I am a wife and proud mother of three children. Our two sons bookmark a very rambunctious and active daughter. Lauren’s unconventional zany curls are a reflection of her untamable personality. Even today she is allergic to combs and brushes. The twists and kinks have a mind of their own. When Lauren was a child, parts of her hair never saw daylight. I would say, “There could be dinosaurs living in there and we would never know.” This comment did not encourage her to groom more often, but instead she sent a twisted smile my direction and was out-of-sight before I blinked. It was a constant battle I seldom won. Sabrina was born out of Lauren’s strong and determined attitude and her mass of uncontrollable curls.
In January 2013, Lauren encouraged me to publish a poem I wrote for her as a child, “Dinosaurs Living in My Hair.” Lauren initiated this journey.
My father-in-law often states, “To be successful, it’s important to be surrounded by a good team.” My journey began at this spot. I had a vision and a gravel road in front of me missing all directional signs. My instincts said, find an illustrator. I came across a watercolor piece that immediately spoke to my heart. I stared at it for a long time, wrote down her information, and drafted an email. Anni Matsick did become the illustrator for Dinosaurs Living in My Hair. Her watercolors bring an emotional expression to her characters and bring words to life. With her twenty years+ of experience she catapulted this project to the next level.
The second addition to the Dinosaurs Living in My Hair team was Chris Schechner who Anni recommended for book layout and creative art design. His expertise and forty years+ experience enriched the “team” again. The three of us began in spring of 2013.
The last group to round out this “team of experts” tuned out to be our three grown children. Each has profoundly helped in this creative endeavor. They have added their knowledge and skills, by building websites, teaching me how to Facebook, proofreading, creating logos, designing, editing, listening, and encouraging me along the way. They are my inspiration.
I grew up on a farm which taught me hard work and a little bit of dirt builds character. My mother’s gift of rhyme and humor set the stage for my love of poetry. An example was at breakfast, she often recited poems she memorized as a child. There were several, but our favorite was called, “School Days.” We would chime in when she got to the verse and say, “We don’t have to go to school to day do we Ma? Aw Shoot Ma.” My brother and I would laugh, head out the screen door to catch the school bus, and yell back, “We don’t have to go to school today do we MA? Aw Shoot Ma”. We would hear her laughter from inside the kitchen. I am grateful she is a part of my every day journey.
In 2014, I founded ROSEVALLEE CREATIONS which published Dinosaurs Living in My Hair. DLIMH has won several national awards including the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, two Florida Authors and Publishers President’s award for poetry and cover design, a Purple Dragonfly award first place for poetry and several others. DLIMH 2 is currently being illustrated and should be on bookshelves by the middle of 2017.
I love to go barefoot, sit-cross legged on the floor, pick daisies, and bake chocolate chip cookies. Although born and raised in Michigan, I spend half of my life in the Florida Keys. For me a favorite day consists of backcountry fly-fishing, an afternoon of writing, and watching the sunset with my husband (and Earl).
I am thankful for the love and support of so many. In a world filled with chaos and turmoil, I feel passionately a good bedtime story should feel like a warm hug goodnight – and additionally – not be too long for parents to read. I agree with Albert Einstein 100% when he answered a question like this:
Once upon a time the famous physicist Albert Einstein was confronted by an overly concerned woman who sought advice on how to raise her small son to become a successful scientist. In particular, she wanted to know what kind of books she should read to him.
“Fairy Tales,” Einstein responded without hesitation.
“Fine, but what else should I read to him after that?” the mother asked.
“More fairy tales,” Einstein stated.
“And after that?”
“Even more fairy tales,” replied the great scientist, and he waved his pipe like a wizard pronouncing a happy end to a long adventure.
When I read this, I found a sense of validation. Fairy tales continue to be my favorite thing to read. There is magic that lives in the imagination. As I travel the country doing school readings, I try to impart the importance of creativity, poetry, and reading. However, I believe we have a lot to learn from children as well. They, after all, are the true masters.