Gwen Jackson graduated magna cum laude from Lincoln University with a B.A. in psychology. She won a Ford Foundation Fellowship and attended the University of Michigan, where she received an M.A. in psychology.
An avid lover of history, anthropology, and humanity, Gwen has traveled to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Sicily, Capri, the Greek Islands, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Bali, Malaysia, Thailand, and India.
Her hobbies include Tai Chi, yoga, reading, and walking in nature.
Gwen's love of nature and of animals derives from her childhood years in her Nanticoke community. There she loved to play outside, ride her bike to visit friends and relatives, and to pet the household dogs. In fact, her main character, Lump Lump, is based on the joy, fun, and affection she experienced with dogs.
Gwen's main wish in life is Thurber's Dog Wish: "a strange and involved compulsion to be as happy and carefree as a dog."
THE STORY ABOUT BLUE BIRD GWEN
After reading the first draft, Dr. Paul Apodaca, a past-regional advisor to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, suggested a few revisions, including changing the main bird in the story. Gwen changed the main bird to a blue bird, and the story seemed to re-write itself.
There is much rich lore and beauty associated with the blue
bird in Navajo culture, which made the re-write easy.
In addition, whenever Gwen thinks about the joy of the blue
bird, she is reminded:
"The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within
our reach is joy. Seek joy." (Fra Giovanni)
Moreover, since both Gwen and her character Blue Bird like
stories, Gwen chose the blue bird as her symbol.