When life gives you lemons…write a book.
This post was submitted by children’s author, Elsa Takaoka.
A year ago our life changed completely, and when I say “changed completely” I mean we went from living in Las Vegas, Nevada to living in Fukuoka, Japan within the course of four days.
We had known for two months that my mother-in-law had stage two-bladder cancer, but being that I was nine months pregnant with our second daughter, we were not able to make a trip to Japan, to be with her.
When the baby was two months old we received a late night call… the cancer had spread and she was not expected to live more than a few weeks. For the first time in my life I understood the concept of allowing others to help. The sense of urgency and desire to be with her, was stronger than anything I had ever experienced. My husband and I asked our family and friends to help us empty a house, sell a car and make an international move in just a couple of days, with a four-year old and a newborn in tow.
The experience did several things for me, it helped me keep a clear perspective of what is really important, and it humbled me. I am no longer afraid of asking for help. I am no longer afraid of trying new things, and now strongly believe that with the right perspective any goal can be accomplished.
I now find myself facing a new reality. I am in a foreign country learning a new language and I am a stay-at-home mommy raising two beautiful little girls. This has also given me the time and opportunity to begin my own bucket-list. On my list is writing and publishing a series of children’s books.
I have always had a love of writing, and reading to my own children has helped me rediscover my love of children’s literature. I dived head first into the vast and scary world of self-publishing and quickly discovered it is an adventure in itself.
I blog as creative outlet, and as an escape from the difficulties of learning a new language and lifestyle. I try to share what I have learned through the process of writing a picture book. I also introduce Japanese children’s literature translated into English, not otherwise easily accessible.
I am determined to continue, regardless of how many mistakes I may make. The best advice I have received has come from an unlikely source, the husband, who has told me “It is not about being wildly successful on your first attempt, it is about, persevering even through disappointments.”
And that is what I will continue doing, after all life is wildly unexpected and we must always make the best of it. I am also very, very happy to share with you, that my mother-in-law is still with us, fighting for her life and setting a great example of perseverance.
I suppose I have always had a way with words. It comes natural, un-edited, uncensored and sometimes uninvited! I have also always had a ‘bucket list” well mine is just sort of a “tea-cup” sized list.
I share with you my sunny little list:
1. Do stand up comedy
2. Fly a plane
3. Publish a children’s book
4. Be in a talent show and win first prize (first I have to get a talent)
5. Find a talent that I can SHOW (dance, sing, play an instrument…)
6. Live in a foreign Spanish-speaking country with my Husband and my girls
7. Live on a little farm, next to my parents
Well since I’m not going to fly a plane anytime soon, I thought I would start by publishing a BOOK!
( Disclaimer *I am also highly spontaneous, and incredibly optimistic….)
I am Elsa Takaoka – debut Author.
The book! How cute, these illustrations look lovely. Well done Elsa…to find out more about the book simply head to www.picturestoryebook.com
*Thanks for your inspiring and uplifting post. I am glad to hear your mother-in-law is still fighting. Much love to you and your family. x