On the day we went to Laura's house to take pictures for the cover, my muse decided to stay home, stating she had the utmost trust in Rick's ability with a camera. I think she was more worried about her hair than the book at that moment. It was a brilliant shade of sparkling white, so bright it made me squint, and the snakes were furiously tying themselves into knots. She threw a scarf over her head, told me to have a good time, and vanished. I was a little worried about the stylist.
Laura had a vision in the middle of a sleepless night of what the cover should look like. From the excitement in her voice, I knew she was on the right path. It had to be a direct message from her own muse; a muse I haven't met but who must be kinder than mine. A few days later, we were at her house with one of her students, a four year old girl I will call "B" and my own daughter, "R." Immediately the two girls began to play with the water in the small fountain that hung on a wall in Laura's back yard. Rick pulled out the camera and started shooting, desperately trying to keep up with the giggles and grins of the two girls. Laura joined in and before long, B's yellow dress was drenched. Laura's original vision was of her holding B while looking up at sunflowers. We all traipsed next door where the neighbor's sunflowers were 12 feet tall. Rick caught more images of Laura and B looking at the flowers, touching them, pointing at them with the white cane, then showing them to R who watched while sitting in her wheelchair. The garden path was narrow and the shadows thick, so Rick struggled with the terrain, the other plants and how quickly the children moved. Children aren't very happy sitting still to "pose." And besides, we wanted it to be spontaneous. A mobility lesson is often that way; you start out with one plan and then the child or the world provides a different direction. Go with it, or lose the moment, and lesson, entirely.
We returned to Laura's garden for more pictures: B walking the garden path with her white-cane, Laura holding her hand, both girls picking black-berries, more splashing in the fountain. After an hour, B was showing signs she was bored with picture taking by whining, so we called it a day. Rick felt we had enough to work with, but also felt he didn't capture the one, perfect shot. Oh well, perfection is elusive and kids are even harder.
But when he downloaded the pictures, we discovered he had managed to take three very good images. Three out of 50 is excellent! And after some debate amongst the four of us, we chose one. An image of Laura squatting beside a laughing B who is holding a sunflower out to R. The image is perfect, because it shows what the book is about: Laura the teacher, who is supporting a child who is showing another child the object. Who is really the teacher? Laura, or the child? In my mind, all of them are.
Rick is now doing the layout of the cover with the picture. It's looking great! If my muse ever comes back from the salon, I'm sure she'll be happy too.