Stress And … A Children’s Book?!?!?

People deal with stress in different ways.  While we’re certainly not going to claim that we’ve come anywhere near to experiencing the kind of stress that our family and friends on the Panhandle have experienced in the aftermath of hurricane Michael, checking in on friends and recovery progress on a daily basis, even from a vantage point 1,000 miles away, provides its own levels of emotion, anxiety, discomfort and, yes, stress.

There have been many moments when, after talking with Panhandle friends or reading their posts about how they’re having to rebuild their communities, their homes and what’s left of their lives, we have had to just stop.

Just stop … and try not to feel guilty about how lucky we are to have found out that Johnnie’s Dad is safe, that our little yellow house is OK or that our part of the Panhandle, because of its comparative lack of destruction and quicker projected recovery, is where many of the lineman and other first responders are finding places to stay that haven’t been completely devastated by Michael.

Just stop … and think how lucky we are to have each other.

We have a luxury that our friends in the areas devastated by Michael don’t.  As we write this, we’re not living with it and IN it 24 hours a day.  We can try to do something “mindless” to just pause, take a breath, and point our minds in a different direction for a few minutes.

We did that the other day, with surprising results.

One of us made a comment and we both laughed at the wording of the comment.  Then, for some strange reason, we found ourselves quickly agreeing that the words used could make an interesting character name.  Then, we started thinking about what kind of character it would be.  Then, what kind of personality it would have.  Then, what kind of life would it have and … and …

We know we’re being a bit cryptic in our description.  That’s intentional.  We don’t want to give too much away … yet.  Because, the character idea started taking on a life of its own and we started writing some ideas down and before we knew it, roughly 2 days later, we’d finished writing a children’s book!

We wanted to get an opinion from a writer we trust, so we shared it with Steve’s brother, Lee, and he was as enthusiastic about it as we are.

We’re now exploring publishing options and looking for an illustrator.

Even now, when we’re feeling a little overwhelmed with some of life’s realities, we find that going to our new creation and reading it out loud makes us smile.

We don’t think that’s a bad thing for a children’s book to do.

Stay tuned.


About steveandjohnnie

Award winning Chicago Broadcasters, inducted into WGN radio's Walk Of Fame. Authors of the Les Paul memoir, "A Little More Les." You'll find even more about us at
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5 Responses to Stress And … A Children’s Book?!?!?

  1. V Delaney says:

    If it makes you smile and you’re planning to share your new “character” that will cause others to smile, I would call that a win – win situation. Works for me and we all still have a bit of kid in us. Looking forward to an update. Peace.

  2. Mark Orr says:

    Very well said. We are not only lucky but VERY blessed

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Joan M Stockhoff says:

    Steve and Johnnie: How strange! Ever since the hurricane on the panhandle, I have been thinking about how blessed I am to be living in Downers Grove–an area that hardly ever gets hit by tornadoes or other wild storms, the worst that we might get is a huge snow storm out here, but after a while that melts and goes away and is not even a tiny bit in the same category that panhandle storm was. So, I am grateful for all that I have and that the place that I live in is safe and clean and is a nice place to live

    I can’t wait until your children’s book comes out, I could truly use something to smile about.

    Are the both of you still up here, or have you made down to the panhandle???

    In either case, stay safe, you two.

    I am still praying for you, your family and your friends.

    Joanmarie in DownersGrove

  4. Linda Johnson says:

    CONGRATS on your new addition to your creative works. I have always admired your way of putting words together… I am admiring how you put ideas together. CONGRATS!!!

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