Born a Booklover:
I was born in Columbus, Ohio, into a family of talkers, storytellers, and readers. In those long ago days there were fewer books for kids. Even so, I learned to read early and I devoured every bit of print I could find: cereal boxes, newspapers, comic books, even the little joke wrappers on bubble gum pieces. My public library was far away, but I loaded up whenever I could get there. I read any books I could get my hands on, over and over again. I still have a few of my earliest family books, and I treasure them.
Although I grew up in a storytelling family of readers, I never thought about being a writer. At school visits I tell young folks how lucky they are to learn and be supported in authentic writing activities in school. My classroom lessons in writing meant letter writing or other assignments to practice proper forms and structures. Apart from that it was grammar lessons, diagramming sentences, and filling in bubbles or blanks. When a rare creative piece was allowed, I enjoyed working with my own ideas, but still never imagined myself writing books. The authors I knew were mostly old dead men. I just never saw myself as a storytelling-kind of writer. Eventually, though, a series of teachers pointed out that… I am!
Ever since I became a teacher, I wrote with and for my students, from emerging writers up to middle grades. The more they learned, the more I learned right with them. During those years, I had short pieces published in magazines. I kept writing and submitting and trying to learn all that I could.
I know now that my most important writing foundation as a child was being a voracious reader. It still is.
Still interested? Read on!
WHY Do I Write?
My brain processes words and events very rapidly. If I were a kid today I’d probably be labeled “hyper”, ADHD, or OCD. I learned to compensate well enough to succeed in the world, although I suspect I’ve often annoyed people without being aware of it by interrupting, switching subjects, and over-talking them.
Writing SLOWS ME DOWN, in the best possible way. It allows my mind to work through ideas, to explore my thinking and intentions carefully, to save my words and return to them. That’s when I can rethink and revise, the very best part of writing. That happens when I’m writing a blog post, a business letter, a poem, or a novel. Writing puts me in touch with my thoughts, allowing me to say what I really want or need to share in the most effective ways.
That’s why I write.
I’m always an educator at heart, and I miss working with students every day. Writing also allows me to “be with kids” on the page, to share stories and ideas with them, even when we’re not in the same room. I love interacting with readers, hearing from them about my books, about whatever they are reading or writing.