I grew up in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, the middle kid between my older sister and younger brother. We lived not far from my grandmother (a nurse) and a multitude of aunts, uncles and cousins (lots of birthday cakes and parties!). There were many things I loved about growing up in the Bronx: riding bikes and eating black and white cookies with my best friend Wilfredo, playing street games like ace-king-queen and skully with kids from our apartment building, summer trips to Rockaway Beach, and visiting my father at Engine 90, the firehouse where he worked.
As a firefighter’s kid I enjoyed special privileges, like trying on the gear, climbing into the fire truck, and clanging the big silver bell. It was a special world that my sister and brother and I loved being a part of. My father once helped save a fellow firefighter who was falling through a porch roof at a fire—and a photo of that moment was splashed on the front page of the Daily News, and years later, on the cover of a book!
All the seeds of my writing life were planted in the Bronx, where I created stories and poems, wrote and illustrated my own cartoons, and read piles and piles of books from the Jerome Park Library on Eames Place, near my grandmother’s apartment. I still love libraries; I do some of my best writing there.
An undergraduate degree in Communications, a Masters in Early Childhood Education, and many moves later, I landed in Massachusetts. After teaching preschool in Boston, then kindergarten and special education in the public schools of Cambridge, MA, I moved to Cape Cod, continuing to write, teach, and read—children’s books, time-travel stories, poetry, and history.
Then I went back to school once more, to Vermont College of Fine Arts, to earn a Master in Fine Arts degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Now I teach college classes in the two professional areas that mean the most to me: the education of young children, and writing. I teach both English and Early Childhood Education. I have also taught creative writing at Barnstable County Correctional Facility, to the inmates in the women’s unit. I also regularly go back to the school my mother attended, St. Luke’s School in the South Bronx, and teach a poetry workshop there.
Whether you are a reader or a writer, a student or a teacher, my wish for you is that books and writing bring you joy… every day! Thanks for visiting my website.