I was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1940, and grew up in Matawan, New Jersey. I went to a very small elementary school. My sister Penny and I had woods and a brook and a mill stream to play in. We had lots of pets at home, and our neighbors had chickens, cows, and horses.
I have always liked to write and draw. Penny and I would put on elaborate musicals, with lots of original songs. I thought I would be either a writer, an artist, a singer, or a songwriter when I grew up, but I had no idea I'd be ALL of those things!
I've lived in many places. We moved to Minnesota when I was thirteen and then to Missouri when I was sixteen. I went to Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, where I studied Creative Writing and Art and sang in a folk-music group. After college, I traveled in Europe for a year, and then joined a famous folk trio, the Rooftop Singers. I wrote songs for them, and we performed all over the U.S. and Canada.Then I became a copywriter for an advertising agency in New York City. That's when I started my collection of sayings. I started making lists of sayings and idioms to use in advertisements, and my lists grew and grew. Now I have my huge collection stored on my computer.
Meanwhile, I studied painting at the Art Students League and at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Finally I moved to Florida, where I painted portraits full-time for several years. Then I started my own little advertising agency with a partner, but I began to get interested in educational publishing. Since then, I've written, edited, and copyedited Reading, Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies materials for many school publishers, including Harcourt, Holt, MCP, Scholastic, Scott Foresman, Silver-Burdett, and Simon and Schuster. My latest big project for Harcourt was writing the lyrics to 73 songs about grammar and math. That was great fun!
My husband, Dave Girshoff, and I live in Orlando, Florida, with our black-and-white cat, Dunkelman. Dunkelman likes to get in a bathtub full of warm water and walk around. Did I mention he's a cat?
Now I'm writing children's books and making collages -- both the cut-and-paste kind and the digital kind. My artwork was recently in an exhibition in Paris, France. I wonder what I'll do next?
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