|photo by Amelia Johnson|
Veeda Bybee grew up collecting passport stamps and dreaming of castles in far off places. A former journalist, she has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family in the West where she reads, writes and bakes.
I started out as a reluctant reader.
I learned to love books thanks to a library summer reading program, my mom and an older kid at my school.
At the end of first grade, I didn't like to read. My mom did. She signed me up for a library summer reading program and insisted I write a one page book report for every book I read. The library didn't want a book report, but Mom did!
I did it all very grudgingly, until one summer day, a second grader saw me holding a library copy of Ramona Quimby Age 8. She said she really loved that book, and said I would, too.
This small interaction changed my life.
I was so surprised this cool, older girl was talking to me -- I decided to give this Ramona character a try.
She was right. I adored Ramona Quimby.
I wanted her spunk (I was shy).
I wanted her hair (Still have it).
I wanted be friends with all the kids on Klickitat Street (still do).
I read all of Beverly Clearly's books.
Discovered E.B. White's Charlotte's Web.
Got lost in Roald Dahl.
Then, any series I could get my hands on.
Sweet Valley Twins. Nancy Drew. The Saddle Back Club. Pen Pals.
The library became my happy place. It still is. My heart is most at home when I'm surrounded by books.
|My first book!|
All this reading inspired me to write my own stories.
I wrote and illustrated The Little Girl and the Dragon, in third grade. It was my very first completed book and I was so proud of it.
My military family was living in West Germany at the time, and I was in country that had real castles and stories of real princes and princesses. Fairy tales, fantasies and far off places still have a special place in my heart.
|Mom and me at the Great Wall of China.|
I've lived in many states in the U.S., but also West Germany, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. I have a bad case of wanderlust almost always.
In college, I majored in print journalism. After I graduated, I interned for a lifestyle magazine in the Philippines where I got to interview chefs and artists, write about people and their home and house decor. I also lived out my young adult dream of being in the pages of Seventeen magazine. Seventeen-year-old Veeda was absolutely dying at this photo shoot:
|I've been super into pies lately.|
I've worked as a newspaper reporter, copy editor, freelance writer and magazine editor.
If I'm not baking something for my family, I'm writing or reading. Or, eating something I just made while writing or reading.