Timeless Dance: A Story of Change and Loss
Karen Shiffman Lateiner holds both an M.A. and M.Ed. in Educational Psychology. Throughout her professional career as an infant development specialist and mental health clinician, as well as in her personal life, Karen has advocated for safe and nurturing school environments for all children. After retirement, she and her husband set out from their home in Montclair, NJ to travel the country by motorhome, eventually making Phoenix, AZ their new home. Combining her loves of writing and of the Sonoran desert, Karen encourages other writers in a weekly Hike and Write group she created at the North Mountain Visitors Center in Phoenix. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, baking sourdough bread, going to museums, opera, and theater in Phoenix, as well as traveling.
In June, 2018, she published her first book, Timeless Dance: A Story of Change and Loss, a memoir chronicling her journey as a mother, adapting to her oldest child's transition from male to female at a time when transgender issues were still in the closet, and later dealing with the death of her new daughter only two years after she became who she truly was. Learning about gender diversity led Karen to become an advocate and educator about gender issues, to collect her related writings over the span of more than twenty years and, ultimately, to write her memoir, which includes personal correspondences and papers written by her child. During that time she participated in various writing workshops, including the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writing Conference at the Virginia Piper Center for Creative Writing, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes at Arizona State University. Since the publication of her book, she has been conducting book readings and talks at a variety of venues in New Jersey and the Southwest.