I am a wife and proud mother of three children. Our two sons bookmark a very rambunctious and active daughter named Lauren, whose unconventional zany hair has always reflected her untamable personality. Even today she is allergic to combs and brushes. The twists and curls have a mind of their own. When Lauren was a child, parts of her hair never saw daylight. I would say to her, “There could be dinosaurs living in there and we would never know.” I thought this might encourage her to relent to a brief touch-up. Instead, I would get a quick twisted smile before she would scoot out of sight. It was a constant battle, which I seldom won. Sabrina was born out of Lauren’s strong and determined attitude and her mess of blonde curls.
In January 2013, she was asked to be an Ambassador for Lululemon in Columbus, Ohio. The Ambassadors went through a training workshop where they were asked to prioritize individual goals and objectives. After this experience, she approached me to share her desire for us to publish a poem I wrote for her as a child called, “Dinosaurs Living in My Hair.” She was extremely motivating and encouraging. Lauren initiated this journey.
I remember my father-in-law say: “To be successful it is important to be surrounded by a good team,” and that is precisely where I started. I had a vision, but didn’t know how to get there. Choosing an illustrator who could capture and import Lauren’s charisma and attitude into Sabrina seemed like a logical first step.
I came across an illustrator with 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. Her name was Anni Matsick, and she is 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, finding her took this project to the next level.
The second addition to the Dinosaurs Living in My Hair team was Chris Schechner. Anni recommended him for book layout and creative art design. Chris is the owner of Schechner & Associates, a full service graphic design and illustration studio in Texas. 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 of them has profoundly helped in this creative endeavor. They have added their knowledge and skills, by building websites, teaching me how to Facebook, proof reading, creating logos, designing, editing, listening, and encouraging me along the way. They were a bonus!
Growing up on a farm taught me hard work and a little bit of dirt builds character. My mother had a gift of rhyme and humor. She was always writing silly little sing-song-like poems. On our birthdays, her clue-filled verses, would lead us to our hidden gifts. During breakfast she often recited poems she had memorized as a child from “Patsy Dowd’s Book of Poems and Recitations for Boys & Girls.” 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 to pass on her love of poetry.
In 2014, I founded ROSEVALLEE CREATIONS. Dinosaurs Living in My Hair is my first children’s picture book. I am currently working on Sabrina’s second and third adventures.I now spend my time parenting my dog Colt. I love to go barefoot, sit-cross legged on the floor, pick daisies, and bake chocolate chip cookies. Although born and raised in Michigan, a favorite day consists of backcountry fly-fishing, an afternoon of writing, and watching the sunset with my husband and Colt in the Florida Keys.
I am grateful 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 believe we should learn from children. They are the true masters.