This all started when my marshmallow fell off its stick and landed in the fire.
As my lower lip jutted in disappointment, the lost sweet began to melt—well, burn to a crisp really—and as it caught fire it looked to me, a little girl obsessed with horses, like a fiery pony’s tail.
That’s when I wrote my first novel, Foal of the Flames—all five pages of it. I was eight years old.
I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with the dyslexia that made writing and reading challenging for me, so it must have been pretty bad.
It’d be decades before I tried to write a book again.
But that didn’t stop my vivid imagination from carrying me through the rest of my life.
I was born into a family of writers and artists. As a young child lying in bed at night, I could hear my father’s Royal manual typewriter—the keys clacking as he wrote—with what must have been very strong fingers—his own novel. My mom was a potter who spent many weekends at crafts fairs with her artist friends. Putting on plays with my siblings in the backyard, making crafts out of coffee cans, or broken pieces of tile, or clay found at a nearby riverbank seemed as normal as breathing.
We were that artsy family who once lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright house—the Bachman-Wilson house, now a museum—look it up, it’s very cool—although I didn’t think so at the time. I thought it was weird and not like my friends’ regular homes and I sometimes resented my parents for making us live there. Ah, youth.
It was a unique childhood to say the least, one that fostered creativity and imagination. But teenage angst and adult distractions, pulled me away from it all. After college, I worked for many years as an advertising copywriter, at first relishing the idea of finding my creative roots again. Alas, writing ads for banks and athlete’s foot spray didn’t bring the joie de vie I was hoping for.
It wasn’t until I packed it all in to take on a much tougher job—stay-at-home-mom—that I found the spark again. I filled our house with endless art supplies, got very crafty, sewed costumes, and conjured up stories to entertain my kids. Ask them about Hooligan and Schmatzee.
And then, at fifty I rediscovered fiction writing—yes, I’m the poster child for it-is-never-too-late—and I’m grateful to have found my way back. Although it would be years and many unpublished manuscripts before I was in the auspicious position of needing a website to share this story and my books with you! The eight-year-old writing about ponies would have never believed it.