My Life and Pearls of Wisdom

As a kid I always loved reading and drawing. I didn't do much writing, though, until my high school English teacher asked me to join the school paper. The rest, as they say, is (checkered) history. My career zigs to teaching junior high and high school English, veers to public relations, then switches tracks to freelancing for Newsday. I read an article in a travel magazine about a free-swimming bottlenose dolphin named Dolly, who lived with a family in the Florida Keys. I fell in love with Dolly, and thought she would make a great children's book. That's how Dolly the Dolphin, my first book, was born.

For Kids

I think this is the place where I'm supposed to write important stuff -- like which writers influenced me, how I work, hints for young writers, yada, yada. The best thing kids can do is read, read, read. Then write, write, write. Anything. Don't fall in love with your words so much that you can't edit them out. Crossing out unnecessary words, no matter how yummylicious, can make your writing stronger.

For all of us, some of my favorite sayings are:
Most of the world's work is done by people who don't feel very well that day.
Success is 10 percent inspiration, 90 percent perspiration.
Claire Booth Luce was asked how she managed to write when she was so busy. She said something like, "First, I apply my seat to the seat of the chair...”
There's no getting around it. As the Lottery motto goes, "You have to be in it to win it.”

And my father's motto was, "You only get what you pay for." I was just going to throw that in for fun, but I think it applies here, too. "Pay," in this case, is the time and effort you put into your passion. There's no success without it.

So, slide, glide, plop, plunk, perch, wiggle, settle your bum to the seat of the chair and begin!


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