Noel's Birthday and a Sneak Peek at Gizmo

As you know, I originally planned to have Gizmo published in time for Noel's second birthday, which is today, but since her death I have taken the much needed time to  grieve and to begin to heal. 

I'm not sure when Gizmo will be published, but in honor of Noel's birthday, I want to share a bit of the story with you. The selection I have chosen is from chapter five. Gizmo gives a brief review of his travels up to this point: 

Gizmo suddenly didn’t really want his toys and his warm bed so much anymore. He had a nice home before he behaved so badly that they brought him here. *If I ever get the chance to have a home again, I won’t take advantage of my people.* Resolving to forevermore be a better bunny, Gizmo hopped a little bit faster.
As soon as Sophronia reached the end of the trees, Constance turned around to Gizmo.
“Now, where are you staying tonight, small, yellow bunny?”
Gizmo looked back at the gigantic hill. It was almost dark. “I was on my way to Cedric’s Cave when I met you and Sophronia.”
“Well, then, I shall take you back there!” Constance yipped and spun on her hind legs toward the dark path to Cedric’s cave.
They took a shortcut through a very densely wooded part of the forest. Thankful to have Constance by his side, Gizmo could almost feel the darkness pressing in on him. If Constance hadn’t known the way, Gizmo would have been lost forever.
After what felt like eternity, they approached and Cedric was standing outside looking absolutely menacing in the moonlight, just as he had when Gizmo first met him. It hadn’t been dark yet when they went in the thick trees.
“Gizmo! What a pleasant surprise! How have the last few days been for you? I see you met Constance. Who else have you found?” Cedric plopped down on his bottom to hear Gizmo’s story.
“Let me see. I met Alize here, the morning I left your cave. She took me to see Amora, who fed me some wonderful grass. I was bombarded by Boniface, who then took me on a tour of the forest. I met Grizelda and her three grandcubs, Sophronia, and Pax! Everyone has been very nice to me just like you said, Cedric.” Gizmo grinned at the big black bear.
“I am so glad to hear that, Gizmo.” Cedric turned around, searching with his giant paws for something on the cave floor. “I found something by the road that I think you may like to have.” Cedric holds out a peach and a ball that must have fallen out of his cage when his people dumped him out.
Gizmo’s face flashed three emotions at once: anger, sadness, and then a new determination to be a better bunny. “Cedric, thank you very much for thinking of me, but I don’t want these things anymore. I was a terrible bunny, and from now on I am going to be different. I’m going to be better.”
Cedric smiled from ear to ear. “Gizmo, I can tell that you have grown up a lot since we met last, and it has only been a few days. How about we go bury these?”
“That sounds like a great idea, Cedric.” Gizmo picked up the ball between his teeth, and the pair walked out into the trees together. Constance dug a small hole with four swipes of her large paws. They placed the peach and the ball in the hole, buried it, and walked back to the cave.
“I am very proud of you, Gizmo.” Cedric said, patting him gently with his huge bear paw.
Constance said her goodbyes and bounded back down the path.
— Sara Jolley

Much like Gizmo, I have experienced a plethora of emotions today, many of them coming on all at once. For the past few weeks I have prepared myself for today and decided to give myself the space to be sad but also to celebrate Noel's life and the infinite joy contained within her, but I was awoken this morning to the news that Noel's little sister Ellie was to be born. It was a curve ball in my plans to focus on Noel today, but I am overjoyed to have the chance to be a part of Ellie's life. Noel will never read Gizmo, but Ellie will. 

So, here's a hearty Happy Birthday to two beautiful little girls who I love very much.