Visiting author finds inspiration through imagination

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Denver author Dianne Maroney, whose book "The Imagine Project" profiles stories of courage and inspiration.

— Dianne Maroney wrote her story last.

She didn’t want to, but she knew she had to.

Maroney had spent the previous two years traveling across the country, listening, writing, crying and finding inspiration.

But there was her story.

So it closed the book, not the easiest to write, but spoke to the overall tone of her inspirational work “The Imagine Project.”

“I knew I needed to do that,” said Maroney, who is a clinical nurse specializing in early life trauma. “It was beautiful, hard and I cried a lot. It showed people in my family things they didn’t know. It showed friends that didn’t know. It was really powerful for me. I did it, but put it off as long as I could.”

Maroney grew up in a broken household, her father an alcoholic. In ninth grade her mother committed suicide. Maroney found the body and blamed herself. Eventually, though, she found inspiration. It just took a little imagining.

Maroney will sign copies of “The Imagine Project” read several excerpts from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The book, which draws on Maroney’s favorite word, “imagine,” features stories about 39 individuals from across the country who have dealt with adversity, found inspiration and eventually succeeded.

Maroney said the idea came more than two years ago while attending a conference in California. The accommodations were gorgeous, the food was great and the view looked out to the ocean.

But she couldn’t get over the sense of negativity around it. People weren’t happy.

“Our world felt so broken,” she said.

Maroney originally had a website that she dedicated to her clinical nursing work. She worked with parents whose children were born prematurely. She started off the stories with the word “imagine.” In subsequent conferences and speaking engagements, she similarly always started off with “imagine.”

So after witnessing what she saw in California, she set out to find people to write about. She scoured the Internet, TV news and newspaper articles. She asked friends, went to parties and finally had the groundwork for the project.

Maroney owns a house in Stagecoach and is neighbors with Doug Campbell. Campbell’s story details overcoming the suicide of his son and the death of his wife. Campbell also will attend the book signing Saturday.

“Doug is amazing,” Maroney said. “He’s one of the kindest, gentlest people I know.”

The book is available through Maroney’s site by clicking here. It also will be available at Off the Beaten Path and on Amazon.com.

Though the project was mentally draining, Maroney said each person has a story to tell.

“I hope that (people) realize we all have our own story and that they are heroes of their own story,” she said.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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