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Co-workers create children's book

Turtle's journey through life is one that winds its way through teasing, being unhappy, no feeling of belonging and finally hearing that voice from within that shows it's going to be OK and that the journey never really ends.

"Turtle's journey is really about me," author Carole Briceno said.

When she took a class that required her to write a fairytale, although Briceno had never written one before, the story seemed to easily flow through her.

After she wrote the story, Briceno pushed it to the back of a drawer, but over time she showed it to a couple people, who in return encouraged her to get it published.

"It's more an inspirational book than a children's book," she explained.

Once she decided to go ahead with publishing the story, she needed an illustrator. So she turned to her Becker County Human Services co-worker Tina Jorgensen White.

White said she has drawn before, but never a cartoon-like drawing.

"I thought 'here's the story, I guess I can so some samples,'" she said.

But those samples turned out to be harder than she realized. She said it was difficult to make Turtle "look the same from page to page with just different facial expressions."

"She captured Turtle perfectly, just like I had pictured Turtle in my head," Briceno said.

"I think I could have done better on some pages, but I really like the story," White countered.

It's a story that follows Turtle, who lives in a marsh but is unhappy because the other turtles are mean to her and tease her.

She decides to leave the marsh one day and meets singing sunflowers and a caterpillar, but still doesn't feel like she belongs. She finally gets to the end of her journey, but she's disappointed it's the end. Then a voice inside her explains that the journey never ends.

Which of course leaves the door open to Briceno's follow-up book "Turtle's New Journey."

"I like the story more and more as I read it. It's my own story," Briceno said.

"It's what children are experiencing most of the time -- we feel out of place," she explained. But, she added, we all need to build our confidence to overcome that.

When it came time to publish the book, the two women found Publish America online. They got the book published, and now it's their responsibility to market and sell the books themselves.

So, for their first public appearance, the women will be at The Social Cup, located on North Washington Avenue in Detroit Lakes, on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a book signing. The book is also available for purchase online through and