Toledo, Ohio. That's where I was born. Home of the Mud Hens, Tony Packo's Famous Hot Dogs, and lots of good memories. My first adventure sent me across the ocean where I lived with a Muslim family in Tunisia. When AFS (American Field Service) called to tell me, I thought I'd be spending the summer in the South Pacific. Hello. Big Fat Bad on me. Just because Indonesia and Tunisia rhyme, doesn't mean they're next to each other. That was my first lesson learned.
By the time I returned from North Africa (way back in 1983-serious dark ages), my life had changed. I learned that girls couldn't walk to the store, they couldn't swim, or get married without parental approval. Not right is right! I went back to Africa and on to Asia and Europe to study and work. Along the way, I ate fish-head soup, snake's blood, and met some incredible people. I attended Teachers College of Columbia University, earning a Masters in International Education and found a consulting job.
Somewhere along the line, I married Dan, who's Jewish, and we raised 3 awesome kids. I wrote a book about religious understanding called Soul Sunday: A Family's Guide to Exploring Faith and Teaching Tolerance. Much to my surprise, it won seven national awards! I guess growing up Lutheran, living with a Muslim family, marrying into a Jewish one, and studying Asian religions helped after all. Now, I teach English at Colorado Mountain College, read and write every day, and play when I can.
I’ve studied with a few phenomenal writers: Nova Ren Suma, Matt de la Pena, Matt Kirby, A.M. Jenkins, Mat Johnson, and Sara Pennypacker. They taught me different things about writing, but they all said this- read and write as much as you can!