21 Years and Countless Hearts, Homes and Classrooms Reached!
If YOU are in the US I hope you are enjoying a happy and healthy Thanksgiving week. Some lovely and unexpected blessings have come my way lately, reminding me how grateful I am to live this odd and awesome life!
While I think of it...it's been awhile since I've been to Vegas and on January 21 I'll be speaking at the Indie Author Summit with self-publishing superstar Jay Miletsky - there's early bird pricing through Dec 1st -- register here and be sure to tell them I sent YOU! There is a virtual option to attend too. Indie Author Summit
It's AMAZING that I Love You More has been in the world now for TWENTY ONE years! We received the first 200 copies on October 2, 2001 and the 2800 additional copies came in to the Miami port the first week in December. What a ride! One of my first signings was at the Boca Raton Art Museum on January 13, 2002. That was where a rather proper older woman informed me that 'the author signs on the title page' - I had been signing on the end pages - there was all that space, who knew?! I did after that day! Another woman waited patiently with her young daughter. After I was finished signing she asked how many books I had left, I'm not certain what my answer was but I believe it was over 2, to which she said, 'I'll take all of them.' Turned out she was an adoption attorney and she proceeded to purchase 100s of copies after that gifting them to every family when she placed a child. She was also invited to the White House and brought our books along as gifts for Sasha and Malia. We haven't been in touch for awhile, but reconnected recently and she sent such a beautiful message sharing what an impact our books have had on her life, her families and the lives of countless others! My heart!
Then a family that in 2010 ordered 20 copies to honor the matriarch of their family who always said, I Love You More, well they just had their first grandbabies and great niece and ordered three more sets of books for this next generation. I was able to join them for dinner at their home in New Jersey along my travels. It's been lovely reconnecting because of these new additions to their family.
In this weeks top photo -- my MOM who celebrates her birthday December 2nd -- if you're on Facebook, please visit my page that day to add your wishes! She is a BIG part of the reason I Love You More is in the world! As a kindergarten teacher she sparked my love for picture books always gifting me her favorites - for my 16th, 18th, 21st birthdays and high school and college graduations. The one that made the greatest impact was Old Turtle by Douglas Wood. I couldn't read that book without tearing up - now I love that we have a box of tissues on the table when I sign books for people who do the same! I also have two BFFs whose birthdays are December 3rd and 4th! And my nephew Tyler who I wrote I Love You More for celebrates his Holly pictured here is the 4th -- she was my classroom leader for a course in Landmark called Team Management and Leadership. She hosts mom and I in Mount Dora at the HollyDaze Inn along with her small zoo - six cats and dogs ATM! We are in a coaching program together now called Rubicon Results. Pat Finn who leads the program was a Forum leader for adults and young people -- now he's a modern day Charlie and his Angels -- in this case Pat's Rubies! It's a global program, though seven of us gathered for a Friendsgiving in Mt Dora last week. Blessings all around! Pat offers complimentary discovery calls that are always a contribution whether or not you choose to jump into a three month program -- you can reach him here if you're interested! Men are welcome too by the way - there were just none in the Mt Dora area last week!
Oh my...one last thought...why was I receiving texts during that last GIANT Powerball drawing asking if I'd won?! Turns out if you google the last few winners last year in Jacksonville a 248 million dollar jackpot was claimed by The Love You More Trust! Holy Smokes! I could purchase a lot of books, get my Ambassador of Love Tour on the road, that I'd happily rename the Love You More Tour, get my handful of other creative endeavors off the ground and MORE!! If anyone happens to know these LOVE-ly people please let them know that I have all sorts of dreams of amplifying the conversation of love in the world in an even bigger way and would welcome their partnership!
That's it for now! Please know I love and appreciate YOU - whether we've known one another for years, lifetimes (LOL) or only met once at an event. I am in awe that I get to live this life and love that YOU are a part of it!
There are so many fun ways to bring books to life, even beyond reading them! Sometimes it occurs naturally, other times with a little planning or staging, no matter how it happens, I love recreating pictures from my books in the world! There's been a trend to imitate famous paintings or photos -- why not give it a try with illustrations from your favorite books - I Love You More and I'll Hug You More included of course!
In the photos above I watched a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, and my friend Cindi caught this picture of me blasting off with the page: I love you louder than the loudest rocetship ever blasted.
Last weekend in Mount Dora at Under the Cherry Blossoms, Londyn and her mom Tiffany came by for a visit. Londyn has Alopecia and as she's getting older there are tougher moments with other children (and adults) saying things. She had her eye on this blue flower, her favorite color, so I gifted it to her and we took a photo with I love you prettier than the prettiest flower ever found.
From I'll Hug You More - I'll hug you to say thank you for getting my breakfast ready. And I'll hug you when I buckle you up before we go for a ride.
Recreate or imitate your favorite illustrations and post and tag me in them, or email them to me and we'll share them!
** For those of you who have the board book versions of I Love You More and I'll Hug You More - there are a few pictures missing from each book in order to make that size - so you actually don't have the rocket ship, the armadillos or the lady bugs!!
Please feel free to download or screenshot and share — tag #lauraduksta #iloveyoumore #ilym and follow me on social! If we see your post we'll for sure repost it!