I have been writing since I was six years old. My first published poem appeared in the magazine Jack and Jill around that time. Seeing my work in print was exciting. It was as if what I had to say was important. I hoped others might read it and get either pleasure or comfort. I began by writing non-fiction for children. I believed some child might pick up one of my books, the way I had picked up, say They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson and a certain kind of life would open up for that child – the same way books had opened adventures and possibilities for me, giving me glimpses of something I would otherwise not have seen.
Through the years I have learned that writing is satisfying on so many levels. It is inventive and analytical. It's both enormously private and totally revealing. Besides cooking and child rearing, writing seems to be the only work that has held my fascination and attention over time. I come to my writing in much the same way I do to cooking - without too many rules. For me, both involve a certain amount of careful study, going out in the world, seeing what is fresh and inspiring to the mind and palate, gathering ingredients, bringing them back home, putting them together, mixing, marinating, seasoning, and tasting. Sometimes the meal works from "soup to nuts," as my mother used to say; and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't work - I re-work it, refine it, sometimes throw it out and start again.