Dear Readers,

As the fall season begins to set in, I find myself taking a pause as it is my favorite season.  The air is becoming slightly more crisp and in certain areas a sweater is needed in the evening.  This past week my friend, Annie, treated me to moon cakes in honor of the moon festival.  Last year, she surprised me with a box of cakes for the first time. 

When she gave me these cakes this year, I felt a tradition solidify between us.  

This act of kindness inspired me to share more about our friendship as she is the inspiration behind Annie Puppy, Bella’s best friend. 

Annie is not only my friend but also my dance coach.  I work with her regularly and as a coach she guides me through the various elements of dance from communication, dress choices, and technique.  When the pandemic hit in 2020, I missed our lessons terribly.  One night in July, I recall being frustrated and tired.  Sinking to the floor in my hallway, I said a simple prayer to my Mom and Grandma asking for help.  The following day they answered in multiple ways.  The first sign came when I was not charged for a major computer repair.  Money in your pocket is always a good thing.  Walking home I got caught in a heavy rainfall with no choice to run under an awning and wait it out.  While waiting, I got an urge to message Annie to simply check in.  To my delight she responded that she was teaching and asked if I wanted to come into the studio. 
A door opened at that moment I happily walked through it. 

Since that week last July, we have been in the studio together almost every week.  In these sessions we have gotten a lot of work done but our friendship has also grown stronger.  There have been moon cakes, surprise birthday cakes, thoughtful gifts, and many other beautiful moments shared.  I look forward to building more memories in the future and cherish the memories we have created.

When I started writing the stories for the book series, I immediately choose Annie Puppy as Bella Elephant’s best friend.  My goal is share the positive energy that I receive from my coaching and friendship with Annie.  It is a support system of kindness and understanding that is so crucial not only in the arts but in all paths of life.  I consider this one of many blessings.  On the other hand, with the help of my Mom and Grandma I am also reminded that doors will open as long as you are open to the possibility.

Love Always,

Kristina Lucia xoxo