Hi, and welcome to my story telling journey. Although I didn't start in the children's market, I have always had a passion for kids. I've spent a considerable amount of time mentoring or teaching kids of all ages. I love being in the energy that children generate. It's so authentic.
My writing projects todate have been in the adult market, but now I'm combining my two great passions - writing and children. My present project is a fantasy series for middle school called The Nia Prophecy. Iíve recently finished my umpteenth edit of the first book, Air of Indifference, which, Iím excited to say, Iíll be taking with me to the Big Sur Childrenís Writing Conference. [Click here to read the synopsis].
Iíve been a storyteller, most of my life, which grew out of my babysitting days as a teen. I became an aunt at 10 and had seven nieces and nephews by the time I was 15. My sisters all lived close, so I spent a lot of time with my nieces and nephews. This, coupled with regular neighborhood babysitting jobs, kept me quite busy entertaining kids and made for a nice chunk of change in my pocket.
I loved taking groups of kids on outings. Mall stores filled with clothes racks transformed into castle chambers to hide from dangerous villains. Perhaps weíd be adrift on a turbulent river in my backyard pool or hiding from wild animals in our seats at the circus.
Our basement often transformed into a maze or clubhouse, and exploring the upstairs at night by flashlight kept us on the verge of anticipation as we looked for hidden ghosts and goblins. Of course, a few scary monsters planted to jump out at an opportune time sent everyone screaming and laughing so hard weíd nearly pee our pants.
As a mom, I loved creating magical adventures out of ordinary activities with my son. We explored fantastic experiences at zoos Ė where we pursued wild animals, and water parks Ė where adventures took us to foreign lands. Neighborhood playgrounds and roller skating rinks always opened us to a host of possibilities for letting our imagination soar.
It wasnít uncommon for us to make home movies of skits we created, and he often dressed up as Spider Man, Dracula, Power Rangers, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles any time of year. Our closets are still stacked with costumes. You never know when you might need to change your identity.
I grew up performing with my four sisters, three of which were older. My first performance at the age of four was to the song ďBaby Face.Ē My sisters sang and I acted out the words. This influenced my love for dress-up and performing skits with my friends.
I continue to explore adventure and fun with youth by mentoring kids of all ages. I love creating magic through story telling for K-3rd graders or participating in confidence building games with teens and middle schoolers.
Iíve worked with teens as an RN in hospitals, mental health facilities, and outdoor challenge camps; Iíve helped facilitate obstacle courses for middle school kids; and Iíve assisted in developing and implementing retreats and programs for troubled youth and their families. Iíve also taught young adults at the college level.
Iím one of the founding members of The Road, a drop-in center for youth in Jefferson County, Colorado; Iím the former community liaison and family advocate for the Federation of Families for Childrenís Mental Health; and Iím past president of the Parentsí Community Advocacy Network. I also served as the parent advocate for the Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health Advisory Board for five years and as the co-facilitator team lead for the local advisory board for the Cornerstone Initiative.
My work with kids will never be done, and moving into combining this with my passion for writing is a long time over due. I'm loving this adventure fantasy series I'm creating. I intend to launchy my website by the end of November.