Warm thanks, Marva, for allowing space for me to crow about all the remarkable women in my non-fiction e-book for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women.
Hello Readers. Thank you for stopping by. I’m excited to visit with you today. Please leave comments to enter a random drawing for prizes after the tour is completed. More information about that later.
Inspiring and empowering girls to achieve success in their dream careers.
I interviewed fifteen fabulous women about their careers and the path they followed in order to be the best of the best in their chosen fields. I was stirred to write a book for girls after working four summers at Camp Newaygo, a girls residence camp in Michigan. I met the most amazing young women who were counselors and energetic campers who kept life interesting! I marveled at the potential for the futures of these smart, enthusiastic girls. Faced with so many possibilities for careers, I wondered what choices they would make.
Unlike my era of high school graduates when girls were limited to career choices of teacher, nurse, and secretary, today’s girls face so many more possibilities of vocations in science, business, athletics, and more. How could they decide? This e-book gives them information on careers, but the stories also inspire and empower them to pursue their dreams and make them come true.
Each chapter begins with an inspirational quote which I hope will touch the reader’s heart and use it as a reminder to keep her focused on her dream. As I wrote the book, I kept Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote in mind, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Learning about each woman and who or what influenced her journey to achieving her goal was a privilege. Many of their stories are similar. A doctor, a teacher, and medical scientist were influenced by mentors. A social worker and children’s author suffered childhood illnesses, and a horticulturalist and horsewoman followed their childhood passion turning it into a career.
I could go on and on about these wonderful women, but instead I have chosen to stop and share only one of the stories about children’s author and illustrator Jane Stroschin. Jane is an appropriate choice for Marvas blog because Marva has authored several fun books for middle grade kids. Jane’s latest project, an outstanding mural of six panels depicting symbols of Michigan, is on the Girls Succeed blog at http://GirlsSucceed.blogspot.com . After finishing this post, please hop over there and take a look at her outstanding talent with paint.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
“To succeed you have to believe in something
with such a passion that it becomes a reality.”
-- Anita Roddick, entrepreneur, business executive
CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR
Practice, Practice, Practice
Eight-year-old Jane clutched the new drawing pad, pencils, and paints to her chest. She treasured the precious tools. The little girl filled the paper pads with her drawings and paintings. Jane Stroschin was enthusiastic about creating art pieces from the time she was just a girl. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her twin sister and an older sister.
It was her love of drawing which helped Jane recover from an accident. One day she and her friends were outdoors playing football. Jane was tackled, but could not get up. Her legs were broken. She had to endure surgeries to repair her legs. Doctors told her she would not walk. But through determination and hard work, Jane proved the doctors wrong. She learned to walk again.
During this time of recovery from the accident, Jane worked on her drawing skills and practiced and polished her artwork.
Jane loved sketching so much she continued even after her legs healed. She created cartoons for her junior and senior high newspapers. In high school, her art teacher asked her to join the “grown-ups” painting class in her home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The artists in the class were impressed with her composition. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in art education. She continued to paint and draw and to learn from respected masters of art in classes and workshops.
After graduation Jane married Mike Stroschin and they moved to Fremont, Michigan, where she and Mike raised their two children, Laura and Brian. Because there were no jobs for art teachers, Jane accepted a job as the children’s librarian at the local library. It was here that she fell in love with picture books. She appreciated the combination of art with the story.
She read lots of books so she could be sure to select interesting ones for the library’s weekly story time. Two of her favorites to read out loud were Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Voirst and Ray Cruz. She wanted the kids to have fun with the stories and to return each week for more.
One summer afternoon Jane and her young children, Laura and Brian, sat on a grassy hill watching the puffy clouds move and change as they crossed the blue sky. The kids told their mom what the clouds looked like…a dinosaur, a kitty, and more. These cloud pictures gave Jane an idea for her first picture book, The Cloudy Day.
Another idea for a book, Emma Lou and the Reindeer Flu, popped into her head when Jane was on the road traveling to a school where she would be teaching kids to write stories and draw pictures. It began to snow.
“The snow was beautiful. It made me want to write a Christmas story,” she said.
As Jane continued on her journey, the story of Emma Lou took shape in her mind. She pictured Santa stopping at Emma Lou’s farm on Christmas Eve because all the reindeer were sick with the flu. She had to get the words on paper, so she stopped at a restaurant, sat down at the table, and began writing the story on the back of the placemat.
“Would you like a menu?” asked the waitress as she placed a glass of water on the table. She couldn’t put it on the placemat after all.
Jane looked up from her writing. “Um, oh no. I’ll just have the special—whatever it is,” she said and returned to her writing.
The words for the story were streaming onto the placemat. Jane didn’t even notice the waitress had brought her food. Finally the waitress stopped by the table and asked if something was wrong with the meal. Jane kept writing and took a bite of the food. “It’s fine,” she said.
When she finished the story, Jane went to the pay phone in the restaurant to call her twin sister. (This was before cell phones were available.) She read the story over the phone to her surprised sister. There was silence on the other end.
“Well, what do you think?” she asked. Still silence. She began to worry. Jane thought her sister must not like the story and was trying to figure out how to tell her it was a rotten idea.
At last Jane heard her sister sniffle and then reply. “I’m crying. I love it.”
This children’s author eventually founded her own publishing company which allows her to write and illustrate books, as well as oversee their layout, format, sales, and shipping. She also works to publicize the books.
Not only is Jane a wonderful story teller and excellent artist, she is also an accomplished art teacher. Children and adults attend her drawing and painting workshops. She travels around the country teaching children to write stories and draw pictures to go with their stories.
Her latest gigantic art project is as tall as a one story building and as wide as two cars parked bumper to bumper. She was commissioned by the City of Fremont, Michigan, to create a mural entitled Celebrate Our Symbols. The colorful painting depicts scenes found in nature and the wildlife in Michigan such as deer, birds, fish and more.
“If you want to be an artist, then study art history and the masters’ techniques. If you want to be a writer, then read the great writers. Develop your style from studying them,” Jane advises. “Be persistent, be passionate, and look for encouragement from your family and friends.”
Jane laughs when she says, “No one can put a pair of ice skates on their feet and then skate. They fall and they get up. They practice, practice, practice. That is what you have to do to be your best.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF HER CAREER
Bachelor’s Degree in Art, University of Wisconsin
Published children’s books
Painting displayed in White House as a gift from the American Poultry Association to President William Clinton
Portrait of President Ronald Reagan displayed in the Reagan Library in California
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Jane’s books on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=jane+stroschin
Jane suggests studying drawings by renowned artists. For line drawings look up the children’s books by
Chris VanAllsburg, http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Van-Allsburg/e/B000APKEI8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1341491153&sr=1-2-ent
John Steptoe http://www.amazon.com/John-Steptoe/e/B000APTFN8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1341491251&sr=1-2-ent
For colored pencil drawings study Stephen Gammell’s work. http://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Gammell/e/B001IU0DM6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1341491858&sr=1-2-ent
Check out art books that include paintings by famous artists.
Visit art museums and galleries.
Get out your drawing pad and pencil and draw!
BOOK LINKS: If you would like to download a sample of the e-book which includes the Table of Contents listing all the careers in the book, please go to
Amazon Link http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NY6ZAS
Smashwords Link http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/241825
Contest Information Janet will be drawing winners from visitors who leave comments during the tour. The prizes for you or a girl in your life are a $10 Amazon gift certificate, a copy of the Girls Succeed e-book in your choice of format, a “Succeed” beaded bracelet kit, and inspirational note pads. (See the Girls Succeed and J Q Rose blogs for photos and blog tour information.). Winners announced on her blogs on Sunday, November 18 at 9 pm EST. Good luck!
Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
Girls Succeed blog http://girlssucceed.blogspot.com/
J.Q. Rose blog http://JQRoseAuthor.blogspot.com
Author website http://jqrose.webs.com/
BIO: After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction writing with her first published novella, Sunshine Boulevard, released by Muse It Up Publishing in 2011. With Girls Succeed, she returns to her first love, writing about real people. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.