I was born in Pasadena, California, in the early 50s, then raised in nearby Sierra Madre. During the hippie era, I headed back East for college. I majored in art history and printmaking at Wheaton, in Norton, Massachusetts. During summers, I worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at the Sierra Madre public pool.
I loved working with kids, so after finishing my BA, I obtained an elementary teaching credential from USC’s Graduate School of Education. I got married four weeks after passing my last exam. That seems young to me now, but I was the last of my friends to get married. I taught elementary school in the Pasadena and Menlo Park Unified School Districts for five years, then took a break and had two fabulous kids.
When my children were two and four, I got divorced and returned to school, first just at night. Unfortunately, teaching would not support my mortgage. (In those days we paid 14% interest.) The classes I’d liked best when studying art were on printmaking. Art Center College of Design was just up the road from me in Pasadena. It took five years to obtain my BFA in Graphics and Packaging, but it provided the perfect flexible career for a working single mom. I created toothbrush and prophy-paste packaging for Oral-B Laboratories, theme parks for the Walt Disney Company, bottle labels for Nestlé Beverage Company, and video game packaging for Electronic Arts and Sony Computer Entertainment. I also taught. I enjoyed passing on my craft to budding designers at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where I’d moved in 1995.
Since I was a baby, I dealt with a father who suffered from paranoia and schizophrenia. He seemed like an eccentric crazy person when I was young. He was loving, exciting, and usually fun. But by the time I was 28, the demons were getting to him. Many of my friends in high school knew of him as The Man in the Purple Cow House. That’s what I titled the book I wrote about him, which Hope Publishing launched in 2005. Since then my ‘career’ has morphed from being a package designer to being a professional writer and book designer, and an amateur genealogist. I describe my books on the My Book page on this website.
My latest is a children’s picture book about Henry Knox (a 5x-great-grandfather) called Henry’s Big Kaboom. I wrote it as a sing-along ballad to appeal to my grandchildren. Check out the YouTube video of the animated version of the book. (You can watch it for free!) I forgot to mention I’ve also become a YouTube creator. Very fun.
But the blessings of my life are spending time with my children, grandchildren, and old corgi, Annie. As I write, we are in the 5th month of the Covid-19 pandemic, so I’m also nurturing a kitchen garden.
Be well, be kind, and, if you can’t change your life, change your attitude.
Thank you for joining me.