When I was five or six, I thought, What if I'd been born an elephant, or, better still, a duck? To be a duck, to fly, to swim, how wonder-ful -- or maybe not, because my sister said hunters shoot ducks dead.
But imagining how elephants or ducks might feel meant thinking myself into others' lives -- which is what writers. And I was turning into one. I'd written a story about a hunter (not of ducks); also a story about a dwarf living inside a bluebell who was his home and best friend. And I was working on a longer story about dolls who didn't like their girl, so they ran away from home.
One day when I was six or seven my older sister said, "I'm going to the movies, and you're too young, so you can't come, nyah, nyah!"
NO FAIR! I was consumed with envy, and desire, and solemnly, silently promised never to forget how I felt back then...
I hope the picture-book texts, stories in verse, novels for early grades, middle grades, and YA's I've written (45 in all) attest to my keeping that promise.
My other 17 books are story and novel translations from German. Born in Vienna, Austria, I lived there till age 9. German is my native language. Translating from it into English brings my child-hood closer, and makes me feel doubly at home.
Member since 1978
Region: New York: Metropolitan
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