It has been Marieta Hawkins’ life-long dream to have her cartoons published in the newspaper. And on Jan.1, that dream becomes a reality. She will have her cartoon series “Cricket” published in the Waxahachie Daily Light.

The cartoon series is based on the Waxahachie family’s cat Honey — and the members of Marieta’s family. She said their house always seemed to attract crickets. She explained that they would be everywhere. The minute Honey would spot one, she would try to capture it.

“She would chase those crickets for hours,” Marieta expressed. “As soon as she heard the noise of one, that was all she wrote.”

Throughout the series, Cricket the cat closely watches the members of the family, which is made up of a father, mother and two daughters. Cricket is there for every special moment, every disaster and everything in between. While watching how humans react to different situations, Cricket draws from the family’s experiences.

Having her work placed in the paper is something Marieta has desired since she was young. And when she received word that the editor wanted to publish it and run the entire series was breathtaking.

“Whenever he (Neal White) told me he was going to publish it I couldn’t breathe,” Marieta said. “I was so excited that I wanted to cry and shout with joy at the same time.”

She said her enthusiasm had to be short-lived, because she had a lot of work to do in order to get the drawings done.

“I had several things I needed to focus on,” she said. “So I didn’t really have a lot of time to celebrate. I needed to finish some of the drawings and I had to find the right style of paper.”

Marieta’s father Stephen said it took them going all the way to San Antonio to find the right paper.

“We had looked everywhere for proper drawing strips,” Stephen said. “During one of our trips to San Antonio, we were in this store and there it was.”

This is a very proud moment for Stephen who has served as one of Marieta’s biggest supporters.

“I’ve always encouraged her to draw and pursue her talent,” he said. “Since she was a little girl, she has had an amazing eye and has paid attention to detail. I’ve been after her for years to come and speak to Mr. White about getting her work published in the paper. Now that she has, I couldn’t be any prouder.”

This isn’t the first time she’s had her work displayed in the Daily Light.When she was younger, she entered several coloring contest in which she won one of them. But she said this moment takes the cake, and when she sees the cartoon in the paper for the first time, she may faint.

“When it first comes out I’m going to be so excited,” she said. “I’m going to take it and show all of my friends. Then I’m going to frame it. I may even pass out from all of the excitement.”

Marieta said she hopes this opportunity provides her with a career in producing great artwork. She not only enjoys drawing, but loves to sculpt, paint and is becoming heavily involved in Anime.

Marieta’s comic series entitled “Cricket” will be published on Page 3 daily, with the debut panel running in today’s edition.

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