January 7, 2020, is publication day for my picture book Hosea Plays On (Sterling Children’s Books, illustrated by Shane W. Evans)! Based on a real street musician and community advocate, Hosea was originally slated for September 2018. I won’t tell you I wasn’t disappointed when the date was pushed out. And when my good friend and writing pal, Andrea Page, told me that she believes things happen when they’re supposed to, I nodded politely, happy that worked, at least, for her.
Turns out, though, Andrea was onto something.
The time frame for Hosea has allowed me to connect more deeply with people who knew and loved Hosea Taylor, Jr. It afforded me a chance to become more of a part of my own community—and to further appreciate the impact of Hosea’s loss. My research for the book is finished, but now I visit the City of Rochester Public Market (the story’s setting) more frequently than I used to. I’ve come to respect and enjoy the warmth and camaraderie that is evident among the Market’s vendors and patrons.
Also, January 7th is my brother Mike’s birthday. When I was little, Mike was the one who routinely read to me. I have a vivid memory of cuddling up beside him on our burnt-orange sofa (hey, it was the 70s). Coming from a large, noisy family, it’s no wonder that memories of quiet moments sharing a book with my big brother are so clear.
In 2002, knowing I had been tinkering with a children’s book (A Name of Honor, Mondo Publishing, 2006), Mike told me of a local 1-day children’s writing workshop. “I’ll go with you,” he said. And it was there a fire was lit within me to give that children’s story an earnest shot. A few months later, when I learned of an out-of-town conference but was uncomfortable going alone, Mike went with me. On the way, he asked me to read aloud my story. I’m grateful for his respect and attention for what I now know was a very rough draft and for what was the first of many read-alouds that led to revision.
In the writing life, there are some things you can control—like how much time you spend writing, to whom you send your work, and how you react to feedback and rejection. And there are some things you cannot control, such as the time it takes your story to become a book.
So, it seems, Hosea Plays On is right on time.
Timing is everything!!
Happy your writing journey is moving forward with gusto!
Love the part about Mike being such a caring and thoughtful brother.
You are an inspiration in following your dreams.
I appreciate your unwavering cheerleading, Kim! Thank you so much.
Love your connection with the timing of the book and the memories of your brother!! Two significant days, Kathy!
So happy for you. You’re an inspiration. 😊
Thank you, Maureen! Your kind words mean a lot to me.
There is a very inspirational message at the end of your comment, Kathy. Time management and dedication to writing are key ingredients that must be followed. You have inspired me once again little sister.
Yay! Ya gotta show up, as they say. You can do it!
I love that Mike was such a huge part of your love for books and writing! So proud of your determination and how , like your brother, you are sharing the gift of reading to others ❤️
What a sweet thing to say! Thank you, Kelly, for everything, all these years!
When your book arrived, Meghan read it out loud to us. I had to hide the tears! Beautiful story- worth the wait!! Thank you, Mike, for inspiring my Bodinkski!!
Sorry, but I do love when my readers cry! Seriously, that is so touching. Love that your daughter read it to you guys. Gives me goosebumps! Thanks for being a part of it all!
How important books are to fostering a love of reading when they are read with love the way Mike read to you. I am sure he appreciated your reading of YOUR book back to him. A great bond between you!
Right on, Joanne!
Congrats on this. The book–and backstory–hold a lot of appeal. Well done!
Thank you so much!
Congratulations. I have one of your bookmarks for the book. I thought, what a great book. I can’t wait to read it. RACWI is a very good group. I hope one day, I’ll be published like you.
Thank you, Bruce. Keep at it, and you will!
What a lovely anecdote this is, Kathy, and a perfect pairing for the selflessness that Hosea demonstrated. I look forward to our blog post on this touching story being published in the next few days on the Children’s Book Corner blog @ blog.judybradbury.com!
Thank you, Judy! I’m honored to take part in your wonderful Children’s Book Corner blog. We’ll talk soon!
Congratulations, Kathy! Happy Book Birthday!! I’m thrilled for you and can’t wait for my own signed copy!!
Thank you, Jackie! It’s been a fun day.
Kids are our most valuable and impressionable asset. Reading good literature teaches values and educates,while encouraging a life-long pleasure. Kathy, your gift and passion are so worthwhile. Keep writing. Aunt Mary
Well said, Aunt Mary! A true teacher.
I agree with Andrea. The timing is always perfect. Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading this.
Thank you, Sally!
Happy Book Birthday ( yesterday🥰). This business teaches us patience. And look at what we’ve been waiting for- Hosea Plays On is lovely and a wonderful tribute to an incredibly generous person. I look forward to sharing our video interview on my blog this month. Congratulations on all your hard work!
Thank you, my friend and writer pal!
What a MARVELOUS “story behind the story” and how blessed you were, Kathy, to have a brother like Mike. Two qualities that a writer must process is never giving up . . . and a HEALTHY does of creative OCD! Plus, it also helps when they are open to constructive criticism and just an all around great person. I would say you’re the complete package, Kathy (especially the great person part)! I am SOOOOOOOO happy for you!!! Congrats MANY times over. I KNEW it would happen, eventually, AND this is only the beginning of MANY more Blasi books to come. Kathy Writes ON!
Scott, so great to hear from you! I’ve always heard you cheering me on from afar, and it means a lot to me! And yes, I’m very blessed in many ways.
Hello, I am intrigued by your book and would love a signed copy to give to my daughter who teachers music to preschool through fifth grade students in our local public school here in Maryland. As a relatively new teacher she is building a library of books about music and musicians for her students and I’m sure this book would be a wonderful addition.
Mike and I went to high school together and one of the nicest people I remember from that time and a very special brother too.
Congratulations on your book. I look forward to reading it.
How wonderful to hear from you, Elisabeth! Thank you for your kind words. Mike is still “one of the nicest people.” I invite you to take a look at my Author Facebook Page to see the photos from my launch event. You’ll see a nice one of Mike and me. I wish your daughter many years of joy touching the lives of countless students.
Kathy, congratulations on the success of Hosea Plays On. The book is heartwarming and magical. The words musically flow. This is a book for all ages. Your talent for writing is amazing and wonderful. What a nice tribute to Mike. I enjoyed watching this endeavor come to fruition. Love you sister!
Thank you, Mare! From one writer to another, thank you for always supporting my endeavor with your interest and critique!