About Me: “Just the Facts” Version
About Me: “The Longer Story” Version
How the Still in Awe Blog Got Its Name
About Me: “Just the Facts” Version
- I am the author of My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder and Gratitude, a board book for ages 0-3 and winner of the 2015 BAIPA Book Award for Fiction: Children’s Picture Book. A list of my published books and poems can be found here.
- I write picture books, early readers, children’s nonfiction, and poetry for children and adults. I recently completed my first middle grade novel.
- I’ve been a professional writer and editor most of my adult life.
- I once wrote a 363-page software manual from scratch in fourteen weeks. I also have manuscripts of less than 500 words that I’ve been honing for over a decade. (And many other manuscripts that are complete as well.)
- I’ve worked with children in a variety of settings including preschools, elementary schools, summer camps, and most recently an after-school poetry class. I earned an elementary school teaching credential at the University of Minnesota in a program with a focus on using literature in classrooms.
- I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. After stints in Minnesota, Southern California, Massachusetts, and Oregon, I’m back in the Bay Area, where I live with my husband, son, and pup.
- In November of 2020, I was honored to become both a reviewer for the Sydney Taylor Shmooze blog and a member of the Board of Advisors for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
- If you are interested in my background that is relevant to my children’s book editing services, find it here.
About Me: “The Longer Story” Version
As you can see, I’ve been a serious and creative reader for a long time. I loved children’s books and children’s poetry when I was young, and I’ve never stopped loving them.
My mother, an avid reader herself, was inspired to teach me to read when I was fifteen-months old. She used Glenn Doman’s method, which involved flash cards and enthusiastic cheering by the adult. I’m a person who notices a lot visually—probably part of why I love picture books and why this method was successful for me.
I’m told that I read a book by myself for the first time when I was about twenty-months old. It was Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins, a book I still enjoy for its rhythm and clever interaction between words and illustrations.
Perhaps from these early reading attempts came early writing attempts. My Oregon grandparents owned a business machines store, so I was lucky to live in a household where even a little girl could have her own small, black typewriter. I’m told that around age five I could spell words, but writing with pen and pencil was difficult, so some of my first, very short stories were typed.
An early experience that influenced my writing was my Grandpa Al’s word play. His puns were witty. His limericks were fun. He was an appreciative audience for my own attempts. (You can read more about his way with words here.) One of my early literary accomplishments involved writing a story about the adventures of a pair of lions and a pair of leopards and taping the pages end to end until they reached across my second-grade classroom.
For a while in my early adulthood I was under the unfortunate impression that as an adult I really ought to be reading adult books. What a relief when I started an elementary school education program and realized I could read picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, and children’s poetry again! I realized how much I’ve always loved them–how they say so much, so efficiently in simple but interesting words. I have not stopped reading them. Children’s books, plus young adult books, have been the bulk of my reading material ever since—both for study and pleasure.
After some wonderful student teaching experiences, and exhausting substitute-teaching experiences, I decided to try something else. I enjoyed writing, editing, and doing graphic and interface design for educational software for five years. Then I realized I wanted to put my energy toward my early love—children’s books.
As I’ve developed my writing for children, I’ve continued to write and edit for years via freelance work, with occasional jobs and volunteer positions working with children. I have had four books published for a reading program, several poems for adults included in anthologies, and have completed many other projects, which are looking for the right homes.
In addition, I collaborated with two friends, Lori A. Cheung, a photographer, and Elizabeth Iwamiya, a graphic designer, to create and publish My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder and Gratitude, a book for ages 0-3. In June 2013, we successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to print it as a high-quality board book. The book was released November 1, 2013. It has been well-reviewed, is loved by small children and their caregivers, and is popular in book and gift shops. I now enjoy doing author events about the making of the book and gratitude, as well. You can learn more about My Amazing Day at OurAmazingDays.com.
In recent years I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working as a freelance editor of children’s books. (You can learn more about that here.) I love taking what I’ve learned about language, engaging storytelling, and children’s developing minds to help writers turn their creative visions into realities that will engage children.
My home is in the San Francisco Bay Area, near Berkeley, where I grew up. I live with my husband, son, and pup. I love sharing my love of words with my son. (You can read here about my first author visit to his second grade class, when the topic was poems about trucks, and here about doing Halloween Candy science with him.)
I am grateful for plenty of reasons to have children’s books in my life.
My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder and Gratitude (2013, Pacific Dogwood Press) A board book that celebrates the wonders in everyday life and helps start habits of gratitude.
• Winner: 2015 BAIPA Book Award, Fiction: Children’s Picture Book.
• Finalist: 2013 ForeWord Book of the Year, Picture Book, Early Reader.
Crow, Cat, and Beyond—a Barton Reading and Spelling System Stand-alone book (2010, Bright Solutions for Dyslexia). A collection of Aesop’s fables, retold in a limited vocabulary.
The Moth—a Barton Reading and Spelling System Stand-alone book (2004, Bright Solutions for Dyslexia). The Vietnamese folktale “The Fly” retold in a limited vocabulary.
Fish, Fox, and Then Some—a Barton Reading and Spelling System Stand-alone book (2003, Bright Solutions for Dyslexia). A collection of Aesop’s fables, retold in a limited vocabulary.
Pig, Pig, and Pig—a Barton Reading and Spelling System Stand-alone book (2003, Bright Solutions for Dyslexia). “The Three Little Pigs” retold in a limited vocabulary.
“Canary’s Flight: August 6, 2012” and “cracks,” The 2017 Richmond Anthology of Poetry: 62 Voices from California’s City of Pride and Purpose (2016, Norfolk Press, edited by Daniel Ari).
“Infinity” and “Chrysaora quinquecirrha,” ekphrastic poems, displayed at the Poetry and Art Exhibition, Wickford Art Association, Wickford, Rhode Island, July 22-August 14, 2016; also appear in the associated exhibition book.
“Barely Visible Bars,” ekphrastic poem, displayed at the Poetry and Art Exhibition, Wickford Art Association, Wickford, Rhode Island, July 24-August 16, 2015; also appears in the associated exhibition book.
My writing also includes completed picture book, poetry, early reader, middle grade novel, and children’s nonfiction manuscripts that travel the country and world wide web looking for homes.
Sometimes I write just for the fun of it or because I have something that needs to be expressed. Here are two blog posts that include my poems: Thank You, Bev Bos: A National Poetry Month Post and Ichiro’s All-Star Feat.