One of the writing projects I’ve been involved with over the past year and a half was helping to finish a children’s book, begun by my sister, Sarah Linquist, who died in June 2010 of ovarian cancer.
Sarah was primarily a painter—a muralist and also a scenic artist who created scenery for major productions at the St. Louis Municipal Opera. Her chemotherapy soon robbed her of fine motor skills in her hands, so necessary for a painter. Instead of giving up, she began to cut up bits of paper, little by little creating a diorama of a paper jungle–five feet long and three feet wide—in her studio. Meanwhile, she was thinking through the plot of a Christmas story, featuring a little wooden doll named Dolly who would wander through this and other lands Sarah planned to create. Soon she was gathering materials for Metal Land, Wood Land, Desolation Land, and others. The book began to take shape. It was called Onward is Best: A Christmas Journey.
Sarah died with her landscapes completed but her manuscript unfinished. She left behind a son and a daughter, both college-aged, a loving husband, and three grieving sisters. Together we decided to finish Sarah’s book. The three sisters—writers all—began work on revising the existing narrative and giving it all the life we knew Sarah would have wanted. Her husband, children, and good friends worked with a photographer to capture Sarah’s settings for Dolly’s many adventures. I am proud to say that my daughter, Carrie, was brought in as graphic artist to assemble all the pieces.
And now the book is done. If you would like to read about it, go to http://onwardisbest.com/.
I hope you will.