By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – Just as the local scenery has been altered by the Frye Fire, a local author has published a glimpse of Mount Graham and local scenery of the near past.
Janice Rackauskas, of Safford, is the author of Reflections, a book of local photography now available on Amazon.com. The book’s photography and personal statements portray the author’s search to see the best in people. Believing in reincarnation, Karma, and Dharma, Rackauskas hopes to prompt the reader to delve deeper into their own existance through her writing.
“In writing Reflections, the ideas for my personal statements come to me through observing others I have met throughout my life,”Rackauskas said. “I am a sort of a recluse, but I do love my fellow beings. I wish to make this a better world by seeing the best in people and by using humor to get points across. I find that good is in everyone, and each of us has unique things to offer this world we live in.”
Photographs for Reflections were contributed to Rackauskas by her friends from the Safford area. Of all the photographs in the book, 230 of them are of Mount Graham before the Frye Fire donated by Dennis Radcliff. Joyce and Scott Welbaum have five photos of Mount Zion in Indiana, and Joyce Major donated two photos of the graveyard in Solomon. Rackauskas told Gila Valley Central that she chose the photographs that fit her own sayings and poems.
“I am an artist, poet and writer,”Rackauskas said. “I often access different sources and methods of obtaining the illustrations for my books, mostly through friends I have made acquaintances with since arriving in this beautiful area of Arizona 17 years ago. I (also) often use my own artwork.”
Rackauskas has four other manuscripts in the works, including a children’s book about lion cub siblings and a fantasy book about cave creatures. Rackauskas said she doesn’t intend to become rich from her books, with her main focus being to better people’s lives through her work.
“I simply wish to improve the lives of the people I love,”Rackauskas said. “Amazingly, that list includes each and every human that exists or has ever existed. Love is the one most important thing in the universe. Nothing else matters. If we can love everything and everyone unconditionally, then we have it all, and our lives have been worthwhile.”
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Rackauskas is now a Gila Valley resident and self-published author. Emphasizing poetry and short stories depicting real-life events, Rackauskas has been a writer her entire life. However, she has only been seriously pursuing her writing career since 2008.
Those interested can order Janice Rackauskas’ Reflections at Amazon.com.