I'm a “pre-published children’s author” (with a nod to Laurie Halse Anderson for this great phrase) actively pursuing publication. I write about two things I am most passionate about: nature and culture. For me, nature and culture are inseparable. The landscape is the stage upon which culture develops. The way we relate to the natural world is shaped by the culture in which we were raised. The way we relate to people who are different from us is also shaped by the culture in which we were reared. My hope is that my books will open children’s eyes to the many possibilities that exist for them, both in the way they experience nature and the ways they relate to other children. Along the way, I hope their parents, teachers, guardians, and care providers will discover new ways to experience nature and culture.
Geared toward parents, teachers, homeschoolers, and un-schoolers, this blog provides examples of ways to interact with children in nature and with people from different backgrounds. I’ll also point you toward authors, websites, or other resources that can support you on your next cultural or natural exploration. I hope you’ll come away with new ideas to use with the children in your lives. Finally, I’ll share how these experiences work their way into my stories.
As a teacher, I got students outside as much as possible, took them on mind-opening field trips, and exposed them to people from all walks of life. During the summer and school vacations, I traveled to many developing countries. During each trip, I interacted with the locals and explored the natural world. So far I have traveled to the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ecuador, Niger, Peru, Morocco, India, Italy, and rural Alaska (I know, I know…it’s the same country I live in, but it’s vastly different than living in Southeastern Massachusetts). In none of these places did I ride a tour bus. In all of these places, I interacted with the locals. I encourage you to do the same, whenever you’re out and about. You don’t need to travel to Africa to go on a safari- explore what nature has to offer right in your home town! And, go ahead, try that new Indian restaurant down the street. You never know what you might find.
Explore nature and culture, wherever you are.
Explore that empty lot, arroyo, or tidal pool.
Meet the Locals.
When you’re in a new town, county, or country…
Do what the locals do. Get off the tour bus and onto the city bus.
Expand your world.
It’s an amazing place.
You never know what you might find.
Note: I will often mention local businesses or suggest books or other websites. In all cases, I offer these suggestions without any financial benefit to me. I will only suggest resources that I find valuable. If I ever recommend something by a friend (for example, my friend Alison's blog), I will be up front and tell you she's my friend).