The ESTHER'S CHANNEL Page
GACK, THE RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, AND ESTHER, THE PAINTED TURTLE.
Newly Released from Tweener Press:
Written and illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier
Published July 2005, "Esther's Channel" is the second nationally distributed faith-based fiction print book from Baker Trittin Press by Kevin Scott Collier. Expect it at selected bookstores the first of July. The book presents Kevin's debut as an illustrator, and features 30 interior illustrations by Kevin as well as the book's full-color cover artwork. Critics who have reviewed the original manuscript have compared the book to the works of C. S. Lewis. The cast of creature characters speak, and each represents a different aspect of human behavior that unites or divides us as a society. The book was written over the summer of 2004 at Silver Lake, MI, which is the location for its setting. The book's lead characters are Gack, a male red-winged blackbird, and Esther, a female painted turtle. The wit and imposing wisdom of Gack is based on a dear friend of Kevin's named Lois Elaine Robertson who passed away in December 2003 and was the spirit-driving force of this book. Another character, Dee Dee, is based on a neighbor of Kevin's who read the original manuscript then passed away losing her struggle with cancer. Dee Dee's segment was then written, and placed into the rewritten final manuscript which was turned in on September 28, 2004. The final proof was signed off on May 12, 2005. The book is dedicated to Miss Martha Claire Veldkamp.
The Portait Gallery:
A CAST OF 17 MAKES UP "ESTHER'S CHANNEL"
There are 17 creature characters that were created for the book "Esther's Channel." Some live in the channel, which Esther claims as her home. Others, Esther meets when she leaves the channel to venture out into Silver Lake. One character, Brock the toad, was created by Kevin's 9-year-old niece, Corina Elaine Collier, daughter of Christopher and Tina Collier, of Shelby. Michigan. Corina not only created the character and named him, she also wrote the dialog for the toad's segment in the book as well. Thus, Corina will become a nationally published author upon the book's release.
THE CAST OF CHARACTERS
A female painted turtle whose heart is broken and seeks resolve concerning a crisis that changed her life.
A sarcastic bullfrog.
An enormous toad who likes to make fun of others but doesn't approve of others making fun of him.
A caterpillar who is Esther's "secret friend."
A to-the-point sandpiper.
An otter who passes by Esther in the channel every day, but the two have never exchanged a single word.
A snail who was Esther's very first friend.
A red-winged blackbird who is Esther's best friend and caretaker.
A selfish bullhead who is called a monster by all.
A crayfish who suffers from physical disablity.
A "tattle-tale" blue racer snake.
A dragonfly who only tells you what you want to hear.
A vicious territorial snake.
A wise and elderly Blanding turtle who lives under a willow tree.
A great blue heron who Esther calls "arrogant."
A clam who desires to be the center of attention but does nothing to warrant it.
A irritating water bug Esther relucantly befriends out in Silver Lake.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY KEVIN SCOTT COLLIER.
CLICK ON COLLAGE TO RETURN TO KEVIN SCOTT COLLIER HOMEPAGE.
A SEGMENT FROM "ESTHER'S CHANNEL" BOOK
In the opening of the fable, Gack, the red-winged blackbird, lands upon Esther's log early at dawn. Esther is feeling low, as she does not feel she is worth much in life, nor has she been a good friend to Gack. An arguement breaks out between the two, before Gack gains command of the situation, and explains to Esther how valuable she truly is. (Unedited version)
FRONT AND BACK COVER ARTWORK FOR THE BOOK, BY KEVIN SCOTT COLLIER.
From Chapter One:
"The Secret In Boris' Dwelling"
"I am sorry, Gack," sobbed Esther. "I am surprised you have stayed with me, for I have been more of a disappointment to you than a friend!"
"Now Esther," Gack whispered in a comforting tone, "that is not true."
Esther hung her head with remorse and continued to sob.
"Esther," Gack whispered, "look at me!"
Esther sniffled and shook her head, signaling a gentle "no."
"Dear Esther," whispered Gack, "will you please look at me?"
Esther slowly raised her head and stared into Gack's deep black eyes.
"Do you know how special you are to me?" said Gack.
Esther's lower lip quivered as she tried to regain her composure.
"You are, dear Esther, the most precious creature who lives here," Gack uttered softly.
Esther began to nervously scratch her log.
"Do you r-r-really think so?" Esther stammered.
"Think?" Gack announced. "I know so!"
Esther grinned timidly as her tears subsided.
"You humor me, Gack, as nothing I could ever say or do would be of any importance to you," mumbled Esther sadly.
Gack cackled and shook his head gently with disagreement.
"Do you know how many times I have observed you from overhead as you swim beneath the channel's surface?" asked Gack.
"You have watched me swim while you are in flight?" an astonished Esther replied.
"Many, many times," Gack responded. "And, always with great admiration."
"You have asked me often about swimming," said Esther. "I'm always embarrassed to describe it, as it is quite boring."
"Boring to you, perhaps," Gack cackled, "but not to me."
"I thought you just asked to be polite," muttered Esther. "As if to show interest in things I do."
"Things I cannot do," said Gack sincerely. "I cannot swim!"
"Well," Esther chuckled, "that is obvious! You're a bird! You fly. Now, flight, that is a fascinating subject!"
"Fascinating to you," Gack said with a wide grin. "Equally as intriguing as the art of swimming is to me!"
"Yes, but if I could only fly!" Esther said excitedly. "I have watched you so many times in flight, Gack, and how I have dreamed of it!"
"Then dream no more!" Gack announced. "For God gave us each other to share what makes each of us unique."
"I'm not sure I understand," Esther mumbled softly, shaking her head with confusion.
Gack then hopped up onto Esther's shell and slowly stretched out his great wings and gently moved them up and down.
"Glance down at the reflective water of the channel, Esther, and tell me what you see," Gack said with a grin.
Esther looked down at the mirror surface and gasped with amazement.
"Gack, I cannot believe it!" Esther shouted. "Our reflection makes it appear as if I have wings!"
Gack tightly gripped Esther's shell, bowed his head from view, and began pumping his wings as traces of blue sky and clouds behind the two suddenly appeared, reflecting a miraculous back drop upon the channel's surface.
"Look Gack, look! I'm flying!" cried Esther. "I am high above the channel and I am touching the clouds!"
Gack suddenly stopped, raised his head, folded his wings in and hopped from Esther's shell, returning atop the log at her side.
Esther glared at Gack and sighed with great disappointment that the illusion was over.
"It's a deception I discovered as a child," explained Gack. "If I stared at my reflection on the water long enough, I could not tell if my image was upon the surface or below it. I imagined I could swim."
"Really?" an excited Esther asked.
"But it is only a deception," said Gack. "It didn't teach me anything about the experience of swimming."
"It didn't?" said Esther with surprise.
"No, Esther," said Gack. "It is you who taught me that!"
Esther blushed and surrendered a wide grin.
Gack then tilted his head and stared deeply into Esther's eyes.
"Never think of what you do as trivial, dear Esther," muttered Gack. "For what you take for granted may be another's dream."
©2005 Kevin Scott Collier.