Hi! My name is Kari (rhymes with starry). I live in a fixer-upper in Austin, Texas, with my husband and a cat named Boo.
If you want to know more about me, you can keep on reading.
My favorite quote is from Francis Bacon: "The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery."
I'm Black-Forest Grimm's Fairy Tale Germanic on my father's side, and Illinois New England Quaker Emily Dickinsonish on my mother's side. And on my side, I'm 100% dreamer and very shy. I peek out from behind curtains to see if it's safe to go outside.
My German-born father met my Illinois-born mother at Northwestern University, and that is why I was born in northern Illinois. But then my father moved our family to Texas, and my northern woods soul has not yet recovered from the shock.
When I was nine years old, I became a writer. I wrote voluminously for the next ten years, then wandered through The University of Texas at Austin in a trance, and graduated without a clue as to what I was going to do with my life beyond writing prose-poetry and being a flower child.
I lived my flower-child decade on the road between Texas, California, Texas, Colorado, Texas, California, Texas, Colorado, Texas, etc. Do you see the pattern here? Sometimes I lived in a VW camper in the redwoods. Once I lived in a log cabin. Once I lived on a mattress beneath someone's kitchen table. I was married to a Vietnam War Veteran, and even though that is way too painful a story to write about here, still, it's a part of who I was once upon a time. . .
Then I began to settle down a little. For another decade, I worked as a proofreader, secretary, registrar, graphic artist. In the wee hours I studied to earn my master's in education and my teaching certificate. And I married again. (I love second chances!) My husband and I bought this 1929 bungalow, and I got my first teaching job.
Here I am with one of my first-grade classes. These little ones are all grown up now. And so am I. I taught first, second, and third-graders for 12 years. These were the best, the hardest, the most precious years of my life. The years I am most proud of and most amazed about.
And then, out of the blue, I published two children's picture books. I also started making greeting cards out of cut-paper and cut-fabric, and I even began to try to illustrate my own picture books. So I've had these last ten years of trying to be a writer/artist, living a stay-at-home life in this old house, making scarecrows in my garden, putting little kerchiefed babushkas onto greeting cards, hanging sunflowers upside down in my kitchen to dry.
If you fast forward about 20 years from the photo above, you will find me here in my garden with my scarecrow:
My husband calls this my "ragamuffin" look, and, luckily, he doesn't seem to mind it, because this is pretty much my "look" these days, the ragamuffin look.
For this photo, I wore my green wellies (a treasured gift from
my husband), which is my idea of dressing up. My hair has not "turned"
yet, and I don't know why. By all rights, by the time I was 35 my hair
should have turned, not just white, but stark-raving white.
Well, I am 66 years old now, and by my way of figuring, I have 33 more years to create, to read, to dream up whatever comes to mind. My mother told me that most people see themselves as they were at about age 25, but I think I might go back much farther than that, especially when I try to see my heart and soul.
I tend to see my heart and soul in this nine-year-old girl. She often stands before me, just looking at me, as if she can't quite believe where I have taken her, the things I have gotten her into, the things I've gotten her out of, the times I've forgotten to take care of her, the times I've gotten her lost, the things of hers that I've lost along the way, that old typewriter, for example, her very first typewriter and I don't even know where it is anymore.
Oh my! I have a lot of explaining to do! I think it's time she and I went on a little trip together, and had a very long talk.
Perhaps that is what my blog is for, to try to explain things. And, anyway, it feels as if the time has come for yet another sea change in my life. This every ten years turn-around into something brand-new seems to be upon me again. I wonder what it will be??