Loretta Welk-Jung says she likes sitting in a corner writing stories and poetry.
“I’ve always kind of been a closet writer,” she said. “I’ve written stories much of my life, and I just put them away, I did it for my own enjoyment.”
The retired teacher and self-published author of two books about a snow girl named “Crystalene” now has two new children's books to her credit, bringing the number of books that she has written in her life geared to children to four.
Welk-Jung taught for 35 years, most of them as a first-grade teacher in Jamestown Public Schools.
In the early 2000s, after retiring, she published the books on “Crystalene The Rainbow Snow Girl,” a character who helped teach children values. There were other materials also related to Crystalene including a coloring book, two CDs and a figurine.
“She was leaving messages of how to live a life of courage - each color was a value: red was courage, orange good attitude,” Welk-Jung said. “I was writing that for my grandchildren as a kind of a little staple for their lives.”
Welk-Jung, who lives in Jamestown, is a member of a writer’s group in Nevada where she and her husband, Ollie, usually spend winters.
“It kind of spurred me back again to get into writing,” she said. “And that’s when I pulled out the story of the worry rock.”
“The Worry Rock” is a story inspired by Welk-Jung’s mother, who had a rock on her dresser. The writer’s group liked the story, which led Welk-Jung to see about publishing it.
“I wanted to leave that to my grandchildren also from their great-grandmother,” Welk-Jung said.
“The Worry Rock” is the story of a young girl who is wrestling with a school assignment and how to complete it.
Welk-Jung submitted the story to Austin Macauley Publishers “and they contacted me and said that they were interested in publishing the book,” she said.
The second book, “Good Night Animals on the Farm,” was self-published through Amazon, with the help of Welk-Jung’s son and daughter, Jeff and Monica. An artist out of Colombia, South America, illustrated the book.
In “Good Night,” a farmer says good night to the various animals on the farm.
Welk-Jung plans to donate copies of the books to schools and libraries in Jamestown. She hopes to do readings in the schools starting next fall if possible, depending on the situation with the coronavirus pandemic.
She also plans to write more books.
“It was a lot of fun and I will probably get out a few more during the pandemic,” she said.
The new books are available in several formats on Amazon.com.