about the close relationship between the sheep and the dogs.’ ” This sparked the idea for her ﬁrst children’s book, Brave Dogs Gentle Dogs: How They Guard Sheep, published 10 years ago. “I think those of us who live in Wyoming are blessed because if you want to see something beautiful every day, all you need to do is step outside. What I am trying to do is share that beauty that I see in Wyoming with other people.” This led Urbigkit to be selected as the featured author for One Book Wyoming, a program of the Wyoming State Library System that is funded by the Wyoming Legislature. This program distributed three of Urbigkit’s books to communities around the state, and enabled her to travel to communities throughout the state to talk about the books. Since two of the books were for children, and one for adults, it provided for multigenerational talks of the same subject matter. She went to many schools and public libraries to talk about her books from April to November 2015. “The response was fantastic!” she said, estimating that she presented to about 7,400 students and countless adults. “I had schools that had teachers and librarians who had worked with students to prepare them for my author visits. Before I arrived, the students had already read my books and written questions on things they wanted to know more about. For many students, it was the ﬁrst time they had met a book author.” artscapes • winter 2016
Since touring, Urbigkit has received fan mail, letters and art from students throughout the state, thanking her for her time and inspiration. Urbigkit said that her daily journaling aided her success. “I’ll write something in my journal and then I might go back to that subject matter for a few days or weeks and then I realize I’m developing a trend or am interested in this subject matter. That is what often prompts me to go ahead and sit down and write out a full blown book.” Her advice for other writers in Wyoming? “I think the most important thing to do the actual work – the writing. Sometimes people have a great idea for something they want to write and they immediately jump into ‘How do we get this published?’ before writing it ﬁrst and really making it the best it can be.” You can ﬁnd Urbigkit’s books at local venues such as the Wyoming State Museum store in Cheyenne and Wind City Books in Casper. Stay updated with her latest books on her website at caturbigkit.com and on her Facebook page, https://www. facebook.com/cat. urbigkit.
“I think those of us who live in Wyoming are blessed because if you want to see something beautiful every day, all you need to do is step outside. What I am trying to do is share that beauty that I see in Wyoming with other people.”
“I love the beauty of Wyoming! I try to get people to look and notice the beauty that we have here. That is my inspiration.” Monica Miller is a freelance writer based in Cheyenne. You can read more of her writing at monicawrites.com. PAGE | 19
The quarterly magazine of the Wyoming Arts Council.