in different parts of Long Beach, California. I wanted to illustrate the story in black and white. Albert shot with Hipstamatic on his iPhone 4S. Now, looking back I realize that I should have been shooting a lot more behind the scenes. I only took a few, and this one was during our first photoshoot.

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Violen p. 11

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Those who sat closer to the stage mentioned that they saw tears in Uncle Tim’s eyes as the song came to a close. At the end, the audience roared with approval. The entire crowd gave Lenny a standing ovation!

Lenny looked at the audience, but the spotlights were too bright for him to see his classmates. All Lenny could see were dozens of small silhouettes. He recognized at least one of the shadowy figures with fists pumping the air. It was Miguel.

As Lenny bowed, the same boys who once jeered him now cheered him. He smiled towards the source of cheers and took his final bow as the curtains closed.

Notes: You are reading an excerpt from my 1st children’s picture book, Violen. Violen is a story about a young boy who has an extraordinary gift and passion to play the violin. Even though this may be the last page, keep following along for more pics and notes, and if you like my story, please share it. Thanks for your support. Image shot by Albert Montes and edited by me using Glaze.

Violen p. 10

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Violen p.10

The sound the Lenny and his wooden instrument filled the auditorium and entered the ears and hearts of all those present. With each pass of the bow, the strings sang a song that brought delight to his audience. Lenny played his song with grace, power, and flawless execution.

Mr. Trumbo nodded his head in approval while standing just out of view from the audience. Ms. Richards broke her own class rule to tell her students sitting closest to her, “This is the perfect song.” Lenny’s classmates looked with amazement and admiration at the sight and sound of Lenny playing his violin. Miguel thoroughly enjoyed watching his friend play with all his heart and soul on a stage in front of all those people.

Notes: You are reading an excerpt from my 1st children’s picture book, Violen. Violen is a story about a young boy who has an extraordinary gift and passion to play the violin. I will be sharing a page or two a day. Follow along, and if you like my story, please tag your friends or share a link of this post. Thanks for your support. Image shot and edited by me.

Violen p. 9

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Violen p. 9

Both young and old in the auditorium absorbed the sweet sounds of his strings as Tim bowed one song after another. Lenny had the best seat in the house; center stage right next to Tim. Lenny sat patiently by his uncle waiting for his turn to play his song. It was the one song that the young violinist knew how to play with all of his heart and skill.

Tim took the microphone to introduce his nephew. It was Lenny’s turn. The audience watched and listened with joy as Violen held the neck of his instruments with one hand and the other end of the violin under his chin.

Weeks of practice all boiled down to this brief yet heavy moment. The young violinist on center stage began to sweep his bow across the strings, with his fingers confidently pressing down on the frets for every note.

Notes: You are reading an excerpt from my 1st children’s picture book, Violen. Violen is a story about a young boy who has an extraordinary gift and passion to play the violin. I will be sharing a page or two a day. Follow along, and if you like my story, please tag your friends or share a link of this post. Thanks for your support. Image shot by Albert Montes and edited by me.

Violen p. 8

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As parents, teachers, and students began to fill the auditorium, the principal emerged from the curtains with a microphone in hand. He asked for Lenny to go backstage! The tall man met Lenny and escorted him up the stairs onto the stage. His classmates gazed in amazement and anticipation
as they saw their classmate disappear behind the curtain.

A still moment blanketed the audience as they heard a man behind the curtain laugh and call out Lenny’s name. The children in Lenny’s class leaned forward in unison to listen to the faint, muffled voices of Lenny and his uncle. The curtains opened and the audience applauded their special guest. Mr. Trumbo introduced Tim as the featured musician who then played his violin to begin the concert.

Notes: You are reading an excerpt from my 1st children’s picture book, Violen. Violen is a story about a young boy who has an extraordinary gift and passion to play the violin. I will be sharing a page or two a day. Follow along, and if you like my story, please tag your friends or share a link of this post. Thanks for your support. Image shot by Albert Montes and edited by me.

Violen p. 7

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Violen p. 7

Len was so overwhelmed with excitement, that he didn’t know what he was supposed to feel or do. He had some questions, but decided not to call Uncle Tim.

The very next day, Len brought the invitation to his teacher. Ms. Richards was elated to share the news with the class that Len’s uncle was going to be the guest performer at the school concert.

On Thursday, Len arrived to class wearing a blazer with his violin in its case. The classroom full of students welcomed Len with smiles as he quietly took his seat and started his assignment. The other boys whispered “Violen,” to get Lenny’s attention. They all gave him thumbs up in approval. When it was time for the assembly, Lenny lined up behind Miguel on the walk to the auditorium for the special concert. Lenny didn’t say a word. nor did Miguel, except for complimenting his blazer.

Notes: You are reading an excerpt from my 1st children’s picture book, Violen. Violen is a story about a young boy who has an extraordinary gift and passion to play the violin. I will be sharing a page or two a day. Follow along, and if you like my story, please tag your friends or share a link of this post. Thanks for your support. Image shot and edited by me using Hipstamatic and Glaze apps on an iPhone.

At The Local Library

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I am rediscovering the wonderful resource called the library. In the midst of information and content being delivered and accessed digitally, it is refreshing to sit down in a place dedicated to literature and read a book. I just started Holes by Louis Sachar.

Violen For Sale on Blurb.com

Violen can be purchased as an eBook for 99¢ and print book starting at $14.99. Thanks for your support!

An Excerpt from Violen

This story is currently sold on Blurb as an eBook and printed book.