My New Book! (and the 9 year journey to get it published)

Uncategorized Dec 06, 2022

I wrote a children’s book! 9 years ago! And now it’s published!

Here’s what happened. (The story of how the book came to be is longer than the actual book.)

In 2013, my business was called Dance Ugly Dance Awkward. I helped people learn about themselves and release perfectionism through movement, so I thought about dance a lot.

I’m not even entirely sure how it happened, but one day, a poem came through me that I thought would make a great children’s book. Soon thereafter, I set out to find an illustrator. 

After making a few inquiries here and there, and connecting with various artists, I found someone to do the illustrations. All was going well. The woman did all the drawings and I loved them.  And then one day, she just stopped communicating with me. All attempts to connect with her failed. There was simply no way to reach her. 

The project stalled and I let go of it for a while. A few years later, as I noticed my daughter Zoe’s artistic talent blossoming, I enlisted her to do the illustrations. We created a schedule for her and over a few month’s time, she had all the rough copies done. I was so excited to be making progress again and I thought it would be super cool to have a mother-daughter project. 

Apparently, she didn’t think so. When it came time to do the good copies, Zoe declined to continue. She has created a multitude of brilliant art pieces, but for whatever reason, she wasn’t interested in my fabulous idea. So I let it go again.

A few more years went by and I did some other things, including shifting from Ugly Awkward Dancing to Courageous Self-Care (mostly due to my website getting hacked and blacklisted by Google, meaning I could never use that domain again; someone really didn’t like ugly awkward dancing…)

Occasionally I did searches for illustrators but never really landed on the right fit. And then earlier this year, my husband, out of the blue said, “I found someone to illustrate your book!” I hadn’t talked about it for a long time, so I was very surprised. 

He told me he had a very talented student who he thought would be a great fit, and it turned out that he was right. This time, the project flowed smoothly from start to finish. (It actually got finished! Hooray!)

The next thing that was different this time around was that I didn’t do the whole thing myself (a total miracle).

When Zoe was on set earlier this year, we found out that her tutor was not only an English teacher but also an artist with her own publishing company. The signs could not have been more clear. She was placed in our path at exactly the right time and place. It was like this go-round, the Universe kept putting big arrows in my path that indicated “Now is the perfect time!”

That’s the thing with Divine Timing. Often, we think we know what will work best, but if there are lots of obstacles in the way, it’s just not the right time. I can see the huge difference between the energy of the first few attempts compared to how easeful the process was this time.

It’s super interesting because I thought I was going to be working on a different book this year, but there was just too much flow to ignore with this project. It was the one that was ready. I surrendered my plans (which were just made up anyway) and went with the flow. And now my first children’s book is ready.

And it’s GORGEOUS! I’m thrilled with how it turned out. I read it to a few colleagues and with each page, they got more excited and kept exclaiming with delight and enthusiasm.

I wrote the book in the first place to help people understand that although we may think that one can only dance if they’ve had a lot of training, it’s actually an essential human experience that connects us to our bodies, to each other and to our divinity. 

Although dance is not the main focus of my work, it’s still such an important factor in embodiment and in my life. As James Brown said, “If there’s any problem that dance can’t solve, I don’t know what it is,” and I wholeheartedly agree. 

If you have a dancer in your life, or if you’re curious about the power of dance, this book is sure to touch people’s hearts. I even made a curated playlist to go along with it. My vision is that it will connect people through joyful movement. I have visions of kids dancing while they read, families bursting into spontaneous movement, and lots of dance parties. 

Should you like to check it out, it’s available on Amazon.

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If you live somewhere else, you can search What Makes a Dancer or Christina Marlett on the Amazon nearest you. 

Most of all, the message I want to convey here is that ease and flow can’t be underestimated. Yes, persistence is required on any project, but if there are all sorts of obstacles (especially weird ones like people just stopping all communication) then divine timing is certainly something to consider. 

The other thing is that it would be very easy to be hard on myself and ruminate on how it could possibly have taken 9 years and blah blah blah. The old me very well could have gone down that rabbit hole. Instead, I’m choosing to focus on trusting the Universe that this is the perfect time for this book to be out so there’s no need to focus on what didn’t happen. Instead, I’m celebrating. Yay me! 

Now that I’ve had this experience, I have a really clear sense of what ease feels like. And boy, does it feel good. A girl could get used to this.

May you have a week filled with easeful progress.

With jubilant love and graceful courage,


>Creator of Courageous Self-Care

>Author of TWO books now with more on the way

>Appreciator of ease and divine timing

PS - In other news, dates and times are set for our two year end workshops.

PPS - To finish up the year with a powerful guided review that will show you that you made way more progress than you thought, check out The Year End Retrospective

PPPS - To wrap up 2022 with consciousness and bring intentionality into your New Years experience, check out The Conscious New Years Celebration