Here I am...
When I was a child:, My favorite presents to receive were books. Through the wrapping paper, I'd touch the cover, run my fingers along the spine, and grow giddy with excitement and anticipation. True then and true today. My appreciation for picture books began on my mother's lap. I enjoyed listening to the sound of her voice as the stories she read led me into strange and magical fairytale worlds. From elementary school on, my favorite class was ALWAYS creative writing. I loved making little books from folded sheets of paper I'd tie together with yarn, and I loved to fill those books with my stories. Some things never change...
I write because: I love telling stories. I grew up with parents and relatives who shared their memories and fascinating snippets from their childhoods. Long before I knew I wanted to write for children, I played the "What If" game with my father. We'd settle on the sofa with cups of tea and imagine what life would be like if we lived in some distant galaxy or in a dusty crater on the moon. Naturally, some of my favorite memories of playing "What If" wiggle their way into my writing. Other stories I write are inspired by the stray animals my family adopted or the injured animals we found on our property and along the roadside that we cared for and later released. My Family: My supportive husband understands my necessity to write, or perhaps obsession would be more accurate. He listens patiently to the latest versions of my stories and doesn't mind that I converted the bigger part of our dining room into my writing space. Our daughter loves to act out parts of my stories so I can better visualize the emotions and actions I'm trying to write. Our rescue dog, Max, listens with the heart of a saint to my rough drafts. (His favorite stories star dogs in the lead role.) We also have a chatty parakeet, a cuddly cockatiel, a tree frog, a tortoise named Esio Trot after the book with the same title by Roald Dahl, and a tank of happy fish. (Sorry, no partridge in a pear tree.)
Hobbies: When I'm not writing, which isn't often, I take on-line writing courses, read and study ten picture books each week, frequent the children's section of the library, paint, bake, garden, care for our little zoo, and spend time with my family. Today: Although my years of education had me traveling from Illinois to Wisconsin, from Colorado to New York, and from England to California, I am now back in Illinois, living close to my childhood home on a quiet street surrounded by many lovely, old trees.
Education: I studied writing at The Institute of Children's Literature both for picture books and middle-grade novels. I have completed writing and poetry courses with Jill Esbaum, Linda Skeers, Susanna Hill, Emma Walton Hamilton, Jodell Sadler, Heidi Bee Roemer, and Renee LaTulippe. I participate in on-line writing challenges and attend SCBWI conferences.
Organizations: I am a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and Julie Hedlund's 12x12 picture book writing challenge.
This is Max, our lovable rescue dog.
Leslie Leibhardt Goodman
Writer, dreamer, wife, mother, friend
This is me and my snow buddy.
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The day I married my best friend.