“Horsing Around In The Town Of Gold Hill: A Story to Stirrup the Imagination and Spur Creativity!” is a cleverly written and charmingly illustrated picture book that I started writing after the Fourmile Canyon Fire. Grateful that our town survived the wildfire, the book is my lighthearted attempt to celebrate the wonder and beauty of Gold Hill. It’s a humorous, rhyming tale for readers of all ages who are kids at heart. It encourages us to notice the small wonders that occur in nature and to observe the landscape around our home. At the same time, it highlights how self limiting behaviors can prevent us from fully experiencing our lives and living up to our potentials.
The story involves a disgruntled horse and a group of clever animal characters that begin a search through the town of Gold Hill in an effort to find an answer. What they discover is a lesson more valuable than gold! In it, I describe many sensory perceptions of nature and how they inspire me creatively. I hope they inspire the reader, too!
Why did I write this children’s book?
I want people of all ages to appreciate and protect this naturally beautiful, rugged landscape, to recognize how we orient ourselves in this landscape, and to continually improve our relationship with it. This book is my light-hearted attempt to encourage an attitude of environmental stewardship, because by having rich and varied opportunities to experience and explore nature, children can begin to value and appreciate their immediate world. And, what children learn to value and appreciate in childhood, they desire to protect in adulthood. Themes such as climate change and personal responsibility can be scary and heavy conversations. The children’s picture book format allowed me to creatively and subtly present these ideas in a humorous and light-hearted way.
For me personally, being creative provides me with a sense of purpose. And while I don’t have children of my own, I do actually like them…. I used to teach art to kids at a summer camp in the Poconos when I was younger. I’m also a certified Waldorf teacher for grades 1-8, and used to work at the Denver Waldorf School. I was the art teacher for many years at the Crested Butte Academy. In addition to participating yearly in the “Artists in the School” program at the Crested Butte Elementary School, I would assist high school students in building their portfolios if they desired admittance into college art programs. The interest in facilitating and encouraging creativity in young people has always been there for me. This project has allowed me to continue sharing that interest within a different creative format.