Seven years ago, in May 2014, Reuben (then 5 years old) told me that he wanted to write a song called “Oh I am a spaceman”. Over the next hour we wrote the song and recorded it with a wonderful drum accompaniment from Reuben and uploaded it to Soundcloud.
It is possible that the accompanying children’s book may appear this year.
Shortly after we had written the song, I had the idea of illustrating each line and creating a children’s book for Reuben. I bought some pens, printed out some templates with the lyrics and we got to work. Reuben helped me design the spaceman, which is why his eyes are so wide apart.
But then my life started to unravel somewhat. I was diagnosed with viral meningitis in the summer of 2014, which took more than 18 months to recover from. By that time I’d been into hospital for a minor procedure, was on the path to divorce and I moved out of the family home into a flat at Agnes Blackadder Hall at the University of St Andrews where I was warden for two very enjoyable and health-breaking years. Then I herniated a few discs in my back and changed jobs twice.
But here I am, sitting at my desk during the October 2021 school holidays wondering if I should complete this silly project. And the consensus from my children was a wholehearted and enthusiastic ‘YES!’
Did they want to help me? No, they had important Minecraft builds to complete.
I got to work on it a few weeks ago. My plan was to illustrate one page per week, but I quickly discovered that I was running out of black ink, which poses a small problem for a story set in space.
I have new pens arriving this afternoon. I now have only three more pages to illustrate, plus the front and back cover, and write some introductory blurb before I scan it, page set it in Microsoft Publisher and upload it as a PDF to Lulu, the online self-publishing book and e-book company to create a physical copy.
Then… who knows? Do you think anyone might want to buy their own copies of our silly tale?