I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, the eldest of five children, in a house filled with books, and with writing in the air. Whenever our dad finished writing a story, I, as the eldest, was picked to read it to the family. Those times were as exciting to us as opening night at a Broadway play.
My writing career started in fifth grade when my friend Judy and I, at our teacher’s suggestion, wrote spelling plays using all twenty words from each week’s spelling lesson. We then acted out the plays for the class. One of them was so gruesome and gory (the class clapped and howled) our teacher never asked us to write another.
I picked up writing again when I had children of my own, inspired by the books we read together. I loved my children’s giggles and rapt attention as we read, and I wanted to try my hand at creating these wonderful things, children’s books.
I was also reading poetry at the time — mostly drawn to small poems written in plain language about ordinary things, such as swimming or loving or being alone. Reading poems got me writing them.
Besides writing, I did puppet shows all over town. Punch and Judy was my favorite. And I was a school librarian, living and breathing books all day, trying to fix kids up with good ones.
Now I’m mostly writing. I went back to school at Vermont College to learn more about it. I keep learning with each book I try. Writing is like a great adventure, a grand “expotition,” as Winnie-the-Pooh would say. I feel lucky to be doing it.