The Charm Bracelet Bio

(or the Writing Resume I Wear on My Wrist)


As a child, I had a charm bracelet with charms that marked the places I visited and the important events in my life.  As a grownup, I started a new charm bracelet – with each charm representing a part of my writing life.  I call it “my writing resume on my wrist.”  Instead of a traditional bio, I offer this…

The Queen Mary Ship

This charm represents my first historical picture book, WELCOME TO AMERICA, CHAMP! which takes place on the ship the Queen Mary.  I conducted a book signing and was a guest at the WWII War Brides Reunion on this amazing ship, permanently docked now in Long Beach, CA.

Candy Cane

Wrote two Holiday feature articles in Woman’s Day Magazine.  As a freelance magazine writer, I published 25+ how-to, craft & feature articles in Woman’s Day Magazine.


Served as a newspaper columnist for 8 years for The Schaumburg Review newspaper.  Also published articles in The Chicago Sun-Times, the San Antonio Express-News and other newspapers.


Published my first poem titled “When Jean Forgot to Say When,” a wild tea party tale-in-verse, in Highlights magazine.



The White House

Published three presidential/election books, IF I WERE PRESIDENT,  IF I RAN FOR PRESIDENT and TODAY ON ELECTION DAY.  The White House Historical Association featured IF I WERE PRESIDENT in their gift shop.


For two short story romances in Woman’s World magazine.

Hawaiian Quilt

Wrote a Hawaiian crafts feature and other articles for Children’s Playmate and Child Life magazines.



Ship’s Wheel

For a sea shanties article in Highlights magazine. I published 25+ stories, articles and crafts in Highlights magazine (by the way, sea shanties are songs sailors sang as they worked).

Mount Rushmore

For a book signing at Mount Rushmore.  The sculpture also appears in the books IF I WERE PRESIDENT and IF I RAN FOR PRESIDENT.

Statue of Liberty

Wrote a family travel cover article for Woman’s Day magazine.  That issue featured a photo of my kids in front of Lady Liberty.


Mascot of the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I conducted research on children’s literature and authored/co-authored 3 academic articles on children’s picture books during the completion of a Master’s Degree in Reading & Literacy.

Storytelling festival offers teachable moments for children’s authors

I can offer one BIG reason why children’s authors should consider attending a storytelling festival, such as the one held this month on March 6 at the University of Texas at San Antonio: Much in the art of storytelling can be applied to creating an engaging author school visit.

But that’s not the only reason to attend. More on that later.

Sponsored by the University’s Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, the Sixth Annual UTSA Storytelling Festival was both free and open to the public — and offered invaluable insights to those who wish to share stories with children.

A dynamic keynote speaker, teacher and storyteller Mary Ann Blue, spoke on connecting cultures through storytelling. Through a lively tale told in both English and Spanish, she showed just how that was done.

The festival also offered attendees a choice of exciting break out sessions that explored subjects such as “Storytelling Basics: A Brief How-To,” “Unique Ways to Get the Kids Storytelling” and “Bringing History Alive Through Storytelling: Connecting Through Emotions” to name a few.
During the half day program, I watched carefully how each speaker engaged the audience, and how the facial movements, gestures and the variances in vocals kept us all attentive and entertained.

Props, rhythmic instruments, pictures and puppets also enhanced some of the tales the storytellers weaved for us. Again, from my seat in the audience, I considered carefully how these elements might add some spunkiness and sparkle to my own author presentations.

Further, I learned about fables, folk stories, fairy tales and myths and how each offered something vital to a particular age group. I will keep these important insights in mind as I craft my own stories for varying audiences.

But finally, it was fun — fun to hear several good, poignant or rib tickling stories, and fun to be drawn by a skilled presenter into another time, another place, another adventure.