I was raised in the tiny village of Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota, where I spent summers climbing trees & wading in the "crick," and winters ice skating and sledding--when I wasn't reading books! It was idyllic setting in many ways and quite a contrast to the city of St. Paul, where I then lived for 25 years. I've also lived in Bangor, Maine, and in 2011 moved to Oneonta, New York. It's not quite as cozy as my hometown, but it's a friendly college town and I like it very much.
I love to travel, and so far I've been to 37 states, 10 countries and the Virgin Islands. Some of my favorite things are my family, my two cats, chocolate, writing poetry, painting, and eating food that I didn't have to prepare myself!
I have worked as a writer & editor, an artist & illustrator, a teacher, a bookseller, a costume designer, a jewelry maker, a store manager, and a few other things, too! I have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and a BA in Fine Art from Macalester College. I have taught creative writing, composition and art classes at various colleges and centers in Minnesota and Maine, and I spent eight years teaching writing and literature at the SUNY Delhi and Oneonta campuses.
I love being a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), where I can mingle with other writers and illustrators in the world of kid lit. I also frequently volunteer at art and literature events. I served on the board of the Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO) for five years and continue to run their monthly Writers Salon and their art education program. It's a lot of work and a lot of fun!
In addition to my teaching and creative work, I was a children’s bookseller for ten years. I worked five years each at The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minnesota, and at the Briar Patch Bookshop in Bangor, Maine. I miss it, but have found some lovely independent book stores to shop at here in New York.