France 2014

Twenty Year Anniversary and Book Giveaway

Twenty years ago this month I quit my job at UCLA to write children’s books. To celebrate, I’m giving away two of my books and a copy of The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books to five winners over at PictureBookBuilders.

My writing anniversary has had me thinking about what life was like back in 1995. What were you doing then? Do you remember? Here are a few things to jog your memory:

I did my writing on a computer that looked a lot like this one:


I didn’t search the internet for submission guidelines, publishers’ catalogs, or writing advice because, well, there was no Google. Sergey Brin and Larry Page had just met at Stanford in 1995 (here they are a few years later):


I certainly wasn’t on Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg was only 11 years old! (He’s a few years older than that here.)

Mark Zuckerberg had just incorporated but didn’t have much to offer. So, to look at children’s books, I’d go to the beautiful Beverly Hills Library Children’s Room, which used to look like this:

Beverly Hills Old Children's Room

Or I’d visit Children’s Book World on Pico Avenue in LA, which, happily, still exists, unlike so many independent bookstores (not to mention larger chains like Borders).


A few more memory-joggers: In 1995, Forrest Gump won the Oscar for best picture . . .


Bruce Springsteen won the Grammy for best song . . .


And Bill Clinton was president. Think he’ll be ‘first gentleman’ after the next election?


And if I needed any more evidence of how time flies, all I need to do is look at Jackson. I wasn’t a parent yet in 1995. Jackson arrived in 1998, tiny and sweet, and now, all of us sudden, he’s towering over me. Luckily he’s still pretty sweet.

France 2014

And you? What do you remember from twenty years ago?


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