I’ve always been around creative people. Growing up with an artist mother, hanging out with aspiring artists throughout school, and exhibiting at shows for almost 15 years has been a great experience.  I really appreciate works in all media from painting to music and writing. My normal reading list is really quite limited in scope, but once in awhile I have occasion to stretch beyond my typical queue of photography books and related magazines. This time I really stretched. The first novel by children’s book writer Donna Gephart (but certainly not her last) is not just a fun read, but very timely. I’m a bit of a political junky, so I related to the story line of a political campaign’s impact on a young girl. The main character – Vanessa, is about the same age as my daughter and niece (I got copies for both girls) and the book gives an informative, if not somewhat scary, insight into a young girl’s head. Venessa’s mother (a governor) is running for president during a time when Vanessa is already dealing with a variety of issues


The title of the book is As If Being 12 3/4 Isn’t Bad Enough, My Mom Is Running for President. OK, now I have admitted to struggling with titles for my images (and quite a few people tell me they enjoy them), but a title of this length would probably not work for me. It’s tempting, but no. At one point in the book, Vanessa lists the reasons why she doesn’t want her mother to run for president. My favorite is that she already feels that photographers catch her looking her worse. Speaking from experience, my daughter accuses me of that all the time as well.


Donna Gephart is a talented writer in a variety of genres, but clearly in her element as a children’s book author. She is a passionate writer who treats the art and craft of writing the way any artist approaches their medium. I admire creative people who enjoy the process as well as strive for excellence, Donna Gephart does that. I often think about the analogy of creative writing and photography. Isn’t creative writing after all really a way of eliciting  a mental picture, a mood, or a feeling? Words, light, or paint, the creative process uses different raw materials, but pretty much to the same goal – communication. Donna has a second book in the works, until then, I’ll probably be working through my normal pile.




2 thoughts on “Mom For President

  1. Paul,

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of my novel. Your thoughts about the creative process were right on target. We strive to create mental pictures and elicit moods and feelings.

    Your support means a lot.

    Best wishes,

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