maria ragone portrait

I Heard a Voice and It Changed My Life!

maria ragone portrait

I’ve been thinking back to to when I first started writing back in high school and college. I wrote to express myself and wrote with no intention of anyone ever reading it. It was a passion but I lacked confidence. My mom always encouraged me to keep up with my writing but you know, life happens and sometimes passions get left behind! Every once in a while she would talk about her book idea, but it never inspired me, and she didn’t know how to bring it together.

Fast forward to 3 years ago. My mom kept talking about her idea and wanting me to work on it with her. Her idea is good! But without passion, what I lacked, an idea is just an idea. Something I did notice was that writing my own children’s book kept crossing my mind so I started jotting down my ideas and emailed them to myself. I wrote a draft about my dog. My annoying, slobbery, stinky, dog! But I still lacked passion, and confidence that it was any good. So what did I do? Nothing!

The new year of 2021 brought a lot of new things for a lot of people. Hope, at the top of the list, that things would go back to normal after the long year of devastation that Covid-19 brought to the world, business shut downs and being stuck at home.

For me, 2021 brought something else though too! It produced inspiration that I was despirately lacking and it handed me confidence in my writing. One thing happened. It was small but very significant and it brought me inspiration! I don’t know if it was the universe, or God who spoke to me. But I heard it loud and clear. That voice said, “it’s time” and I knew exactly what to do!

The exact thing that happened to me was this:

I was reading one of my favorite books to my daughter, “Dragon’s Love Tacos.” I love the story and the illustrations and the thought crept into my mind again saying, “Maria, you have to find your passion and finish your book!” Alas, like most daydreams, the thought came and went without further reflection.

But, the very next day I was looking for an email in my inbox. So I typed into the search bar a word, completely unrelated to books, yet the email that I had written to myself 3 years prior popped up on the list like a flashing light. The subject was “Book Ideas.” Completely forgetting what I had originally be searching for, I clicked on that book idea email. That is when I heard the voice. And the voice said “do it!”

I was not immediately inspired to write about anything on that list. But the ideas pulled me back into thinking mode with more devotion, excitment and dedication that I ever had. It wasn’t long until almost anything and everything was inspiring me!

As I write this, I am finalizing my debut children’s book called, “Nina’s 20 Dresses.” which will release on June 12th, 2021! The idea came to me when my 3 year old daughter was trying on her 4th dress of the day. “Mama, I want to wear a dress,” she kept demanding over, and over, and over! Finally I said, “Listen girl, you cannot wear 20 dresses a day!” And then I scored that spark I needed to write about Nina and her dresses.

I’m also working on a book about a grumpy grandpa to launch Summer 2021 and have a few more in the pipeline to release in the fall!

I can’t help but smile when I look at my characters. I hope to touch big and little hearts, inspire silliness, and resonate with fellow parents. I’m looking forward to meeting new and amazing characters, journeying with them to learn how they accomplish difficult tasks and gaining wisdom to help me grow too.

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