Salt Frog Creative
I work for myself as Principal of Salt Frog Creative. Most of the time Salt Frog provides writing and learning services for nature, culture and heritage agencies. This includes writing statements of significance for heritage sites. Occasionally we cross over into theatre.
Sometimes I get asked how I got into this work and what my training is. Education is important (BA in Archaeology and English & Post-degree Diploma in Cultural Resource Management). Belonging to professional networks and keeping up with best practices is also key. I am a professional member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals for example. But I digress.
Mostly it's my experiences that fuel my work. Here are a sampling:
- Unknowingly worked for drug lords with mafia connections as a teenager at a pet store. After being mugged while working there I was coerced to take a lie detector test by my employers. Same employers were smuggling cocaine across the border in the puppy shipments. I am so going to turn this into a musical!
- Followed wild orangutans for Dr. Biruté Galdikas through steamy tropical forests. In this work, I became an expert at hammock tying and avoiding dry ground leeches with my excellent pant-tucked-in-sock technique. The whole experience was soul and mind-blasting.
- Was in the Nun's Choir in a community production of the Sound of Music. (Singing harmony always teaches team work and listening).
- Designed and delivered environmental education programs to classrooms across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. (This was during the last time heavy boots, hiking socks, black leggings and baggy sweaters were in. It helped get our message across)
- Did cartwheels on stage while dressed as a Mountain Goat to illustrate their exquisite mountaineering skills as part of a theatre program to sold out audiences. OK, it was for a captive campground audience who had no where else to go and this was before wifi so you know. But still! Thousands of visitors saw my Mountain Goat program and clapped and cheered when it was over. But that could also have been because they were cold and wanted to get into their tents.
- Designed and led nature school programs in Vancouver's Stanley Park all while successfully avoiding X-Files film crews in the park. (That was the 90s in Vancouver Baby!)
- Gleefully participated in lots of natural history excursions including: rehabilitating Burrowing Owls in Kamloops, BC, geology field trip near Jasper, AB with Rocky Mountain geology expert Ben Gadd, searched for Vancouver Island Marmots with Dr. Andrew Bryant. (That day, I learned to use an ice axe to save my life on a snowy mountain. Is useful skill), sat in a dark forest with Bats of British Columbia author Dave Nagorsen waiting for the bats to come out and fly into our mist nets. And they did! We caught Yuma myotis. Weighed and measured them and then let them go.
- Worked on many projects with experts (biologists, historians, archivists, designers, educators etc.) to create interesting, relevant, accessible writing and learning experiences for people of all ages.