My Dog Hannah

 

In February 2009 I adopted a dog named Hannah. I found her at the Briarcliff, New York, SPCA. As far as I know, she is a mixed breed.

 
 

We go for lots of long walks all year long. During hunting season, I make sure Hannah is wearing something bright orange so hunters don't mistake her for a deer.

Snow Days

Even though I don't go to school anymore I still love snow days! I work at home most days no matter what the weather, but snow days are still special. There is something magical about how snow changes the landscape. It evens things out, makes them the same color and texture. The shapes are different, softer, after a big snow.

   


Now, I live in New Hampshire and we have a lot more snow days here than I remember having when I went to school in New York City. I remember sledding in Central Park on one snow day.

 

Do you have snow days where you live? What do you like best about snow days?

About You

That's enough about me. I want to hear about YOU!

 

Write your own ABOUT ME page. Or write about your pet, a place you have traveled to, or what you like best about snow days. Email it to me.

 
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About Me

I was born in 1960 and grew up in New York City. My mother was a lawyer. She worked at the United Nations. My father was a scientist. He worked for a company called Lever Brothers, which made soaps, detergents, and other products people used at home. I have two older brothers. One funny thing about my family is that three of us celebrated birthdays in October on dates that include a 9. My oldest brother's birthday is October 9th. My father's: October 19th. And mine is October 29th!

 

I started first grade at P.S. 87, which was about two blocks from the apartment building where we lived. My brother Jon was one grade ahead of me and we walked to school together. Sometimes bigger kids would stop us and take our milk money. It was scary, but we didn't get hurt. After school, our housekeeper took us to Central Park where we could ride our bikes and play with other neighborhood kids at the playground. I remember there was a homeless woman who lived near the playground. We called her the pigeon lady.


I don't remember going out much at night except some winter evenings my mother would take us ice skating in Central Park. People she knew from work had a skating club that met at Wollman Rink. I thought it was very exciting to go out so late on a school night. I think we left home around 7:30 PM, but it was so dark it seemed like midnight! My mother was not a good skater. I think she only went to take us. I don't remember skating with her, but I do remember skating with a man she knew from working at the U.N. Mel was a very good skater. He would take my hand and skate me around the rink. Later, we had hot chocolate, which always burned my tongue.

 

Like most school children, I loved summer vacation. I went to day camp when I was very young. Then I went to sleep-away camp. My favorite activity was swimming. I was a strong swimmer and was proud of myself when I passed the Red Cross junior lifesaver test. My mother had more vacation days from work than my father and she usually took us someplace for a week or more during the summer to get out of the city. One summer we rented a house near a lake where we could swim and fish. I remember catching sunfish. Their top fins were sharp enough to scratch your hands when you tried to get them off the hook. I don't think I ever caught anything big enough to brag about, but no fish was too small for our housekeeper to fry. When she was done, there was more breading than fish, but it tasted great.

I stayed at P.S. 87 through fifth grade. Then I went to I.S. 44, which was on the next block over. I liked most of my classes and teachers, and some of my classmates, but I was afraid of the bigger kids. I made every excuse I could think of not to go to school. I remember cutting school and spending the day at a library instead.

I began going to the United Nations International School in seventh grade. We called that grade Middle Two because it was the second year of middle school. I stayed at UNIS through high school, which we called Tut House. Tut is short for Tutorial. So the first year of high school was called Tut One. Because it is an international school, students could learn many different languages. I learned French as well as the usual high school subjects. We probably studied more world history and less American history than at other New York City high schools. I started going to UNIS just when they had just finished a new building for us. It had a big gym. One year, the Russian Olympic gymnastics team came to our school and practiced in our gym! I was never very good at gymnastics, and I hated climbing the long, thick ropes that hung down from the high ceiling. But I liked sports. My favorite sport in high school was basketball, and I became the captain of the team. I wasn't the best player, but I was taller than the other girls.

After high school, I went to the University of Virginia. I chose UVA because I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. That may not be the best reason to choose a college, but it worked out alright for me. My favorite classes were in the anthropology department. Anthropology is all about people. I loved learning about ways of life so different from my own. I took a lot of English classes, too. My favorite term papers blended things I learned in Anthropology classes with what we were studying in English. We didn't have personal computers then. I hand-wrote my papers on lined paper, then typed my final draft using a typewriter. I still have some of my old college papers in a box somewhere.

I had a few jobs after college before I began working in publishing in the early 1980s. I became an editor of children's books and also wrote a couple of computer adventure games. Living in New York City was fun and a great place for a career in publishing, but it was also very busy and stressful. After about ten years working as an editor in New York City, I decided to try living in the countryside instead. I moved to New Hampshire in 1993 and shifted from editing to writing. Since then, I've written about 100 books, traveled in Europe, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand, raised my daughter, and adopted a dog named Hannah.