(SALEM) - All it took to unleash Betty Stanley's latest bout with creativity was a broom that she found laying in her driveway on, of all days, Halloween.
Out of that experience came Stanley's latest book, "Salem's Sassy Sprite," a children's story that Stanley has had published by Author House.
Marcia Walker, of the Salem Tribune reports, the book, the second Stanley has written for children, is about a witch who travels around the county. While the characters and story line are fictional, the setting will be familiar to anyone who knows Salem and Washington County.
Some places mentioned in the book are well known, such as the Pioneer Village, Beck's Mill and the county courthouse. Other places, however, are not as familiar, such as Stink Factory Cave. It's a real cave located not far from Stanley's former home on Rush Creek Road.
Stanley believes the name came from a slaughterhouse that was located in the same area.
"Sometimes things just kind of write themselves," Stanley said. "Because I taught fourth grade and Indiana history, I had knowledge about the Pioneer Village, Stevens Museum, all of that."
The book also features the work of artists with local ties: David Arney, Kathy Peterson, Kolton Roach and Richard Trueblood.
Stanley is making arrangements to market the book at several local places, including The Depot and the Stevens Museum. In addition to showcasing places of historical significance in the county, the book is an example of perseverance since it took Stanley 20 years to see the idea through.
She recently related the experience at a life skills class at Bradie Shrum. "My point, even though it took a number of years, I did keep working at it, I persevered until I managed to complete it," she explained.
Stanley's first book, written for her grandchildren and other members of her family, was based on memories of her childhood. That book appears at www.salemleader.com as a blog, Betty Ann Stories. And the book about the Washington County witch most likely won't be her last.
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