I grew up with a talent for arguing (just ask my parents), so naturally I wanted to be a lawyer and entered college as an economics major. Sounds like a real interesting person to be writing picture books for kids, eh? Well, shortly after my ECON 401 class began, I realized that this was not the path for me and quickly found my way to the education building on campus. I spent the next five years earning a BA in history and a Masters degree in education and went on to become, what my students would describe, the best second grade teacher ever.
Fact: Mrs. Chaffee had the best couch for independent reading and could always be bribed with chocolate for a spot.
Fact: Mrs. Chaffee's classroom library rivaled that of the school she taught in (ok, maybe this is a little bit of a stretch, but it was big).
Fact: Writing was Mrs. Chaffee's least favorite subject to teach. That blank page scared her as much as it scared the kids.
That's because I never thought myself a creative person until I had one of those Oprah-like light-bulb moments and realized that creativity is a skill. Like any other skill, you need to practice it to improve it. So that is how I spend my days - observing my own two creative kids for inspiration, brainstorming possible book ideas, writing multiple drafts until the humor is just right (usually it's finding a way to incorporate the word "underwear "in to the story), and hoping that someone else (like a publisher) thinks that all the hard work is worth printing for others to enjoy!