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Penny Nolan

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My imagination gets me into trouble. It’s pretty normal for me to get caught daydreaming. I see stories everywhere. The rich inner world inside my head is a fun place to live. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

Writing has been unconsciously stewing in the background of my mind for years. I didn’t take it seriously until my kids got older and my responsibilities lessened. Apparently, it had been dying for the opportunity to slap me in the face and wake me up. Then I took all the stories that I told my children and students, put them on paper, and never stopped writing. I can’t stop. I live for those precious moments when the universe drops a delicious idea in my lap to inspire a story. 

I love writing for children. Anything goes. I can be as silly and goofy as I want. Such freedom! I like to take the reader on a ridiculous ride and make them laugh out loud. My stories are quirky, playful and whimsical or move the reader to tears. Either way, I want to make a difference in their lives.

 

As a teacher of twenty-eight years, I’ve seen many children who couldn’t seem to find their imaginations. Hard to believe, but that’s what can happen when playtime is discouraged at home. It’s a shame. It was my mission as a teacher to help them catch a glimpse of the possibilities they had waiting inside and now I hope to do the same as a writer. My imagination is still growing, I pray.

 

I am also an artist. I think in terms of pictures, so it’s easy to visualize stories as well as paintings. I’ve noticed that my best paintings have stories behind them and that they are more meaningful and carefully painted. 

 

I have a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University. I taught elementary school in Los Altos, California for 26 years. I am a member of the SBCWI and 12 x 12, was a finalist in the 2022 Kidlit child-judged contest, belong to a wonderful critique group and attend numerous conferences, workshops and webinars for my writing. It’s never enough.

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