I am thrilled you stopped by to peer into my mind's eye. With much left to say in my lifetime, I had best get started. I have always said "I know I have a book in me." I have written many things in my career as a high school teacher, lesson planning with precision, not all that exciting to read, but I tried to make the content relevant and meaningful for my students. Retired now, I miss the challenge of engaging young minds and all the wonders of their perspectives and innermost thoughts. Running a classroom of learners these days tests the most dedicated and patient person, and yet, I would not have traded that experience for any other field. It is learning, not teaching, that keeps me writing. One can read all the self-help and personal development books on the shelf but it is through other people's thoughts and stories that we grow, not our own. I have digested plenty of books to improve my leadership skills, work on my relationships, and plenty of how-to reads on becoming a person of influence. All of that information is no longer with me. There is no room for it in my head. In its place are countless stories, lived and already told, that need to be written down. One such story is
A retired high school teacher turned children's
book author, Judith Zeilenga has traded lesson planning for bringing learning to life through storytelling. She sees the world now through the eyes of her grandchildren rather than her
students (whose eyes and smiles she misses dearly).
With fond memories of her early years growing up on a farm in Canada she has retreated to country living with her partner Keith which she says takes her back to her “center”. She has
returned to where she belongs. Enjoying nature’s classroom with her grandchildren, Judith envisions many exciting stories emerging from their shared discoveries.
Cheryl Cook, Cookie, as she is fondly called, is an artist, illustrator and designer. Her life’s work encompasses everything from advertising, to courtroom sketching, to logos and design, children's book illustration and everything in between. Cookie loves to teach and mentor budding artists all the way down to young children as she has championed an after-school art program for kids in the city of Chicago. Her tremendous skill, creativity, passion and humanity shine through in all of her projects. Partnering with Judith Zeilenga on her children's book Perwinkle's Chair was no exception. Cookie embraces each opportunity with great zeal, because with each comes a new adventure.
You can reach me on Facebook at Judith Zeilenga. I am on Instagram - judithzeilenga