Dear Red Fred Backers,
It's 9:14a in Boise, Idaho and it smells like Autumn when I look outside. I've been staying at our Host Family's residence: a fantastic property that has been in the Boise area for 40+ years. Brick sidewalks, mini-donkeys, a silo with ivy growing on it's side and trees that lived longer (and taller) than me.
Miaken Christiansen (member of the Creative Team) joined me on this jaunt from Salt Lake City. She's been capturing motion and still images the entire trip and I'm happy to report that she has seen/heard some powerful things regarding our ID Creative, Shaelyn Simis.
We arrived in Meridian on Friday around 1:00p and made our way to Shae's elementary school. As it was a teacher's prep day, school was "out" for the day so it was unusually quiet for an elementary. Shae's principal, Melanie Koch, greeted us at the door with a giant smile and we all made our way to Shae's first grade class room. The tour was wonderful: we saw where she keeps her other books (illustrated pages of important days in her life), where her cubby was, where she puts completed assignments, where the dice and where card and board games were placed, alongside the dice. In tow was a photographer from a local station that was interested in the story.
Our next stop was the school library where we found a very helpful librarian. We asked her where she thought Shae's book would live, once it was completed. She directed us to the stacks and shelves where she thought it might go: possibly biographical work, but as it was a fictional, illustrated storybook, it may go somewhere else. Shae also showed us how to check out a book and we considered what it would be like to have her book checked out by other students.
Our last bit of workshopping that day was to create her Trooper, so we made our way to her home and cracked open my lap top. This part of the workshopping is so much fun because the child gets to think and figure on shapes of letters, we talk proportions and placement. I also brought my big color swatches and she was able to thumb through the peacock-array of my colors to decide what color her bird, Daisy, is going to be. I think it's safe to say we all fell in love with Daisy, immediately, and she looked very "apart" of the rest of that gaggle of Troopers. She especially looked good sitting atop Blue Lightning's (Nathan's Trooper) back.
As I'm in a bit of a rush this morning, I'm going to have to sign off now. But just so you know: yesterday we spent photographing at her imaginative space and it turned out WONDERFULLY. We are thrilled to share it with you.
My hope is that we can get this created by Christmas, so that hopefully we'll have a new book for all of you and all of us (don't think I'm not on that waiting list—I want my copy, too!).
Thank you for all you've done. Thank you to all you folks in the Boise area that have shown up and supported. If all things go according to plan, we'll be back in a month to have a book signing. We hope as many of you as possible can show up to support the ID Creative for the Red Fred Project: the very brave and gregarious Shaelyn Simis.
Dallas & Red Fred