Wednesday Oct 20 2010
Linda Schulman creates children's book
By: Gloria Beverage, Colfax Record Editor
Linda Schulman never expected to write a children’s book. And yet, her first book, “Tales of Woofie,” grew out of a box of 96 crayons she purchased on a whim. “When I was a little girl,” she explained, “every year I would get a pencil case, a sharpener and a small box of crayons (at the beginning of the school year).” But Schulman always dreamed of having the “big” box. One day while shopping, Schulman decided to indulge her childhood wish and purchased the big box. After a time, Shulman, who works in Auburn, got out the crayons out and started drawing puppies. “I was just doing it to entertain myself. I needed something creative to do,” she said. “But my husband fell in love with the pictures.” She was taken aback since her husband, Sam, typically “doesn’t get crazy with compliments.” So, the former Colfax resident started to take a second look at her artwork. “I didn’t see what he saw, but I really trust his opinion,” she said. Schulman showed the drawings to a professional artist, who went a step further and suggested she put together a children’s book. “After showing the pictures around to so many people, one day it just clicked” she recalled, “I didn’t have plans for the rest of my life. Women in my family live to be in their 90s. That gives me a lot of years.” At that point, Schulman decided to take the plunge and started developing a story around the illustrations she had. After writing nearly 80 pages, Schulman realized she had the basis for a series of books based on the dog she couldn’t have growing up. “As a child, I wanted a dog so badly, but I wasn’t allowed to have one,” she said. When she moved to California, settling in Colfax in 1979, Schulman was finally able to have dogs — Spot and Foxy. At the same time, she realized what she had lost by moving across the country. “My entire family was back east,” she said. “When I left I didn’t realize that that would be pretty much the end of my having a close family.” With “Tales of Woofie,” Schulman expresses the importance of staying connected with one’s family. “Even though he has his adventures and gets lost,” she said, “his family comes looking for him. He realizes he belongs with his brothers and sisters. Just because you get married and move away doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected with your family.” Schulman opted to self-publish, establishing Weingart Book Publishing, as a venue for what she envisions as a series of stories about Woofie. She sought the assistance of Colfax resident Phyllis Guard, who helped with the typesetting and layout. “I loved that she has done the illustrations in Crayon. I loved the story. It’s a great little story,” she said. “Tales of Woofie” is on sale on eBay and at Border’s in Roseville. “No, I’m not leaving my job working for John Uhl’s Farmers Insurance Agency in Auburn,” she said. “I’m doing the book part-time and that’s OK.” Earlier this month, she read the book to Don Elias’ third grade class at Colfax Elementary School. “Elias was so enthusiastic about the rhymes that he told me he was going to use my book to teach rhymes to his students,” she said. “I was honored. Schulman has donated copies of the book to the school library as well as to the Colfax library. She is scheduled to do another book signing from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11 at Borders in Roseville. For more information or to purchase an autographed copy of the book, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.