Illustrations for An Alphabet of Place: The Little Snake River Valley by Sharon Salisbury O’Toole

Sharon O’Toole, a Wyoming rancher, recently asked me to illustrate her book, An Alphabet of Place; the Little Snake River Valley. I ended up doing 30 ink drawings and designing the book. It was a lot of fun. It’s a very beautiful small volume and we’re both proud of it.

Book Cover

From the introduction

An Alphabet of Place: The Little Snake River Valley is a celebration of my home, a remote mountain valley northwest of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and southwest of Rawlins, Wyoming, along the Wyoming/Colorado state line. “Alphabet” was inspired by an essay in the Kenyon Review by writer Alison Townsend—“An Alphabet of Here: A Wisconsin Prairie Sampler.” I decided to create the ABCs of my valley. Each letter describes a critter, a plant, a place or historical characters (and characters they were!) at first generally, then more specifically and finally personally.”

Here are some of the illustrations. In the book, each of these ink drawings corresponds with a letter.

Published by Martha Kennedy

Martha Kennedy's most recent work -- As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder -- tells about her experiences as a Foreign Expert in English in the People's Republic of China in 1982/83. It's a love story to China, to teaching and to adventure. She has published four works of historical fiction. Her first novel, Martin of Gfenn, was awarded the Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society Indie Review, the BRAG Medallion from IndieBRAG in 2015, and, in 2017, was named to the shortlist​ for the Chaucer Award from Chanticleer Reviews. Her other novels, Savior, The Brothers Path, and The Price form a loose series, looking at the experiences of the same family, Savior in the 13th century during the Crusades, The Brothers Path looks at the experiences of six brothers in the 16th during the Protestant Reformation and The Price brings the family to America in 1743. All three novels of the trilogy are IndieBRAG Honorees. Kennedy has also published a memoir entitled My Everest which is a compilation of stories about her years of trail hiking in the "wilderness" around San Diego with her dogs. My Everest is also an IndieBRAG honoree. Kennedy has also published many short-stories and articles in a variety of publications from the Denver Post to the Business Communications Quarterly. For many years she lived in the San Diego area. She now lives in Colorado, in Monte Vista, a small town in the San Luis Valley that she thinks might be Heaven.

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