Mimi and me
Mimi, c. 2005~2017
I came into the world in Maywood, California, because that's where my
mom was on July 6, 1951. I grew up drawing, playing with
clay, and reading Mrs. Wilder's tales of Laura & Mary on the Prairie.
Also Maud Hart Lovelace's delightful
I live and work in my hometown, Independence, Missouri, the
Queen City of the
Trails. Albert, a.k.a. Kitty Boy lives here, too. So does Loula, the
sweet Cocker Spaniel I rescued from the shelter in Oct 2017, after poor
little Mimi, the Shih Tzu I'd had for nine years, was killed in June.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
William Anderson Books
My working life began with an art ed. degree in 1973 at CMSU, a.k.a. University of Central MO.
Rather than teaching, I ended up doing artwork at Kansas City's Hallmark
Cards; Sunset Designs, a California needlework kit company, and at
Current, Inc., in Colorado Springs.
In 1984, I learned so much from
at his children's book summer class. The following spring, I spent a few
days in NYC, introducing myself and my portfolio to editors. Four years
and ten books later I quit my day job for the freelancing life. Books I
did: the illustrations, then the words as well. Along the way I found a
feel for American History. Really, it was there all along, thanks to
This past year I've taken up playing with clay again - trying my hand at
making dolls, to be exact, out of
Sculpey' polymer clay. My first ever is Eleanor Roosevelt, pictured
here, knitting - once I taught myself to knit, built her armchair, made
her yarn wig, sewed her dress as well as her Scottie,
went on to sculpt/paint/costume Hillary as Wonder Woman then drove them
both down to Nashville, TN, this past summer, to the annual conference
of the National Institute of American
Doll Artists, to see how my 'First Ladies' measured up -okay for a
beginner/crummy compared to the glorious work I saw there. I left
inspired, eager to improve what I've done then do more - plus reading,
writing, and playing with Loula Cocker.
Children's Book Council
Missouri Association of
Society of Children's Book Writers and
A cold school day, 1959
'Laura and Mary Ingalls'