I wrote my first story in elementary school. It was about a very tiny family living inside a very large house and was quite similar to THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton. Some might call this plagiarism, but really it was more about me discovering a mentor-author for the kind of stories I loved to read and using those stories to guide my own writing. And even though I didn’t know it at the time, I was learning to read as a writer and learning how to write from other writers. As an elementary teacher of language arts, I encouraged my students to discover those stories that touched them in some unique way. I encouraged them to find authors whose writing took their breath away and then ask themselves, “What did this author do in his/her writing that I like so much? What can I learn from this author about the craft of writing?”
I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and at the age of nine moved to Port Washington, Wisconsin, a small town nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan. Moving from the Nebraska prairie to the rolling hills of Wisconsin, from a big city to a small town, from one school to another, was a difficult adjustment for me. But I grew to love the sound of the foghorn warning ships coming into the harbor. I grew to love the jetty that stretched out into the lake, frozen with icicles in winter, and I even grew to love the humid summers, swimming in the lake’s chilly water with my brother and sister. Best of all, I discovered that moving didn’t take friends away, it gave me new friends, at school and in my own neighborhood.
At the age of 22, I traded hills for mountains, and moved to Utah to begin my teaching career, working with both hearing and hearing-impaired students.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Education, a Master’s Degree in Education and an MFA from Vermont College. I attended four summer writing institutes at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York and several NCTE conventions. I was a recipient of the Utah English/Language Arts Teacher of the Year Award.