As the new school year rolls around and fall begins, Yukoners find seasonal ways to appreciate their surroundings in this place called home. For Sabrina Parks and her family, this appreciation began three years ago, after relocating to the Whitehorse area. As Parks states in her poem “Way Up North,” this is a place “ … where as each day passes more in love with northern living one falls.”
Parks’ journey as a visual artist started years ago, her work can be found on display at Arts Underground and online. Her venture into writing and illustrating children’s books, began a mere eight years ago, and upon relocating to the Yukon, has become more pronounced. Parks stated in a recent interview that she remembers reading a quote that said one needs to escape nature to find oneself.
“As an artist, you need reflective time. The serenity of the North, being surrounded by nature, the summer sun, offers us a lot of opportunity to create. This is, by far, the most beautiful place I’ve lived,” she said.
This place is certainly a muse for Parks, who also cites her children as inspiration. Parks is a stay-at-home mom and she said the experience of being surrounded by them and watching them grow influences her work as well. These inspirations are reflected in her latest work—Midnight Sun. The children’s book is an ode to parents, children and the challenges of lulling youngsters to bed at a time of year when the mighty midnight sun beckons them to experience the majesty of the landscape around the clock. The words life off her pages, as a lullaby to the children we love and the northern landscapes outside our windows.
The self-published book—”a ballad, a thank-you, to the North,” she said—has received positive feedback online since its Amazon debut in July 2019. Hard copies are currently being printed for local businesses, the Yukon Public Library and tourist destinations such as the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.
As any children’s author knows, the world of children’s literature can be a difficult one to navigate. Last year, Parks participated in a local TD Canadian Children’s Book Week event. As part of it, southern authors came North to offer advice and suggestions on getting writing out there.
“As a creator, marketing is its own engine. Being a mother, artist and full-time employee, sometimes you just throw (your work) out there to see if it will be found, like a precious stone or nugget,” she said.
“Solicit it. Keep trying, even if responses from publishing houses are scarce. Today with independent publishing—especially in the North—there is always an option to be found.”
Parks uses Amazon CreateSpace, which she said is free, easy and a great avenue for those who don’t have access to regular publishing routes.
But before that step, she said aspiring writers should read widely to see what other artists are doing.
Midnight Sun will be available locally by the end of summer 2019. It is currently available for purchase online, through Amazon.com. Additional information can be found online at SabrinasArtDotBlog.Wordpress.Com