About Susan Carnes
Growing up on a Wisconsin dairy farm on the south shore of Great Lake Superior, Susan Carnes at age 10 could turn square corners with a tractor while cutting hay, gentle and race horses, play Rachmaninoff on the piano, and get some blue ribbons for her artwork at the fair. An avid skier and skater during the winter months, her best times were on the rivers, canoeing, fishing and swimming. She loved to read stories and direct plays. After a degree from Iowa State University, she married, taught school and earned two Master’s Degrees while farming and raising three sons. Susan counseled in addiction programs, practiced art therapy and biofeedback in chronic pain centers, and later became a school counselor in Oregon. When she moved toward retirement in Washington State, Susan coordinated 4-H on 5 islands, went back to school, mastered stained glass techniques, continued hobbies of dancing and white water rafting, and then she got busy.
While spending winters in Mazatlan, Mexico, Susan joined a writers group and wrote her first book, My Champion, about a 10 year old girl who didn’t appreciate what she had. She illustrated it with 21 oil paintings and used her grandchildren as models. “Writing for me is like putting together pieces of my own life and making sense of it,” Susan says. The book won a Golden Moonbeam Award and was an honorable mention in competition at the Hollywood Book Festival. Her second book, The Way Back is about the struggles of a World War 1 vet to deal with PTSD. Susan’s father and several of the men he hired to run his dairy were veterans of the “War To End All Wars.” Because of her experiences growing up with them and later counseling with veterans in treatment centers, she felt compelled to write their story, wanting to provide hope, and to honor those who fight our wars. The story begins as the old dairy barn on Susan’s home-place is being demolished; it ends with personal insight giving meaning to a saying Susan had used playfully: “My barn burned down and now I see the moon.
Go to http://www.skcarnes.com for information on MyChampion and The Way Back. Susan has showcased some of her art on that website, including pictures that were used as 9 covers for the Pacific Pearl magazine. The blog centers on creativity as a tool to self discovery.