I have been writing since I was six years old, my first published poem appeared in "Jack and Jill" around that time. Even then, seeing my work in print made me feel important. It was as if what I had to say really meant something. I had an illusion that my words would be around long after I would and that some child might pick up one of my books, the way I had picked up, say, "Little Women" and a certain kind of life would open up for that child - the way books had opened adventures and possibilities for me, giving me glimpses of something I would otherwise not have seen.
Through the years I have learned that writing is satisfying on so many levels. It is inventive and analytical. It's both enormously private and totally revealing of the self. Besides cooking and child rearing, writing seems to be the only work that has held my fascination and attention over time. I come to my writing in much the same way I do to cooking - without too many rules. For me, both involve a certain amount of careful study, going out in the world, seeing what is fresh and inspiring to the mind and palate, gathering ingredients, bringing them back home, putting them together, mixing, marinating, seasoning, and tasting. Sometimes the meal works from "soup to nuts," as my mother used to say; and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't work - I re-work, refine it, sometimes throw it out and start again.