I am a middle-age woman, actually a middle age- plus woman, whose house is full of dust balls, books, general chaos and good cheer. I was born in Paris, France, but moved to the United States when I was three. I can say, “No, don’t touch!” and “What are you doing?”, very well in French.
I grew up in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. our nation’s Capital. My mother was a writer and wrote speeches for politicians – once for President Johnson! She used to edit my papers with red ink and would rant about my bad spelling, but she taught me to love words. When she had a deadline, I would go to sleep to the sound of her typewriter. I always got books for my birthday.
I now live in Portland, Oregon, a city Goldilocks would have liked. It rarely gets too hot or too cold; it’s not too small or too large; it’s in the middle between the ocean and mountains; it’s just about right! I moved here after years of wandering and have been here for more than 20 years. I have a husband, two children who are now in college, a dog, a cat, and a garden that constantly needs tending. When I am not writing, I fix my house; I like to paint walls and repair things that are broken. It’s terribly satisfying. I also like to be outside, walking in Portland’s parks or going farther to those mountains and the ocean. I enjoy traveling to new places, meeting new people, experiencing the natural world, and reading a good book when everyone else is asleep.
As a kid, I loved reading. Books were my friends, my escape, my teachers, my junk food. If I was reading a good book, I wouldn’t hear anyone calling my name. My husband used to tell our kids great stories about his childhood that often included snakes and gators. I didn’t have snakes and gators where I lived -in fact, it was pretty boring. But I had books and could travel anywhere in my imagination. Instead of wild stories, I gave our children lists of books they HAD to read.
Since I loved words and reading, it makes some sense that I would want to write. But sometimes life does not go in a straight line. I wrote and illustrated my first children’s book while in college in my 20’s. I sent it out, got a rejection, put it in a drawer and did not write for children again for another 23 years.
Instead of writing for a living, I tried lots of different jobs. Waitress, Salesperson, Beekeeper, Advertising, Housepainter, … lets just say, there was a period of exploration. Finally, I became a teacher for Kindergarten through 8th grade and then, I got my favorite job – ever: a Not so Quiet- School Librarian! As a Librarian, I got to be a cheerleader for books and a story matchmaker – finding the perfect story for each of my students.
All this time, I still wrote, because ……… I have stories. We all have stories. That’s life.