Carol Crouch loves using her training as an entomologist to help children discover new things about the world around them. She hopes her new book of poems will help readers discover things about themselves.
Crouch has filled notebooks with her poetry over the past 40 years. She writes about whatever inspires her -- the view outside her window or the flock of geese gliding through the sky overhead. The poems are an expression of her love for nature, but also of her faith in God.
Crouch had been thinking for a while about compiling her poems and publishing a book. When she retired early last year she started paging through those notebooks. From April to September she reviewed what she had written over four decades. She chose the poems she liked best and rewrote some to make them more universal.
It was a fun four months.
"I loved it," Crouch said. "I've always loved writing, since I was a child."
The book Crouch ended up with is called Ripples of God's Love: Poems to Refresh the Soul. Available in three formats -- hardcover, paperback and electronic book -- it contains about 60 poems Crouch feels will mean something to the people who read them. She introduces each with the Bible verse or verses she feels most apply to the poems.
The oldest of the poems was written in 1972. Crouch got the inspiration for that poem during a difficult time, when she'd been filled with doubts. She was laying in bed and woke to a strong feeling of evil, but when she prayed the ominous atmosphere disappeared.
"It kind of changed my life, because I started seeing things differently," Crouch said.
Crouch hopes the people who read her book can get a similar result. She wants to reach out to people who are going through a difficult time and help them find hope.
"No matter who you are, you have something that overwhelms you," she said.
Crouch hopes everyone who reads her poems takes something different from the experience. She wants people to find their own meaning in her writing, not dig out exactly what was on her mind when she wrote it.
"(I want to reach) people who kind of feel like they need help of some kind, but they don't know where to look or where to find it," Crouch said. "With a poem you can say so much in just a few words."
Crouch self-published her book Jan. 13. It's currently available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She is working to organize book-signing events.