I didn’t want to be a writer at first

Adrian Fogelin
This is my mother, the writer, Maria Bontempi Fogelin, when she was still in high school.

Growing up, these are the things I wanted to be: an archaeologist, a fashion designer, an artist, an actress, a movie director.

By the time I applied for college I had it all figured out. If I got into one of the schools I’d applied to, I’d go into theater; if I got into the other one, I’d become an artist. If I got into both, I’d flip a coin.

Art school said yes.

So instead of acting, I drew and painted and carved stone, and when I got out of art school I found a job as an illustrator for the Baltimore Zoo where I met my future husband, Ray Faass. Read more about Life at the Zoo”.

I left the zoo to have a baby. Our daughter, Josie, was born on November 5th, 1978. Yes, if you do the math you’ll see that she is quite grownup now, but at the time she was small and she cried a lot. I stayed home to take care of her, meanwhile Ray got a job running the photo services for the whole city of Baltimore.

Life seemed much too regular and boring, so we came up with a plan.

The plan: We would sell our house in Baltimore and move to the Florida Keys where we would live aboard a boat. Read more about “The Plan”.

Josie and I opened an art gallery when she was about three. Having my own business was the only way I could bring her to work, and Josie refused to be left at daycare or with a baby-sitter. She became a shop kid, sleeping under the display, selling her own drawings for a dime apiece. Read more…