I received many wonderful gifts from my parents, but I like to credit my mother for passing on a sense of wonder, a vivid imagination, and love of reading. I remember pretending to be sick, so I could stay home and she would sit by the bed and read to me. My Dad got me hooked on history and geography and being inquisitive to dig deeper for answers. I wanted to know more about my heroes and started at an early age dressing up in character, like Annie Oakley. (See pix at age four.)
I’ve always liked historical fiction and feeling like I was living in another time. On my tenth birthday my aunt gave me “The Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell and I felt I was alone with Karana trying to survive on her island. With neighborhood girlfriends, we wrote our own screenplay to act out “Little Women,” which I read over and over. I just knew that Jo and I would have been kindred spirits. The list goes on, but the joy of reading filled many hours with giggles and tears, nail biting tension and relief at happy endings.
This interest led me to major in history and geography with a minor in English. When I started teaching I taught high school American history but had the opportunity to teach diverse populations, and I knew I needed more training to be an effective teacher. I received a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction to help me learn more effective teaching methods and focused on Multicultural Education to better understand the students I taught. I have taught from pre-school to the college level with the fondest of memories. I had my first article published in our state teacher’s magazine and often wrote letters to editors to voice my opinion on topics concerning education.
When I began to read to my own children, I fell in love with new stories that continued to entertain and open up worlds. I searched to learn about the best in children’s literature and introduced these authors to my children. In learning about their writing, I began to write down my own stories. I started writing articles for magazines and seemed drawn to history as my favorite subject. I have taken many writing courses and attended workshops to help me learn my craft, and being a member of SCBWI and critique groups have only enhanced this growth experience.