The MAGICAL story of how they met
The magic of this book is not only within Santa's story he wants to share with children all over the world, but lots of magic before, after and during the making.
Since childhood, Christine DerOhannesian (Author) has always wanted to be a writer. Her twist and turns of fate has kept her away from the profession, although now she realizes she has been "prepared" for it. She has been collecting writing material for various projects and started to trust that the right time will come. When she was faced with some challenges within her home and the need to explain what must be done on a Christmas with no fireplace to her children, she was proven right to just have faith and believe...as one magical night she heard, shared and wrote the story Santa's Magical Chimney in less than twenty minutes. Because Christine knew she was entrusted with Santa's secret and experienced her own magic, she felt whole hearted and passionately about creating the gift set for others to enjoy as well. She started to work day and night on the project and began an immediate search for an illustrator. She explained her vision in interviews and browsed through art samples of local artists as well as some nationally acclaimed illustrators. For some reason, Christine just didn't feel the right connection in the faces of the drawings, as she was hoping to capture a particular essence of children emotions and Santa's expressions.
With exhaustion from her search, one of her business professional friends invited her to take a few hours time out for herself and attend a local meet up group supporting and empowering other woman. Christine honestly thought these particular meetings were a little kookie, and just simply not her cup of tea. She was even feeling slight awkward to attend. But something inside Christine was like a silent whisper to just go...
Christine Gambelunghi - Triantis (Illustrator) was experiencing some shifts in her life similar to Christine DerOhannesian's. Even though they live just a few towns apart and share some similar social circles, Illustrator has even visited Author's business location several times, but ironically, they have never met. Illustrator has been searching for a new career. She was aggressively seeking a full time job and one of her friends suggested she would meet plenty of other professional woman at a local woman's networking event. Illustrator felt out of her element to attend, but thought she had nothing more to lose, might as well give it a shot. She was hoping at least to surround herself with like-minded people who might help her draw a little closer to her job search and self re-discovery.
On the serendipitous night of the meet up group, Illustrator got chills when Author walked in the door. Her back was turned from her, she hadn't even seen her yet, but there was just something within her gut. She noticed her and was drawn to her. Author had graciously acknowledged all the woman in the room, however, there was no time to converse as the event program was promptly starting. Both Christines sat obedient to the event, however, they both felt uncomfortable to be there. During one part of the program, both Christines were partnered face to face and had to recite a woman's connection routine for the group. Both Christines were about to bust, ready to run for the hills, yet there was still a much stronger force of connection and convincing feel to just stay put, wait and see...something great was about to happen. What transpired in their "face to face" moment was most certainly an exchange , no words or pictures could convey . Their souls met in that glance that day in an instant. They each understood who they are and what had brought them there. They recognized the essence and substance of their life experiences.
It was obviously a meeting "meant to be".
When the meet up group opened up to a less formal gathering, the woman began to socialize. Author heard Illustrator announce that she was currently looking for a job. Because Author felt she has many connections, she thought perhaps she might know of someone looking for hired help. Author asked Illustrator what she does for a living. Illustrator started to list years worth of various experiences. Author stopped her and asked, "well what are you looking for NOW? What would be your ideal job?" Illustrator began a list of positions she felt qualified for. Still not feeling like she hit the mark, Author finally said: "forget all of that...what are you PASSIONATE about?" Illustrator replied, "well, I like art. I LOVE art actually, but I'm not an artist".
Quite concerned by feeling her struggles, Author asked "who tells you you're not an artists? Because I love to write and I've been told I'm not a writer. SO I created my own Writer's Society, surrounded myself with other aspiring and established writer's and I started to write. I just began my first project, and without even completion, I can proudly say that I'm a writer!" Illustrator replied: "well, I never published any work or even sold any art. I just enjoy it. Always have since I was a child." Author smiled and said back" well then maybe it's time you believe that you are an artist and you go be one! Stop telling yourself you're not... anything...those words are no longer aloud!" She continued, "It just so happens I'm currently looking for a local artist for some illustration work. I've had a wide search so far and still haven't found the right match. Why don't you give it a whirl?"
So that night they exchanged information. Author sent Illustrator a sample of what she was looking for and in the same easy 20 minutes, Illustrator returned a quick drawing of her translation. When Author opened up her e-mail, she burst into tears and yelled, "THAT'S IT!" She raised her hands up to the sky as her eyes kept filling up with tears and simply said "Thank you!" While she sat at her desk in front of her computer, just staring at the illustrated images, her printer started to make noise. Author looked sharply at her printer, knowing it was OFF, yet making noise all on it's own. She stared it down in amazement, seeing no lights on, and clearly how the printer was off, yet she watched the cartridges move back and forth again. With calm instead of fear, with confirmation instead of confusion, Author looked up to the Heavens and gently whispered through her quivering lips, Thank you, God! Thank you, Santa! Thank you, Daddy- for still watching over me, and thank you ... Christine Gambelunghi - Triantis, for being the special you!"
She had found her project-soulmate for her vision to finally come alive!
Author took a deep breath, then picked up the phone. With all joy and excitement, she said: "Hello? Christine?.....it's You! It's You!"
Both Christines have been making magic together since that day. Their drive and passion has been on fire and they both have been furiously convinced this magic, this special story, Santa's magic and the warmth and comfort this project brings, must be shared all over the world! They have both found this calling because even when roads got tough, they faithfully just believed. With patience, strength and wisdom, this dynamic duo of Author-Artist and Artist-Author continue to pledge their everything into creating and sharing connection. Their souls are set free and liberation is found simply with the joy to share understanding, strength to overcome struggles and most importantly, their positive outlooks.
Today they are proud to be the chosen ones to share Santa's Magical Chimney with you. Their hopes are to provide a magical experience, gleaming smiles of happiness and comfort and contentment to JUST BE!