Monday, January 18, 2010
We decided this first week to introduce ourselves, and it seemed like a good idea.
Over the years, I have written wacky stories about “Galuumpa the Camel” and penned “The Dippy Donut Song,” but faced with talking about myself…I am back in Grade 2 with a large pencil and a empty sheet of wide lined paper!
I have been blessed with two distinct careers and I am passionate about both. For my earlier life I was a children’s librarian in Iowa, downstate Illinois and the Chicago suburbs. Then midlife I answered a call to the ordained ministry and was pastor at a busy suburban church. Now in (early) retirement, I have the best of both: I serve part time on a church staff and do story times at the local library for children ages birth to 3 years. I smile a lot!
Writing began pragmatically. In the library world there is constant need for collections of ideas for children’s programs. Jan Irving and I co-authored seven of these books while we were commuting together to library school. They centered on topics familiar to kids: food, clothing, transportation. During seminary I wrote steaming mounds of religious curriculum for several publishers to support my habit of graduate school. Since then, I have published almost 20 Bible story books for religious publishers, some of which are now going into reprint with new art.
Now I am venturing into the world of mainstream picture books with characters like Victoria Dragon and Tuk-tuk and collared lemming. They are far easier to write about than I am!