I write for children. My fictional characters are funny, joyful, and often don’t quite fit in. My nonfiction manuscripts build perspective and empathy.
I’m actively querying picture books and chapter books with agents and editors, and honing my craft as a participant in SCBWI, Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge – GOLD, Storystorm, Grub Street, Writer’s Loft and countless webinars, books and critiques. My published work for adults includes poetry in Stirring and Exquisite Corpse, essays in Scary Mommy and Identity Theory, and comedy in McSweeney’s, in addition to a lifetime of professional, corporate and technical writing.
As a child, I loved to read. As a teenager, I was a regular at poetry readings, and editor of my high school newspaper and literary magazine. My first job was obsessing over children’s books at Once Upon a Time Books and Toys in Rochester, NY. In my 20s, passionate about writing for children, I joined SCBWI, attended conferences, and was in a fabulous critique group with two other women. But by age 29, racking up rejections on one precious manuscript, I turned my attention to teaching fitness classes, working on organizational culture, and having children instead.
Professionally, I work as a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) facilitator and coach. I love helping organizations develop diverse leaders and inclusive cultures. I think my writing does the same thing, too…in a slightly less direct way.
Here’s me holding a baby chick, trying to think of a story idea, and being
attacked lovingly cuddled by my children.
It turns out that creative passions bubble up and come out one way or another. I drew, painted, designed fitness classes and beautiful cultures, but I still had children’s books to write.
At age 41, I camped alone in the Green Mountains with my children, wrote pages and pages about it, and realized I needed to stop this business of not writing. I joined 12×12 that winter, participated in Storystorm, found a new fabulous critique group, fell in love with a bunch of new characters that came right from my heart and made me laugh, and kept going.
I think I’m just going to have to keep writing, no matter what.
What else can I share? I live next to a river, near an ocean and close to a city.
I live in a house the color of granite, and it’s loaded with animals. Oh, and my family. I’m married to a scientist and our children unicycle, tell jokes, and devour books. Did I mention we have pets?
There’s a 7-foot boa constrictor, four different kinds of chickens including one that lays GREEN EGGS, a flame-colored crested gecko, many species of frogs including the most poisonous kind on Earth (Terribilis), and a sweet, crazy young cat who actually bounces off walls.
Organizations that I support include:
I go batty for badges in Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge. Every month since 2018, I’ve written a new manuscript and edited an old one. 24 badges a year! That’s a lot of witches and groundhogs and robots and bubbles. You know? A LOT.
(And other characters too!)
We Need Diverse Books
By day, I help companies and schools become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive by creating cultures in which people of color and women are leaders. By night, I am a member of Families Organizing for Racial Justice. All the time, I fight for more perspectives and diverse voices. Especially in books for kids!
The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators is a group of people who love creating stories for kids. I’ve been a member over the past twenty years…with a fifteen-year break in the middle. 🙂