Growing up I loved poetry, reading Ferlinghetti's "I am Waiting" and writing to the music of Debussy. Later, I became an English teacher, chairing an English department at an LAUSD middle school and teaching Orwell, Camus, and Fitzgerald at a public high school. In between the lines, in between the years, I ran for Congress as a peace candidate, mobilizing a national grassroots campaign to challenge the war machine. Now I'm back in class, teaching government at a public high school in South Los Angeles, where my students write their own bills and form their own political parties. Lola Zola, the protagonist in my novel Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush, is an activist girl who never gives up during hard times and summons all of her resources to rise to the challenge.