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I was born smack in the middle of the 20th century, just about the same time as the Disney animation of Cinderella. The bluebirds of happiness hovered over my crib.



First I had one brother.



And then another.


Eventually, we all grew up -- and went hiking!

When I was little, my mom always took me to the library and read to me. (Thanks, Mom!)

From fairy tales, I learned that if I worked hard to overcome obstacles, I might have a happy ending. (Spoiler alert: see photo at top left.)

One of the obstacles I had to overcome was the REALLY bad haircuts my mother gave me.
"Step away from the scissors, Ma'am. Step away from the scissors."
I consoled myself by reading. Note the open book in my lap.

When I got older, I grew out my hair and became a hippie girl (front right). I continued to read and started to write, working as an editor on my high school literary magazine.

After college, I got a job as a (guitar-playing!) teacher in a Head Start center. This meant I got to choose the picture books for the class. Look at all those classic books in the background: Ask Mr. Bear, William's Doll, Caps for Sale, Katy and the Big Snow, Mushrooms in the Rain. I had good taste!



I also worked as an editor and writer on a magazine, and as an editor of children's books.

But all the while, my grandfather was urging me to take up the family business.



So I became a clown -- and ran off with the circus!


And now comes the fun part: What parts of my experience might inspire a story? Is there something that happened to me, some feeling I had, a place I loved, or maybe a person I met who might turn into a character? Did I overhear a bit of dialogue that might be fun? Or maybe I had a dream, or imagined a whole new world. Setting, character, plot, dialogue... When you're a writer, you get to take all these elements, and mash them into a story!