Christmas on the Quiet Path

There is a certain wonderment in Christmas. A magic in celebrating this holiday in the darkest days of winter, snow preferable but not essential. I have always loved Christmas and the stories and songs that revolve around it.

QP without text 75dpiLiving in New Zealand and celebrating Christmas in the summer has required quite an adjustment. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to singing Christmas songs around the BBQ and having a pre-present swim at the beach while waiting for Santa to arrive on a surfboard. And then, to cap it off, waiting until it is dark enough to see the Christmas lights adorning people’s homes. That happens after 10pm.

For New Zealanders, this is Christmas. For Americans living in New Zealand this is…um…not quite Christmas. Give me sleigh bells and sunsets by 5pm and heck, give me Christmas decorations on every street corner and Christmas carols in the mall.

One year I decided to take the Christmas Spirit into my own hands. I missed it. So I started drawing. And drawing. And drawing until my colored pencils were stubs. I decided to design and draw Christmas cards. When my dad saw the first image, a young figure entering a forest lighted by the Christmas star, he said, “Oh, it’s a journey.” I looked at that picture and realized he was right. That cloaked figure was on a journey. This image was only one of what should become many. But what journey? And where would it lead her?

My journey in creating The Quiet Path was underway. That original drawing evolved into a children’s wordless Christmas picture book—a series of thirteen drawings that follow the child as she follows the Christmas star.

I worked on The Quiet Path over the New Zealand winter months, June, July, August. It was cold and fell dark early. I cranked up the Christmas music and drew, bringing to life a new kind of Christmas story, one with a surprise ending that Over seaI hesitate to reveal. Those months felt more like Christmas to me than any other summertime Christmas I have spent in New Zealand.

I used Prismacolor colored pencils. I love the softness of the lead that allowed me to really burnish the images, to really create a dense and vibrant color. I drew on watercolor paper. I like the sturdiness of it.

When I finished The Quiet Path a friend saw it and seemed truly moved by the simple story. He told me that he wanted to help the world see this story and he offered to help me publish it as a Kindle version e-book on Amazon. The Quiet Path is now available for download. You can read it on a Kindle or a Kindle Fire. Or you can download the Kindle app onto an iPad or smartphone or aMac and read it there.

Please enjoy The Quiet Path with your children and your family and be sure to drop m a line and let me know if it evokes in you the true Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas.

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12 comments

  1. Love your illustrations. I’ll certainly be downloading your book

  2. Love the feel, words and images of your blog… keep at it!

  3. Your book looks so beautiful and I love the concept behind it. With the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas this is just the contemplation that should be prioritized as far as I’m concerned. I’m visiting from the Kid Lit Blog Hop and I’d love to see you link this post into the Hop. The linky is open to new additions until Christmas and the links stay permanently on the site. I’m sure other Hoppers would be thrilled to discover your book. I’m now following you via email and Twitter. Cheers! :D

    • Hi Renee! Wow, what an incredible review! Thank you. I do love the peacefulness of this story and how it makes the true Christmas message immediate to every one. I don’t want to say too much and give away the ending, so I’ll stop there! I’d love to link this on the Kid Lit Blog Linky. I’ll head over there right now. Merry Christmas!

  4. Hi there thank you for a beautiful post and wonderful to hear about your life in NZ. I am an Aussie so I will be spending Christmas cooling off in the pool too lol, but one day I hope to experience a White Christmas lol. Your book sounds truly wonderful, I will check it out for my little Gigi as we navigate the path of life together. Blessings

    • I’ve talked to a number of kiwis who also would like to experience a snowy winter Christmas. I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance! But Christmas by the pool on a hot Aussie day sounds pretty ideal! I have to admit that the novelty of going surfing on Christmas day is pretty grand. I do miss the Northern Hemisphere Christmas, but I’m certainly open to creating new traditions in the land of the long white cloud! I hope you and your Gigi do enjoy The Quiet Path. Merry Christmas.

  5. I want to know what the surprise ending is! The illustrations are stunning and living in Malawi – I also miss the Christmas traditions (and weather) that I grew up with.

  6. It was your beautiful illustration that drew me to take a closer look from the Kid Lit Blog Hop and I’m do pleased I took a moment to check it out. A lovely story idea combined with perfect pictures makes perfection as far as I’m concerned. Thank you.

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