When I was a kid, I lived a couple blocks from The Beach Boys. One time when I trick-or-treated at their house, I saw all their gold records hanging on the wall. Dennis Wilson’s girlfriend was our babysitter. (okay, that’s 3 things, but all BB-related)
I was mostly raised by my grandmother.
When I was 8 or 9, my family would stand me up in front of relatives so I could spell out antidisestablishmentarianism, which was the longest word I knew from the dictionary.
In 1965, I went to the World’s Fair in New York City and saw the “It’s a Small World” exhibit before it ever went to Disneyland. So I’ve had that song stuck in my head much longer than most people.
In 6th grade, I wrote an epic poem called “The Bell of Happiness” that my school principal read aloud at a PTA meeting.
I attended Rim of the World Junior/Senior High School from 7th through 10th grade and learned how to walk to school (to the bus stop actually) in the snow, uphill, both ways.
For my 15th birthday, I went to the Forum in Los Angeles (where the Lakers used to play) and saw Jim Morrison and the Doors perform. It was way cool.
I was 16 when I graduated high school (Hawthorne High–where the Beach Boys attended!).
While working on my MS in computer science at UCLA, I took a year’s worth of courses in queuing theory and networks from Leonard Kleinrock who, unlike Al Gore, was one of the actual inventors of the Internet.
I have three Kevin Bacon-type connections with Steven Spielberg: (1) My Uncle Irwin and his partners financed Spielberg’s first movie (a short film called Amblin’), (2) My mother-in-law has volunteered for Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation and once met him and (3) Back when Dreamworks was first created, they considered my movie script, ICER (which they passed on–alas). ICER gave me the germ of an idea for what became my YA dystopian novel, TANKBORN.
Lover of chocolate. A couple felines short of full-fledged Cat Lady. Author of the YA Tankborn Trilogy (TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION), from Tu Books. Founding team member of We Need Diverse Books. Opinions expressed here are my own.