My California Vacation book cover

SANDRA DEKISERRE

 I was born in Los Angeles California and was a child of the 1950’sx and 1960’s. In those years’ life was slower and easy going. Television had just come on the scene and I was mesmerized by the early kid shows and cartoons. Movies were a rare treat and were generally “R” rated and idealistic. We turned our curiosity and imaginations to the printed word to get information and travel to fantasy worlds where the impossible became possible. My parents filled our house with dictionaries, encyclopedias and children’s classics. Use of the television was closely monitored by my ever vigilant parents, and watching it was usually a family event. When bored or faced with free time, I could turn my imagination to an exciting book from our home, school or local library. l especially loved the illustrations that accompanied the stories. This coincided with my love of drawing and sent my interests in a new direction. Now I could write a story and illustrate it too. Suddenly I had a bona fide talent that was recognized by my friends and family. It was the one thing that set me apart. Naturally I ran with it. I had always had a unique sense of humor and that also entered into my new found way to express myself and entertain others. My art style was basically illustration and cartooning. I was an avid reader of comic books and used my babysitting money to buy every

comic book I could get my hands on. Creating cartoons was a great way to get people to laugh and enjoy my work. I was in heaven.

When I was seven years old, my father’s work required he be out of town five days a week. This upset me because my dad was my major source of inspiration, my critic and my cheerleader. As usual, my Dad had a great idea. He suggested that I keep a daily diary in order to keep him up to date on what was happening in my life while he was away. Well, I soon discovered that a seven year old does not have a very interesting life, so I decided to write about my outdoor cat George. George, I discovered, had a very busy social life. He was great looking and very friendly and curious and had cat friends everywhere. His escapades were sure to delight dad and make riveting reading. Best of all he had nine lives! His story would have a long run. Soon dad was not the only one to read about George. Friends and neighbors ask to read his diary too.

In high school I took courses in art. To my chagrin the teacher frowned on cartooning and did not consider it art. To please her I attempted to apply my talents to serious art, but I wasn’t enjoying it, so I offered to draw cartoons for the school paper.

Unfortunately, by then my father had passed away and my teachers and relatives kept telling me that I could not make a living doing art. They advised me to keep drawing as a hobby and to get a “real” job to make a living. Every job I took was boring and repetitive and I did not get anything BUT a living for my efforts. Later, I got married and was free of the daily grind and able to pursue my creative side once more. My husband had a small grandson who was in Day Care in El Paso. He asked me to help a little paper boy (Stanley) who Was supposedly flattened by having a bulletin board fall on him. He thought a trip to California was just what he needed to get healthy. Talk about asking the right person! I couldn’t wait to get started! I wrote the story and sent it to our grandson. His teachers and classmates loved it, and I had started my new life with a completed book. Now I’m enthusiastic about doing more children’s’ stories. It took a long time to get here, but I made it!

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