Sewing Figs was a piece I wrote in more or less one week. I had meant for it to be just a small project but the development was inevitable and so it grew to what it was always meant to be – a picture book. If you’re familiar with The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, or any of Dr. Seuss’s work, you already know what it’s like. And no, it’s not exactly a children’s book. Let’s call it Christian fiction.
About the Illustrations
I don’t presume to be a good illustrator. I can barely even draw a straight line. And my sister Jillian did a splendid job with the fig leaves on the cover but I have none of those abilities. I did, however, do the best I could with what skill God gave me in that department and it took me about a month to complete – four times longer than the time it took to write the book.
So without further ado (and no spoilers, I promise), allow me to introduce:
The Major Characters
Meet mother. She doesn’t really have a name in the book, but the story is told from her perspective. We meet her for the first time fiddling with an ATM card that doesn’t seem to have anything in it. Big trouble for her.
This is Daisy. She wants a lot of things, as most children do, but the thing she really wants her mother cannot give – which is also usually true for most children.
And here’s Jack. He’s Daisy’s father. He’s got a lot of secrets. Then again, who doesn’t?
This is Charlie. He’s got full of charisma and loads of friends in high places. What Charlie wants, Charlie gets. But when what Charlie wants he doesn’t want anymore, Charlie gets out. Life is that simple for him.
The Minor Characters
Old Harry. He’s very cynical. He has gone through enough misfortune in life to believe anything good can happen to him. He’s wary of strangers and anything they say, but sometimes he’s too suspicious for his own good.
Meet Jerry. He likes to go with the flow. Can’t decide whether to have eggs or bacon for breakfast, can’t pick out which shirt to wear on a Saturday night, can’t choose between left and right – unless you go first, and then he’ll follow you.
This is Alfonso. Tough on the outside, tough on the inside. He’s the kind of guy who would have made a good knight if he lived in the 6th century, fighting for pride and glory and ready to die in the name of honor. Alfonso is pretty sure what it is he wants to die for.
Stanley. He used to believe there was good in everyone. But something must’ve happened to him to make him so bitter. If someone gave Stanley a slice of pie it was either because they wanted something from him or because it was poisoned. (But apparently starving yourself will kill you, too.)
And this is Dan. He doesn’t believe in myths or legends or even fairy tales, and probably rightfully so. The only truth he knows is that which he can see with his own two eyes. If he hasn’t seen something, it is therefore not true. But he hasn’t seen the wind. Or gravity. Or the President.
Lady with Car. She’s a sly driver; don’t let her looks fool you. Whenever she sees a sign that says, “Reserved Parking,” she believes without a doubt that the spot is reserved for her.
Colleague #1. She’s new on the job, which means work is frequently disrupted by her regular calls for help. In spite of that, she doesn’t stop herself from enjoying a good cup of coffee or a glass of lemonade if someone in the office is kind enough, for no apparent reason at all, to make it and serve it straight to her table. What can I say, some people are just lucky.
Old Man at Supermarket. He forgets a lot of things, as old men do and when he goes to the supermarket, he often realizes he’s forgotten his wallet. But the cashier had just checked in the noodles he was going to have for dinner and it’s too embarrassing now. It has happened before and it will happen again, but some days are better than others. A little optimism never hurt anyone.
Adam and Eve and the serpent. They’ve got their own problems to deal with. But they make a cameo in our story because practically everything begins with their struggle over a fruit.
That’s a wrap
So that’s just about all of them. Just happy little people with their quirks and curiosities, living their own little lives the way they normally do. And then they meet in one compelling story that’s going to teach them a thing or two about what it means to be Sewing Figs.
Grab yourself a copy of the illustrated edition and find out what happens.