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At the Oregon coast, wearing a coat knit by my mother.

In my early childhood, I lived in the Pacific Northwest where beaches, mountains, forests, waterfalls, and even scary caves (!) defined beauty for me. I carried those memories with me to Michigan where I lived the remainder of my childhood and where I still live today. 

When asked, "Where did you grow up?" I say...


in a Columbia River paper mill town with overseas ships docked at its port,

where I:

walked five blocks to school,

learned to ride a bike,

and tried my best to learn to swim.

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in a house on a crammed lake,

where I:

rode a bus to school,

finally (!) liked to swim, 

and often canoed through a channel tunnel to visit my friend.


in a Midwestern neighborhood full of kids,

where I:

walked less than a block to school,

rode my bike everywhere,

and learned (but didn't like) to swim.

Although I wasn't much of a reader as a child, I grew up with a love of words and images, thanks to my parents and teachers. In high school, I took all of the art courses offered and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in graphic design and

K-12 art education.


I then worked in advertising (where I learned the color of Tony the Tiger's nose) and taught preschool and high school. It's rewarding to know that some of my high school commercial design students went on to pursue work in graphic design.

And those little preschoolers, masters of creativity, rewarded me with the lesson that play IS purposeful. Go figure!


But above all, the most rewarding job I could have ever imagined has been as a mom to four terrific kids. While my husband and I were busy raising them, I shared my love of literacy by working part-time in schools tutoring struggling readers and in public and school libraries being immersed in books. Along the way, I took several courses in literacy studies and children's writing and have attended many SCBWI conferences. I'm thankful to have had all of the above experiences as fuel for this journey!

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