It's Time, Es Tiempo
I cannot believe I am writing a children’s book. I really can’t. Growing up I loved to make-up stories, tell stories (the ones I told my parents were not always true), and read stories. The truth is that I get lost in words.
Words have been my life. My ability to speak confidently, use my words with conviction and convey them on paper propelled me into a successful career in the social sector. My professional career has filled my life with so much purpose and pride that it seemed crazy to think about doing anything else.
But, my heart was leading me to take a risk and venture into uncharted territory.
I have always dreamt of being a writer. Of having my words impact people’s lives in a way that other writers have had on my life. I have so much to say. It’s time to put it out there. Time to play big.
In 2016 I began writing a memoir. I wrote nearly 80,000 words-which are still in a file on my computer. I didn’t love it. That book, and the last election, led me to think more deeply about what I wanted to say. I began my 2nd book, which will be published some day, focused on how parents can raise feminist sons and daughters.
While I was writing that book I had a dream (seriously……..so cliche) that led me to my amazing Fearless Rocky Rivera.
Rocky Rivera is my protagonist in a series of children’s chapter books. She is fierce, she is vulnerable and she is smart. She loves politics, sports, math, science, and writing. She takes risks. Sometimes they pay off and sometimes she flops. Rocky is Latina. Unfortunately among children’s books there is a dearth of characters of color and diverse authors. I would love to single-handedly change this reality…...but for now I will address the issue one book at a time.
I have no idea where this adventure is going to lead me, but I know the lessons Rocky has to share are important ones for children. We live in a society and at a time where girls still struggle with building confidence and believing in themselves. The result is that America is 60th in the world when it comes to women’s political empowerment and 67th in terms of gender pay equality, just behind Yemen. Yes, you read that right. While we are 1st in the world when it comes to educational attainment, we lag in so many important areas. This perpetually puzzles me. I know that children reading more diverse literature that validates their identity is one piece of the results puzzle.
I hope you will join me on this journey. It should be fun!