Madison’s Laura Bird is the author of Crossing the Pressure Line, a middle-grade novel for girls that is set to be published March 1, 2022 by Orange Hat Publishing, which is based in Waukesha. After a career in the field of nonprofit fundraising, Bird “finally decided to make the leap to creative writing.” Learn about Laura Bird…
Hometown: I grew up in Wauwatosa and have lived in Madison since 2002.
First job: My first real job was at a neighborhood pharmacy, where I worked at the prescription counter, the postal counter and the old-school soda fountain, serving malts and sundaes.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: I love taking barre class at Barre3 and outdoor boot camp at the YMCA, and I love hiking (and getting lost!) at a number of county and state parks. More than anything, I adore being up north in Boulder Junction, where I bike, swim and find unparalleled peace on the lake.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I’ve had the dream of writing a book for as long as I can remember. After plotting out my middle-grade novel for years, I finally decided to follow through on it. It took me nine months to write it, 15 months to revise and edit it and four months to find a publisher. I am shocked by what an emotional journey it’s been, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: My road to motherhood was similarly bumpy. After a number of heartaches and frustration, my husband and I decided to build our family through adoption: we adopted our twin baby girls (now age 17) from China and our son (age 14) from South Korea. They are everything to me—and the trips we took to bring them home were nothing short of extraordinary.
Someone who inspires you and why: To me, writers are rock stars because they sit their behinds in their chairs every day and don’t stop until they’ve created something beautiful. I especially love writers from Wisconsin—like Nickolas Butler, Christina Clancy, Andrew J. Graff, Kelly Harms and Susan Gloss—because I adore a Midwestern sensibility.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I believe that setting and sticking to a goal is everything. Commit to it—and yourself—and don’t let anything get in the way. Sometimes, it’s as maddeningly simple as that.
Favorite quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” –Plato
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: Daily meditation has been a game-changer. It’s helped me be mindful, tap into my breathing and inner stillness, and even develop the concentration to write my book. I subscribe to the Calm app, and I’m currently on a 493-day meditation streak, which I have no intention of breaking!
What makes someone fabulous: To me, a person is fabulous when they have the gumption to go after what they want, even if it seems out of reach. Add in a healthy dose of gratitude, presence and joy, and that is the ultimate in fabulousness.