Anita’s Short Bio:
Anita earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and a Master Gardening degree from Michigan State University. She’s created picture-book workshops for kids of all ages, ranging from second graders to high school students. She’s presented lectures for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), VCFA, and The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). She continues to volunteer her time to several non-profit organizations including Hazon, dedicated to making the world a better, cleaner, kinder place for us all. Anita spends her free time training a rascally dog, named Finn, and playing in the dirt.
Anita’s Long Bio:
I live in Michigan near woods, lots of lakes, and a swimming pool. I’m a terrible swimmer and only swim in the deep end wearing a snorkeling mask. Rascally Finn loves to swim. He doesn’t need a snorkeling mask. He’s a bit of a showoff, even for a Portuguese water dog.
I love to learn, and once got a Master Gardening degree from Michigan State University, so I could write a gardening column for a local newspaper way before I had kids. Kids take up a lot of time and energy. I have four. None of them like to garden. They do like the woods. The swaying trees, mossy smells, and oxygen rich air feed our souls. Good things happen there, too. I met my husband and some of my closest friends in the woods. None of them are imaginary, as far as I can tell.
I was born in another country. There were woods there, too.
The thing I hate most in the world is punctuation, especially commas. I use them too often, not enough, and often in the wrong places.
I’m obsessed with composting, conservation, and recycling. My favorite non-writing activities include bike riding and playing tennis, but not at the same time. I once rode a bike down the Haleakala Mountain in Maui, at dawn, from an elevation of 6,700 feet. I screamed most of the way. The most noteworthy thing I’ve done in the last few years is held an eagle on my arm. Oh, and I once dressed up as Johnny Depp’s character, Captain Jack Sparrow. We have the same bone structure. Needless to say, my relationship with birds is complicated. When I travel, I often stay in castles because I’ve always wanted to be a princess (a queen, actually) who has someone to properly place her commas.