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  • Why I write

    Sometime in my twenties, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a book by Natalie Goldberg. Well, the book by Natalie Goldberg. Writing Down the Bones was the blueprint for me for learning to know how my mind works (as an author) . Finding your voice takes a long time. I've been at it for 3 decades and I'm still at it. But it did help me realize what kind of author I want to be. I tried writing Science Fiction for adults for awhile before I settled upon writing for children . I don't want to be a blogger. But I do want to have a blog. What you will find on triple threat Teaching Ideas for Montessori Parents: You will find book reviews and other ideas of things you can do with children age 3-12. Authors: I'm not published yet. But I'm starting this website now so I have an audience for some of my writing practice and a platform for when I do publish that first Picture Book (PB) or Middle Grade Novel (MG). Want to learn more? https://nataliegoldberg.com/about/

  • "What's Your Superpower?"

    ME: I write and I teach and I nurture. Also, I never run out of ideas. What's yours? I spend a lot of time each year asking young children this question. I think it's very important that children see themselves as the hero of their own story. That's why I think representation matters so much. Also, one of my favorite Ted Talks is "more than a single story". https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en I was talking with another local author yesterday at the Farmer's Market, and she reminded me that when we're writing for children and about children, too often our tales about others -- children of color, neurodivergent kids, little humans with disabilities -- focus on the "other" or the trauma. In children's books, there is the temptation to focus on "the problem" not the joy. She had the best advice for me: "Start with the Joy!" Here is a link to the story, The Proudest Blue by by Ibtihaj Muhammad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLFzDfVuWUA What I like about this book: everything. First of all, it's written by an Olympic fencer and one of the first women that I ever knew of to normalize the hijab in Olympic play and sport. https://www.ibtihajmuhammad.com/ Second of all, this is no celebrity side job. One of my small annoyances as a children's author is when celebrities try to trade on their well known name and write a book. Writing books is hard. Writing books for children is DOUBLY hard-- you've got to keep it short, you've got to keep that word count tight, and you're also taking on the task of modeling kindness and building up some young child's vision of themselves. In short, writing books for children is sacred. So, please bring your "A" game and come correct or don't come at all . (That last statement was meant to be read with the swagger of an old Brooklyn Jew who thinks he's wiser and cooler than most. If you don't know what that sounds like, please see the section of my website where I offer private lessons in Being Awesome.) Anyway, what I love about the Proudest Blue is that it's a story of joy and sisterhood and family but it's also a tale of fighting back against racism. I'm working on a picture book manuscript currently about using Intelligence and Love to battle the Ignorance of Racism. (Capitals intended . These are big concepts we're talking about.) In my early drafts (5) I made the mistake of going straight to the part where the kids of the Global Majority fight back against a young white kid who says "Go back where you came from!" My friend, and local author, S, helped me to see that when you're writing a story like this, it helps to start with the joy. After all, I am taking on one of the most hateful and shameful ways that Xenophobes have used language to hurt others. It's not original. It's not truth. But ever since the first White people came to the Americas around 1492, they've been finding ways to tell Bipoc people, "you don't belong here." Seriously! It takes a lot of audacity to show up at someone's home, a land they've inhabited for centuries, and say " hey, I like your beautiful home. It's nice. Now GET OUT!" White people have been telling those of the Global Majority "you don't belong here" since before the United States of America was founded. It's past time we wrote more books telling young children that they belong. Which brings me to the book that sparked this rambling blog post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is7011bJqpk I didn't expect to like this book. I love comic books. My 6 year old child is obsessed with all things Marvel to the point that he will not read, view, or consume nothing else. However, most Marvel and DC superheroes tend to maintain the status quo. Now that I'm an adult, my greatest heroes are those cannot simply accept the world the way it is, but , rather, try to transform it into something better. Family is a Superpower by Michael Dahl What I like about this book: Family is a superpower. Think about that. In this story the greatest superpower that the Justice Leaguers have is not super strength, telekinesis, nor super speed but the fact that they belong to a family. "Your sister's got your back!" , " Your grandpa looks just like you! " This book is filled with everyday moments, of everyday mortals, doing brave things like showing kindness and standing up to bullies. Are there better written books about showing kindness and standing up to oppression? YES! Does this book have lots of drawings of DC superheroes in it? Also, Yes! Most of the illustrations in this book are of White people. There are a few people of the Global Majority pictured, including at least one in a Hijab. But if you know a child who is obsessed with superheroes, this is a good break from fighting "crime" (ooh boy, a lot to unpack there) and a good way to remind your kiddo that they are already powerful . Why ? Because ... Family is a Superpower! Want to Learn More? https://regenerative.medium.com/im-embracing-the-term-people-of-the-global-majority-abd1c1251241 https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S109C5867235

  • Origin Story

    I was born in New York city in the 70's. I’ve been teaching since the 1990’s. So you know I'm awesome I'm likely a crime fighting detective by night I was there for the birth of Hip Hop I remember a time before free wifi and free range tik tok destroyed our ability to think straight "I'm old and I like to lie." - Shonda I made most of my big decisions in life when I was still rockin' underoos and they haven't changed much. My first middle grade novel series was titled Risk Man and featured a Secret Agent with Spy Gadgets. I kept the word count low and the readability high because I was only 7 years old at the time and hadn't really learned to spell yet. Unfortunately, I was unagented at the time so those works were lost to time. My teaching career mostly began in Japan. I vividly remember coloring that first Daruma eyeball when I set my sights on finally having my own classroom. It took me awhile but teaching is basically the only J-O-B I've ever held. I've never not been on an academic year schedule. I've taught in 5 universes so far-- MN, NOLA, NYC, Japan and Taiwan -- while learning 4 languages. Fun Fact: I'm Jewish. I was Bar Mitzvahed. I can order beer or coffee in 4 languages but none of them are Hebrew nor Yiddish. #notamitzvah In 2016, my first/last/only child was born and I've loved every minute of becoming a dad. It's a lot like teaching-- everyday is different, and I never quite feel capable enough. So, by 2022, I have... become a teacher become a father performed onstage at the Minnesota Fringe Festival (about becoming a father) But I have not published a book........YET. This blog will be devoted to my journey to becoming a published author. Here you will find content such as: Tips for teaching Littles to continue to be decent humans Which children's books are most awesome The coming of age story of a young boy trying to make his debut in the cut throat world of publishing All the advice you can HANDLE on comic books, children's lit, sports, video games, chess, improv, games, language learning, basketball, writing, and more! Welcome to triple threat! TEACHER / PARENT / AUTHOR

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