College writing class, daughter's adventures turned Becky...


College writing class, daughter's adventures turned Becky 0) Lindberg into professional writer

When Becky Lindberg wrote a story about a plucky third-grader for a college class, little did she know that several years -- and several revisions -- later the work would turn into her first children's book.

But after she saw "Speak Up, Chelsea Martin" on the bookshelf, the reality has hit home for the Catonsville author, who gives credit to her 11-year-old daughter, Carolyn, Chelsea's real-life model.

"She was a wonderful source," says Ms. Lindberg, who kept a notebook of Carolyn's adventures to use in the book.

After teaching nursing for six years, Ms. Lindberg returned to her first love -- writing -- in 1987 and began taking courses at the College of Notre Dame. The book, which grew out of a writing tutorial, is geared to children ages 7 to 9 and sells for $10.50 at the Book Revue in Ellicott City.

The publisher has already contacted her about a sequel. As she makes her way through the first draft, Ms. Lindberg (who declines to give her age) finds herself being forced to divide her time between writing and housecleaning.

"I know it doesn't sound like much of a break," she says, "but after struggling for hours to find the right words, something like vacuuming is so much easier." Before he knew how to spell, Carlous Palmer could draw the naked human form in fanciful detail. Not everyone, however, was impressed.

"At school, I got in so much trouble for drawing nudes that I started putting clothes on them," he says.

Hence, a fashion designer was born.

Twenty years later, Mr. Palmer is making a name for himself, creating fashions locally for Caron's, the Bead Experience and Todo Mundo, as well as boutiques in New York and Washington.

Inspired by various fabrics, he prefers geometric shapes and loose styles. "Flowing stuff is so sexy," says Mr. Palm-

er, 27, who lives in Northeast Baltimore.

After graduating from the Baltimore School for the Arts, Mr. Palmer attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York until a lack of money and family support forced him to drop out.

"It's scary being a male and wanting to be a fashion designer," he says. "Your father looks at you and says, 'My son wants to make dresses for a living?' "

His dream for the future is to one day dress Oprah Winfrey.

"Oprah thinks she's fat, but she's not," he explains. "She just doesn't know the art of proportioning."

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