Stepping out of her safety zone, Carolee went to college at age thirty-six to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing, graduating magna cum laude. Mentored by a college professor and his wife, she set her sights to obtain her degree in four years while she raised her five children. Her mentors' favorite distraction during that period sounded something like this, "keep your eyes on the end of the tunnel." The light slowly got brighter as Carolee approached graduation and she grew in understanding and self-worth. Her nursing career awarded her many opportunities to broaden her horizons as she worked on a surgical floor, lectured for the hospital's Wellness Program, became a Director of Nursing, Director of In-service and an Infection Control Practitioner. However, the inherited entrepreneurial blood ran deep in her heart and she left nursing and opened Carolee Realty Group to continue to serve the needs of others. After nine years of success, her husband was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). Unable to meet the demands of her career and be a full-time caregiver, she closed her brokerage and began to paint her watercolor illustrations and handcrafted her works. After her husband passed, she decided to travel. At age sixty- eight, she purchased a thirty-two foot motor home and towed her car thirty-five thousand miles cross-country to promote her work. Her grown children gasped, "You're going to do what?" The voyage turned into the comedy of a lifetime, meeting only one turkey and thousands of eagles. Other than writing, her interests at age eighty-seven are family happenings, singing (when no one is listening), playing the piano, reading, occasional computer games, gardening and walking. Her strength of character and her belief in God are evident throughout all of her manuscripts.
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How It All Began!
My husband enjoyed writing poetry and actually won some impressive awards. With his encouragement, I considered drawing some images I needed for the little story I had created. It didn’t take long before I realized that I’d have to explore other options.
After selling a client their home, they invited me over for lunch to show me their decor. As I wandered into their child’s bedroom, I saw some Disney-type illustrations on the walls and asked who did them. My buyer gave me the individual’s name; I emailed her to set up the business end so there wouldn’t be any misunderstandings.
I began by asking some business questions, like would she be interested in the project, could she provide a sample of her work so I’d know if we had the same expectations for the book, how much she would charge for an illustration.
Then I told her what I thought would be helpful information.
“My daughter is an artist and has had some schooling in copyright laws, so if we have any concerns we could ask for her help,” I said.
With her responding email, I could see the flame-thrower glowing right through the message, as she growled, “Where I come from people trust each other.”
Huh. Stunned by her comment, I sat back in my chair to read it again. I must’ve been mistaken. Her second sentence cleared that up.
“You don’t show one artist work to another artist.”
Totally bamboozled, I wondered what Michael Angelo was doing on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
I stared at my keyboard and hit, “delete.”
More than a little miffed with her attitude I told myself I'd do my own illustrations, grabbed my pencil and began to draw.
As I am somewhat of a perfectionist, I spent a lot of time looking at various parts of my body to see how to transfer the imagines in my brain onto the paper in front of me. After much deliberation, I drew it the best I could. I must say, this challenge led to the purchase of many erasers.
When you enjoy the illustrations in my books, please see the humor in these characters and know that they were created from the love within my heart.
PS: I think God wanted it this way because it sure spurred me into action.
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Meet the Team
Me Myself And I
Carolee at age two.
Not Yet an Author but heading that way, I guess!
From the day I was borne, I was addicted to ice cream. I blamed my Mom for this because I figured she ate too much of it before she had me. We lived in Chicago then and there was a "Good Humor Man" parked at just about every corner. Knowing this, either one of my siblings or my Mom would distract me by pushing my head to the floor of the car. This wasn’t a gentle-like push from my sibling, either. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on because of my age, but it wasn't long before I realized how to win at the next corner. When my sibling shove was successful, he’d grin from the pleasure of his task, and I'd try to remember I loved him, maybe.
Finding your way through a new career can certainly be challenging. Mine start with my husband being on his journey to the next life and I desperately needed something to keep my mind off the inevitable. As I had considered trying my hand at writing when younger, I had no idea how or where to start. In the past, I had a large family to raise and any parent knows how that can swallow up your time in gulps. Luckily, I had a talented husband who encouraged me to proceed. I started with the children’s books and an inspirational thought crossed my mind to have books with a moral that would enlighten the child as well as the adult. The titles accent the idea of each book and I called them, “Adult Fairy Tales.” The entire book from cover to cover was completed by me. Then I branched off to cover all the age groups, including the elderly. I ask that you leave a comment to give me your thoughts.
Eating Ice cream!
In my day, ice cream was made with real cream! It was so good I would lick my arms, dirt and all. That is when my Mom wasn't looking.
Here I'm leaning toward the curb, trying to miss my dress with all that good stuff. Although I was only six at the time, I knew my Mom liked everything on the spotless, good mannered side and I was more of a muddle-puddle kid. That's why, I knew if I messed up that dress, I'd be getting much less ice cream running down my arms. I was probably her worse nightmare, while she attempted to groom me to be a lady.