Every head in second grade spun my way when my name crackled over the loudspeaker. I sat up tall at my desk.

The surprise announcement? My poetry was getting an award from the school district. (Winning entry, in full: “My parents always eat too fast/ and I eat too slow/ they finish dinner in two minutes/ while I have two minutes to go.”)

Years later, as a fidgeting teenager standing before a crowd of strangers at open mic night, I realized my life changed…just by writing. No awards necessary. (I’d sized up to slightly more lines by then.)

That’s a middle school me giving a poetry reading, in pigtails

Either way, I change, evolve and deepen when I write.

Now I write for kids, in the form of dozens of picture book manuscripts, a chapter book, and a nonfiction book. My characters are funny, joyful, and often don’t quite fit in.

I’m actively querying these stories 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, including from my long-standing and relentlessly supportive critique partners. 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.

Sifting through all those words has always accomplished at least one amazing, magical thing: I change, evolve and deepen when I write.