I’m a writer, editor, podcaster, and mom of kids with special needs.
Writing I’ve been writing professionally since my college days at the University of California, Santa Barbara, when I wrote play reviews for the Santa Barbara News and Review. My first big publication was a humor article in TV Guide, back in the days when freelancers sent out typewritten pages with an SASE. Through the 1980s, I continued to publish humor articles as a freelancer while writing and editing greeting cards and giftware copy for Hallmark Cards, Papel, and Russ Berrie and Company. More recently, I’ve written blogs and books, but ... more on that under Special Needs below.
Editing I spent much of the 1990s and early 2000s wrangling words as a copy-editor for First Magazine, Food and Wine Books, American Express Publishing, and The Beacon (newspaper of the diocese of Paterson NJ). In addition to developing an opinion about the Oxford comma, I learned to lay out pages in Quark XPress, advocate for good grammar and style, navigate the Apple ecosystem, work endless hours, and edit recipes despite not being much of a cook. Since then, I've copy-edited as a freelancer for Author Solutions and Hello Fresh.
Special Needs My creative life (along with every other part of my life) took a turn in 1994 when my husband and I adopted two children with special needs from Russia: a 4-year-old with learning and language issues and a 21-month-old with fetal alcohol syndrome. Learning about their issues and advocating for their education and inclusion became both a personal and professional obsession. I started a website, Mothers with Attitude, to offer humor and help for adoptive moms, special-needs moms, any old moms at all. I became the About.com guide to Parenting Special Needs in 2004 and wrote books on special education and sensory integration.
Podcasting Out of my experience with special needs came an opportunity to join Nicole Eredics as co-host of The Inclusive Class, on which we interviewed movers and shakers in inclusive education. That show inspired me to start The Parenting Roundabout Podcast, which started off with a cast of About.com guides and eventually came around to me, fellow former About.com-er Catherine Holecko, and my Inclusive Class buddy Nicole. We gab five times a week about the things parents are talking about, obsessing about, and complaining about, with a break for some entertainment chat and a Roundabout Roundup of stuff we recommend. Listen in!