These are a few of my favorite things…
My family, Rocks, Parks, Maine
Flies (specifically dragon, butter, and fire),
Making crafts with felt, Musicals
Junk picking furniture from curbs to paint,
Gooey banana bread, Thrift shopping,
Baby bunnies in my backyard,
Asking people what they’re reading,
Porches (which my house does not have, sniff)
I grew up in bay city, michigan…
on a street filled with kids who loved to make things – games, plays, clubs, parades, shoebox dollhouses, and characters. They fueled my imagination then and they still do.
When we were old enough, we’d ride our bikes to the library on Center Avenue. The children’s librarian, Glenda, fed me books like candy. I still remember the day she put The Westing Game in my hands. My 5th grade teacher, Sister Pat, fed me books too – The Chronicles of Narnia, Phantom Tollbooth, and A Wrinkle in Time. The more I read, the more I tried to capture my imagination on pages.
I would write my stories in notebooks and my mom would type them for me at our dining room table. When I was 10, I entered the library’s Be An Author contest. I won and had the chance to meet author Verna Aardema. It was my first writing award and my first opportunity to meet a real author.
I knew then that I wanted to be an author.
In between that moment and now, I did a lot of other things.
Cleaner of gross things (refrigerators and ovens)
Seller of not-so-gross things (baby clothes, patio furniture, University of Michigan sweatshirts)
Writer of things to inspire people to protect the environment
After 25 years, I’m still working to protect the environment, but I have spent the past ten years as a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) doing all that I can to learn about writing books for young (and young-at-heart) readers.
I visit the local library all the time, but I buy a lot of books too. I share my book collection with our local elementary school library and my Little Free Library.
And, after many years of looking, I found an old purple tandem to help keep my imagination going. I ride it around our town outside of Cleveland, Ohio. My kids and their friends are making their own purple tandem memories now, too.