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       Publishing my first picture book--a bucket list item for several years--has given me a chance to reflect on my family heritage and savor times of the past. Publishing during the COVID pandemic, I've witnessed how families were together in a different way; to a slower, simpler pace that I hope will continue. 

       A goal of my books is to inspire questions and opportunities for conversations with adult family members and children. Young family members need that sense of belonging and the confidence that comes from understanding their family's connections.

      Life is not always easy as I’m sure Olga Agnes (my mother and main character) experienced in her large family growing up in the 1940s. Being one of thirteen children to Russian immigrants in the small hamlet of Maplewood (near Watervliet, NY), my cousins and I often would hear of these hardship stories (some, probably exaggerated but many hilarious). Through her 89 years on Earth, Olga maintained her love for being part of a large family. 

       It's safe to assume the face of families are changing, but the same important family values remain -- unconditional love, care, protection, support, encouragement, teaching right and wrong.

       I’m extremely grateful for my immediate family as a wife, mother, and grandmother. Living in upstate New York, I am inspired by many great picture book authors, Mother Nature's gifts, along with the creativity of others. I love trying new recipes, dragon boating, playing pickle ball, and enjoy working with elementary students as a Teaching Assistant. I am also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

       One of Thirteen (ages 5-10) is the first in a One of Thirteen series.

2021 -- Hello and Welcome New Year!!

 

Change is such a big part of life.  Seek positivity, since we tend to find what we’re looking for.  Don’t give up on hope in the new year.  Don’t let fear take over (easier said than done). Put faith in God for only he knows what is to come.  Find joy in each day .

Reflecting and trying to keep a grateful spirit in 2020, below are some of my personal highlights.  This is what I usually do at the beginning of a new year. To read, click on "2020 Reflections" below.  We seem to forget so quickly from year to year the many good things in our life (doubt we'll forget 2020 though).   This too, I hope will be passed down to future generations of my family.