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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!


Anything you experience in life can inspire a story. Is there something that happened to you, some feeling you had, a place you loved, or maybe a person you met who might make an interesting character? Did you overhear a bit of dialogue that made you imagine more? Or maybe you had a dream -- or dreamed up a whole new world! When you're a writer, you can mash any of these elements into a story. They can be the jumping off point for stories of your own.