|Author photo by Nicholas Coyle|
I'm married, the mother of two, a full-time writer and observer, innovative cook, collector, a bit introverted, expert putterer, party designer, art dabbler, planet helper, puppy dog affectionado, and fruit goddess, to name a few. I'm only the fruit goddess part because, "Carmela," means goddess of fruit. And I do love fruit.
I look forward to going to work everyday, driving my slippers down the stairs, steering into the kitchen for toast and fruit (told you so) before parking in my studio chair. Oh, and no matter what, I always wear pretty earrings. Every day, my adorable black doggie, Lulu, sits by my feet on a poofy pillow, or more commonly, on my lap.
Born in Tulsa Oklahoma, on the same day as Dr. Seuss (but not the same year,) I moved back to New York with my artist parents at the mature age of two-months. We stayed in NY until I was seven, when my parents moved the family out West... "where the world opens wide."
|Carmela discovers cake!|
I grew up in Colorado, with the Rockies at my window sill. Our little family spent all our weekends exploring the peaks, dales, and cool mountain streams, with a picnic basket and Shasta sodas. My brother, sister and I were convinced that our father invented "off-road" driving, because as we saw it, our old blue station wagon was not on any semblance of a road.
My first "book," Forget-Me-Not, was written and illustrated by me when I was ten-years-old. It was about a scalawag bunny named for the title.
As a child, I certainly was not at the center of things, but rather off to the diagonal, observing. I loved to play house, library and store, invent stuff, watch the clouds, ice skate, skateboard, write stories, and have enormous laughs with (still) close friends.
|4th grade class picture|
ENT doctor, movie star, professional ballerina, secretary, farmer, pastry chef, writer and teacher were all on my list of what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up.
I attended both Littleton and Heritage HS in Littleton, CO. And was one of 37 founding members of Heritage's "The Liberty Belles," now known as "The Belles."
I have a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Fine Arts from a small Liberal Arts College, CWC. Encouraged by my writing professor, Dr Mary Anne Johnston, to mix the mediums, I wrote prose and poetry while listening to classical music and viewing fine art. I would wake at 5 a.m. so as to not miss the sunrise, and the chance to write about it.
My husband and I have two children, Nick and Annie. They are the lights of our lives, filling every corner with effulgence. That said, they are hilarious, insightful, stubborn, creative, talented, sometimes sassy, kind, mostly fun, smart and growing-up.
We live in Denver Colorado in a stucco house with loads of character. Nick and Annie are now in college during the school year. But don't worry, they come home often for yummy food (and to do laundry).
As the story goes...
"Angels are sometimes disguised as daughters." —unknown
It was a quiet Sunday morning in 1997. We were gathering our things for a hike in the Rockies, when my rambunctious four-year-old daughter, Annie, plopped down next to me, wearing a tutu over her denim overalls, mismatched socks, a sparkly crown askew on her head and almond butter smooshed on her cheek.
With brown eyes furrowed, she looked up at me and asked... "Mommy, do princesses have to wear hiking shoes?" Before I could answer, she asked another question, "Do princesses brush their teeth?" Then, "Do princesses have to go potty?"
I scrambled for the correct replies—my answers had to be poignant and powerful. It didn't occur to me in that moment that my daughter had just handed me the title of what would later become my first published book. Were other little girls like Annie having the same wonderings about themselves? Soon after, I wrote Annie's story, DO PRINCESSES WEAR HIKING BOOTS? to celebrate the princess in us all.
It went under contract a few years later.
Here's to Annie... and little girls everywhere! May your important questions always, always have answers. Especially the ones you answer yourself.