About Yvona Fast
I’m Yvona, and words really are my world! I began writing at age ten, when I won a $25 bond for my essay, My Favorite American—despite the fact that we were immigrants, and I had only been speaking English for a little over a year. Often, my good grades in school were not due to what I wrote, but how I wrote it.
This love of books led me to become a librarian. I have a BA in Geography from State University of New York at Oswego, and a Masters in Library Science from SUNY at Geneseo. I have worked as a librarian in prison, public, and academic libraries, and spent five years working to set up libraries for Bible colleges and seminaries in Eastern Europe. While there, I visited historic palaces and cathedrals in Krakow, Warsaw, Budapest and Prague as well as native villages in Serbia and Macedonia.
It was while working in Europe in 1993 that I contacted the editors of Christian Single magazine with a one-line query: Would your readers like to know what Christian singles in Poland are doing to minister to their brethren in Siberia? They said yes, and I sold my first magazine article, Happenings in Siberia.
Since then, more than 100 magazine articles on topics ranging from health and cooking to disabilities and careers have helped many readers. I have also written several opinion pieces for my local paper.
I’ve combined my writing talent with my love of food and cooking, and my weekly food column, North Country Kitchen, has been running in two newspapers since December of 2004. I’m a member of SCBWI, the Adirondack Center for Writing and the Adirondack Writers Guild.
Because the language and analytical left side of my brain is more developed than my visual and motor right cerebral hemisphere, I need words in order to comprehend my world. It is difficult for me to understand a concept until it is put into words. I found out a few years ago that this condition has a name: it is called Non-Verbal Learning Disability, so I wrote a book about it.
The book, titled Employment for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome or Non-Verbal Learning Disability: Stories and Strategies, was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2004. Since then, I have had many opportunities to lecture to parents and teachers about learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, and have shared my expertise at writing workshops.
In 2011 I co-authored My Nine Lives: A Memoir with my mom; she is a Holocaust survivor, and this is her story. In 2013, I published a cookbook, Garden Gourmet: Fresh & Fabulous Meals from your Garden, CSA or Farmers’ Market.
I also have poems in two anthologies, and my essay Falling Short was published in the anthology Easy to Love (DRT press, 2014).
I live in the mountains of northern New York state, so when I’m not writing or cooking, I enjoy swimming and canoeing on warm summer days and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing when the ground is covered with a white blanket of snow.