just saying hello (and a free Kindle book)

The Growly Books: Begin FREE for Kindle

It’s been over a year since I sat down to write a blog post here. Some seasons are just different, and in the past 13 months, my husband Phil and I have released three children’s books. That, along with our design work and life in general, meant some things had to go, and this blog was one of them for that season.

It’s given me time to think about this blog and what I want it to be. And to be honest, I’m not really sure what the answer to that question is. So I’m not saying “I’m back” quite yet.

I do want to give you a little update on The Growly Books trilogy though. The third book, Morning,  released this week. To celebrate, we’re offering the first book, Begin, free for Kindle until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time tonight. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Growly yet, this is the perfect time!

The Growly Books: Begin FREE for Kindle

 

Thanks for being here to read this post today. And I’ll try to write again soon. First, though, I need some time to re-focus now that the Growly trilogy is complete.

introducing the growly books

backcover

backcover

This dream has been a long time coming. So long that as I sit here to write about it, I’m almost without words.

Today we introduce a bear cub named Growly to the world. The first installment in our children’s chapter book series, The Growly Books, is just the beginning of a great adventure for the young bear. That’s exactly how I feel today.read more

risk

risk - erin ulrich

risk - erin ulrich

Sometimes it’s tempting to take the safe, comfortable road. The what ifs of taking a leap seem too overwhelming, too uncertain.

There are no guarantees. What if you fail?

That dream you’ve held close for years – what if you take a leap only to look like you are crazy? What if it doesn’t work?

Not everyone is willing to take a risk, to try something new. The familiar feels so much more secure. But that dream, it just won’t go away. Sometimes you know you are called to something.

When the right time comes, will you leap?

If you don’t, will the what ifs of today turn into different what ifs many years later?  “What if I had tried? I wonder…”

But maybe, if you are truly called to something, it’s not really a risk at all. Maybe what we are quick to label as a risk is actually the smartest move we could ever make. Maybe we shouldn’t call it a risk at all.

Maybe we should call it Faith.

____________________

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday, a free writing exercise hosted by lisajobaker.com.

path

path - erin ulrich

path-erin-ulrich

I have a Pinterest board called beauty. The criteria for an image to make it onto that board is simple. Being a pretty picture isn’t enough. It has to stir something in me. I can’t explain it, but when I see something that fits, I just feel it.

That board is filled with photos of paths. It was completely unintentional. But they are there. Why?

There’s something beautiful about a path. It awakens something in my heart. That sense of wonder. Curiosity, I guess.

Why is it there?

Where does it lead?

Should I go that way?

There is adventure in a path. There is a journey. A destination. Paths to me symbolize that I’m on a journey, that today is just one piece in the bigger picture of a life. Sometimes the path is uphill and rocky. Other times, the grass is soft beneath my feet. Either way, I just have to be faithful to the path I’m called to walk.

Paths remind me that I don’t want to stay where I am. I want to press on, seeing the new. Living. Content with where I am today, but not losing sight of the vision.

You don’t always know exactly what’s at the end of a path. And that’s okay with me. Sometimes knowing you’re headed in the right direction is enough.

____________________

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday.

And yes, the photo in my post two days ago was also a path. Funny, huh!

opportunity

opportunity

opportunity - erinulrich.com

Mornings are becoming my writing time. I never thought it would come to this, but I’ve found as so many others have that there is opportunity in that quiet span between my waking and the stirring of my children. There’s a restful (yet sleepy) comfort in the dark silence, the sense that a day is waiting and I have the chance to set the tone for it.

A blank page is filled with opportunity. It can go any direction at all, led on by the words that fill the page. It’s a crazy thought. I type words, hit publish, and people I have never even met are impacted, whether it be big or small, for right or wrong. Words carry opportunity.

But this is only a tiny sliver of my day. Opportunity extends far beyond these few moments. Each day challenges me to walk it out well, to respond rightly to those around me. To keep my eyes and heart focused on what is True. To be faithful in the big and the small. And when I do that, what flows onto the blank page will be all the more powerful.

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday, a free writing exercise hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker.

begin

children's book sneak peek - illustration by be small studios

children's book sneak peek - illustration by be small studios

sketch drafts by Annie Barnett

Finding time for creativity in the midst of the day to day is often a challenge  for my husband Phil and I. Wait . . . let me rephrase that. Our job requires us to be creative, but finding time for our own creative projects is difficult. By the time we’ve designed for others, we’re usually spent.

It’s worth carving out time
to bring a dream to life.

(tweet this)

That’s exactly what Phil and I have done over the past few months. We’ve been writing our first children’s chapter book. The story came to life in the early morning hours, during stolen daytime moments, and late into the night. Life and work must go on, but when something is truly important and the time is right, so much can be accomplished. We sent the manuscript to the amazing Sandra Peoples, who read our words and showed us how to make them even better.

With the story ready, we knew there was still an important element missing. What children’s book is complete without illustrations?

It’s an odd feeling to entrust your beloved characters to someone in hopes that they will read and see and bring them to life just as they are in your mind’s eye. You write the words, but do they translate clearly to someone else? It’s a huge question. And it was incredible to see how closely Annie of Be Small Studios managed to capture the personality of our characters in her illustrations.

It won’t be long now . . . the book is coming soon. If you’d like to hear more, sign up for the Growly Books email updates below:


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