1. Age 5. My favorite color was red. I loved kindergarten. My favorite thing was learning the alphabet. For every letter our homework was to cut out pictures from magazines that started with that letter and make a collage. I went to parochial school but kindergarteners didn't have to wear uniforms.
2. Age 9. Age 8 was tough. Nothing could be worse than 8. My parents got divorced. My third grade teacher put me in remedial reading, not because I couldn't read but because I was so shy that reading out loud was a problem for me. My best school friend moved away. Fourth grade was way better. I loved my teacher. I was back in the awesome reading group. I was on the swim team. I could walk on stilts. I wanted to be an artist or a teacher.
3. Age 11. My mom got remarried at we moved. I started 6th grade in a new school. That was OK cause everyone else was new on the first day of 6th grade too. My hobbies were roller skating, swimming and hanging out with friends. My friends and I started our own babysitter's club. I listened to New Kids on the Block and planned my future with Joe McIntyre. I wrote in my first journal in Language Arts class.
4. Age 14. I was a freshman in high school. I loved everything about high school. Pep rallies, dances, football games. Skipping gym class. I was on the debate team. I joined the newspaper staff. I had a job babysitting at the church during choir practice. I wanted to grow up and work at Sassy magazine.
5. Age 24/25. I lived in Minneapolis. I'd recently quit a boring, low paying day job to be a waitress because, well, I made more money being a waitress and I had more free time. Also my friends were also servers and it was more fun than my other job. I'd been through a rough relationship and break up but I was on the other side of that. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I met someone who reminded me that I loved writing and who planted the idea that I should write for kids. Her words made sense to me and I've remembered them ever since.