“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.” — Gloria Steinem
Once I get past my compelling desire to bake brownies, run five miles, (and I’m no way, shape or form a runner) do the laundry, mop the floor, and dust the ceiling, I kind of know what she means.
I was born and raised in Connecticut. I had a relatively drama-free childhood and this is what probably caused me, at an early age, to fall in love with books. I spent every possible minute reading and I think I always wanted to be a writer. However, I also wanted to be a.) a veterinarian, b.) a ballerina, c.) a pilot, and d.) a princess in a tower. Over time though, I discovered that a.) I couldn’t deal with the idea of science classes, b.) I was a little too clumsy, c.) I had a love/hate relationship with heights, (mainly I loved them when I was on the ground) and d.) there wasn’t much call for princesses in towers.
Meanwhile, I was always scribbling things down: odes to the dogwood tree in my front yard, poems about my sisters, stories about dragons, and yes, princesses in towers. After I graduated with a BA in Theatre from Grinnell College, I eventually wound up in New York working at a desk job during the day (I remember taking quite a few naps under that desk) and going to school for my Masters in Creative Writing at The New School at night. In May 2002, I graduated and shortly afterward, to my delight and shock, I managed to sell my first novel, Falling Through Darkness, to Roaring Brook Press. And then my life just turned into a magical fairytale complete with unbelievable wealth, fame, endless cotton candy, and my own personal unicorn.
No, really, it did.
Actually, I found myself abroad explaining the differences between the present continuous and the past perfect to a bunch of Sicilians. When I returned from teaching English, I spent some time traveling up and down the East Coast of the United States before I found myself back in New York. Since then I have taught creative writing to adults and teen-agers, composition to some very unenthusiastic freshmen, and more ESL. And I published two more books: Stealing Henry and Drawing the Ocean. Currently, I teach creative writing at Gotham Writers, Inc. and a summer creative writing class for The New School.
The rest of the time, I “write.” I say “write” because writing consists of equals parts taking long walks, talking to myself, staring at the blank screen, hoping, pleading, and praying for inspiration to strike, and pounding away on my keyboard when it does.
I’m still waiting on the unicorn, though.