I am a mom, teacher, and writer of kid lit. When I am not writing, I am thinking about when I will write next. I also teach and try to be a good model for my kids and students.
We have two cats, a turtle, and a dog. Pokey is our oldest cat. A friend gave him to me when I lived in Queens, New York. He is definitely a NY cat because he is always looking behind his back and careful about who he spends time with.
Cody is different. Even though he was found under a truck next to the Brooklyn- Queens Expressway, he thinks he’s the richest cat in the neighborhood. He saunters around like he’s a Greek god, too. After a long stressful day at work though, he is the first to press his head against your leg for a caress.
Daisy is our newest addition to the family. She is my girl, and so clever we are thinking of sending her to college. She keeps me company, along with the cats, when I am writing.
Our turtle refuses to die. My husband, Rudy, bought Mr. Turtle from a little Korean man who was selling baby turtles on Main Street in Flushing, New York. That was over fifteen years ago, and Mr. Turtle is still swimming around in a tank in our basement.
I like to write about my experiences growing up in Queens. I loved to race my bike, climb trees, and play handball. I write about the cultures I came to know there: Greek, Hispanic, Italian and German.
My parents both worked full time to support my four brothers and I. My babysitter was an ancient Greek woman who lived next door. She was always kind and generous, especially when I wasn’t. One time she found two figurines that I had stolen from her. I tried to hide them in my lunchbox.
Instead of getting angry with me, the Greek lady gave me one of the figurines to keep. She asked me to pray for forgiveness because stealing made God sad. I prayed hard that night, and learned a good lesson: treat others the way you want to be treated!
Before we left New York, I taught fourth grade in Jackson Heights, Queens. Now I teach in schools throughout DuPage County, Illinois. Teaching is a new adventure everyday. One time, a student dropped a container full of crickets in my classroom. My students and I listened to the whistling and chirping of crickets for hours!
When my husband and I moved to the Midwest, we started our family. Our three small boys love to plant gardens, collect rocks and sticks, and play instruments. Pokey and Cody explore outside and hunt birds, squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits. One day, Pokey even managed to sneak a bat into the kitchen and drop it at my feet.
We have a cherry tree and a peach tree in our back yard. This year was the first that we had peaches on our tree and do you know what happened? Some animal (not sure, but I think it was a raccoon) came and ate every single peach off our tree. Imagine the nerve! It didn’t even leave one peach for us.
Those are a few things about me.
I hope you like my writing nook.