Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Unusual Janet Ann Collins

Today my VBT- Writers on the Move guest is Janet Ann Collins, an unusual woman who has been a newspaper reporter, columnist, teacher, foster mother and biological mother, and now a grandmother.

I had my approach to this post all planned, but then I reread other posts written by other bloggers, I realized my ideas were not unique or different. Others used those ideas I thought were mine. After all, Janet has been a popular VBT member, I believe one of the first members.

Everything I've read about her impresses me, from raising special-needs foster children to writing two books for youngsters.

Therefore, I visited Janet's website Janet Ann Collins Opening Eyes, Opening Hearts to see what I could discover new about her. The following are her words from her website:

Do you love kids? Or are you a kid? If so, you've come to the right place. You can find out about the published writing, speaking, and teaching I do by clicking on the other links.

You can see more about children and read some book reviews at my blog,

Besides being a writer, speaker, and teacher I've been a parent, foster parent of kids with special needs, and I'm now a grandparent.

If you're interested in special needs please look at my other blog,

Besides being an author my claims to fame are:
* Although I don't know how to dance, I once performed with the Joffrey Ballet at the San Francisco Opera House.
* As a student working in a library I got so good at mending books they let me mend a Gutenberg Bible.
* I once had a conversation with Koko the gorilla who knows American Sign Language.

Janet is available to speak for groups, churches, and conferences, as well as lead workshops and teach classes on American Sign Language, helping people with invisible disabilities, getting children ready to read, and other subjects which can be found on her website.

Other members of VBT have discussed her books, which have excellent reviews and can be found on Amazon, but I wanted to focus more on Janet Ann Collins, the person.

Now tell me, how could anyone find this woman not unusual?



Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

You're right - Janet does sound like an unusual and interesting woman. I'd love to hear more details about her other "claims to fame."

Darcia Helle said...

Too bad there aren't more "unusual" people like Janet in the world! I'm with Jane. I'd love to hear more details.

Janet, I love that you had a conversation with a gorilla!

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks for sharing about me, Vivian.

I must admit I am a bit unusual, and choose to take that as a compliment. ;-)

I wasn't actually a newspaper reporter, but a freelance feature writer. Maybe I should clarify that on my website.

Vivian Zabel said...

Oh, I meant "unusual" as a compliment, Jan.

You may want to clarify your position as a freelance feature writer, yes.

I thoroughly enjoyed researching you.

kathy stemke said...

Thanks, Vivian, for highlighting some new details of Janet's life. Of course, I LOVE that she danced with the Joffrey Ballet Company!! I'm impressed with her book binding skills, and a little jealous that she was able to communicate with Koko the gorilla. By the way, what did he say??

Nancy Famolari said...

I enjoyed learning more about Janet the person. She certainly has a list of unusual and interesting skills. I love that she danced with the ballet.

Very interesting post, Vivian

Karen Cioffi said...

What an interesting post. I didn't know all this about Janet. And what claims to fame.

I've taught both my grandsons basic sign language before they could talk. It's funny but the easiest sign for them to remember is "more."

Thanks for sharing, Vivian.

Kim Baccellia said...

Curious how she performed with ballet troop and she doesn't dance. Interesting info on author! Thanks for sharing!

Mari said...

Janet is truly multi-talented! Her claims to fame left me with one word, WOW! Good to learn some new things about her. Great post!

Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Wow... what an interesting journey Janet has had!! Variety is the spice of life :)

Dallas said...

Wow, what a neat interview! I love the part about having a conversation with Koko! That is SO cool!

:) Dallas

Mayra Calvani said...

Janet is a multi-talented person and her dedication to children is inspiring.

Vivian Zabel said...

I'm so glad people enjoyed this post. Jan seems like a truly wonderful person.

Martha said...

I took a look at your blogs and they are wonderful. Good luck with your books
Martha Swirzinski

The Old Silly said...

Thanks for this feature, always enjoy reading and learning more about Janet.

Susanne Drazic said...

I learned a few new things about Janet. I think watching a person sign is beautiful. The movements of the hands are like when a dancer dances. I know some of the very basics of sign language but would like to learn more.