From the time I could read and write, I, well, read and wrote.
When I was really young, I wrote rhyming poems, clearly reflecting my activist bent as
the daughter of young MASH unit surgeon who had been sent away for a year to
Vietnam, a bent I’d re-find later in life as an activist, and which produced the talented
Stop All Wars!
bighting [sic] too,
This is enough I think don’t you?
Heh. Not so bad for an 8 year old.
As I got older, I switched to free verse, writing lots of angsty love poems with rainbow water colors decorating them (a voice I would abandon soon after college, and finally revisit as an author in THE MEMORY OF THINGS, writing the bird girl’s part in fragmented, poetic thoughts).
In college and post college, I continued to write creatively, taking creative writing workshops at Gotham Writers Workshop in NYC and expanding from poetry to short stories, but in all of it, I never once thought about becoming a writer. Let’s just say it was beyond my wildest dreams.
In 1988, I applied to law school, and after I graduated, I practiced family law (and still continue to!), got married and had my first son. Only when I was pregnant with my second son, did I realize how much I missed the creative side of myself and began work on a novel -- one that I never actually thought I could write, and took me five years to complete.
That manuscript got me a fancy NYC agent, but never sold to a publisher, nor did the one I wrote after it. But the third one -- a poignant little story I wrote for my sons, originally called Steinbeck, The Scoot, and the Pull of Gravity, about what it means to be a family (in all its difficult messiness), first love, and the true meaning of friendship -- sold to the legendary Frances Foster at Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, as the Bank Street Award winning THE PULL OF GRAVITY (2011).
The rest, as they say, is a very checkered history. Which is why, in addition to visiting schools to talk about my books, I also share presentations on rejection and perseverance, and what it means to succeed in the arts.
I march and rail against the injustices in the world.
I change my hair color often.
I plant flowers in the spring and summer and toss an extra-small Kong tennis ball to our cute little dog all day long, and feed our citrus leatherback bearded dragon blueberries and raspberries, always making wishes for a kinder, gentler, happier, environmentally-sound world.