I am a mom of three boys, a teacher, and a writer of kidlit. My educational background is in reading and writing for children. I hold an MS in education with specialties in reading and library media.
Reading and writing are my favorite things to do. Some of my earliest memories are of hiding in nooks at Strand Book Store in NYC and reading. Books allow us to cross all boundaries and understand our own humanity.
I write hi/lo books for struggling readers. Most of them are written for Saddleback Educational Publishers. Some of my books are published, and others are forthcoming. I have written over ten books for Saddleback! You can read more about hi/lo books here: https://www.sdlback.com/
I also write leveled books and online content for Achieve3000, Fountas and Pinnell, and Weigl Educational Publishers, and I have poems published in an Australian anthology (they are on my POEM’S page).
When I am not writing, I am thinking about what 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 NYC 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. After a long stressful day at work, Cody is the first to press his head against your leg for a caress.
We have a sad update on Cody. He recently passed over the rainbow. He is enjoying eternity in the sun. Cody was 15 years old.
Daisy is our Goldendoodle. 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 newest edition is Coco. Here is a close-up of Coco.
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 (just to name a few).
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 DuPage County, Illinois. Teaching is a new adventure each day. 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 boys love to plant gardens, climb trees, and play instruments. We are also a big Scouting family. Pokey and Daisy 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.
Those are a few things about me.
I hope you like my writing nook.