It’s never too late to pursue your dreams! Hi, I’m Lillian Nader, a retired special education teacher turned author, playwright, and freelance copyeditor. I write haiku poems for fun, and I keep a dream journal for enlightenment.  Ask Me Anything about writing or editing!

Lillian Nader
Mar 8, 2018

My career as a special education resource specialist in Southern California was fulfilling and meaningful. I learned diplomacy in working with parents and school administrators while meeting the challenges of individualized instruction for students with special needs. I didn’t have a lot of time for other pursuits due to the massive amount of lesson prep and paperwork involved in special education. However, I did publish some educational workbooks for local publishing companies in Southern California. But I wanted more.

Now retired, I have more time for creative writing and freelance editing. I’m involved with numerous social media and in person groups that are extremely helpful. The people in these groups are supportive and eager to share tips for success. One of the first things I learned from other writers was to create an author platform even before publishing. I created an author website as part of my platform, and I facilitate a Facebook group, Writers, for posts about the craft of writing. I am a member of several professional organizations including SCWA, Southern California Writer’s Association and SD/PEN, San Diego Professional Editors Network.

In 2016, I published my first novel for young readers, Theep and Thorpe: Adventures in Space. My artist friend, Angelo Divino, created drawings of two friendly-looking space beings. I knew I wanted to write about these characters the moment I saw them. First, I got the idea of their names. I decided to call them Theep and Thorpe because, in space, entities communicate via sound frequencies. Since humans cannot pronounce these frequencies, Theep and Thorpe were as close to the sounds as possible. I wrote about an encounter with Theep and Thorpe narrated by a troubled teen who is sent to reform school on their planet in the year 2160. The story involves telepathic communication, teamwork, and the power of one’s thoughts.

I am currently working on a musical comedy for the stage based on the mythical character, Pandora. Since it’s a work in progress, I am not at liberty to divulge more about the premise. It’s a project begun years ago in collaboration with a lyricist who is now deceased; I am updating the story and characters in keeping with current events. Concurrently, I am in the rough draft stage of another sci-fi novel with Theep and Thorpe and time travel.

My freelance copyediting projects usually come to me by referrals from writing groups and professional organizations. I edit nonfiction and fiction books. I was an English major in college, and I have an MA in education. Both creative writing and editing keep me up-to-date on the skills and craft of writing. My life is never boring!

Read more about my editing services and writing projects at


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What would you most like the people to understand about haiku and its development over time?
Mar 14, 10:33AM EDT0
What's your favorite written/read haiku poem and why?
Mar 14, 10:07AM EDT0
How does haiku work as a contemporary poetics in your opinion?
Mar 13, 2:59PM EDT0
Where do you see yourself in next 4-5 years and what's your ultimate goal?
Mar 13, 6:39AM EDT0
If you could turn into any animal, which one would you choose and why?
Mar 13, 5:22AM EDT0
How have you benefited from being a member of several professional organizations?
Mar 11, 4:13AM EDT0
As an education resource specialist, what do you think are some of the things that one must be mindful of in order to have a fulfilling and meaningful career?
Mar 10, 11:49AM EST0
Do you have a dream of doing other jobs like transcription as a freelancer?
Mar 10, 11:29AM EST0
Do you get support and encouragement from family and relatives to keep you moving in your career?
Mar 10, 8:44AM EST0
Do you have one tip for success that you got from the social media or person group that you feel it can be a gem to aspiring freelancers?
Mar 9, 9:25PM EST0

What were some in person groups you attended and which one did you enjoy most?

Mar 9, 4:49PM EST0
Was the novel more of a graphic novel or was it all words?
Mar 9, 10:01AM EST0

Hi Pampi Pam,

Theep and Thorpe: Adventures in Space is a sci-fi novel for young readers with no illustrations. 

Mar 9, 1:16PM EST0
Do you hope that your musical will make it to Broadway?
Mar 9, 8:54AM EST0

Hi Bethf,

There's a definite yes to your question about Broadway.  Of course, I hope my musical makes it all the way to Broadway, and I plan to enjoy all the little steps along the way. Seeing it performed on stage anywhere would be such a thrill to me! 

Mar 9, 1:10PM EST0
Will your musical also feature any forms of dancing or will it just be singing?
Mar 9, 12:58AM EST0

Yes, the musical will feature both singing and dancing. The opening number and others will need to be choreographed, but not all scenes with songs will have dancing. 

Mar 9, 1:40AM EST0
On what social media platform are you involved with groups?
Mar 8, 9:33PM EST0

Hello again, Moana,

I'm active with writing groups on Facebook and Linkedin as well as one Facebook group I facilitate called Writers. 

Mar 8, 10:02PM EST0
Where did you get the idea to give Theep and Thorpe telepathic communication powers?
Mar 8, 8:19PM EST0

Hi Mary,

Many of the ideas in my book come from my lifelong study and practice of metaphysics as well as personal experience with ESP among family and friends. 

Mar 8, 9:58PM EST0
Do your kids or grandkids get to read your work before it's published?
Mar 8, 8:11PM EST0

Hi Moana,

I have no children or grandchildren. I only had adult beta readers before publishing my first book although I tried to find young readers without success. My beta readers were willing to read a manuscript online whereas young readers prefer to wait for book or Kindle form. 

Mar 8, 9:56PM EST0
When will your musical comedy for the stage be ready?
Mar 8, 6:36PM EST0

Hi Alexey,

I'm in the revision stages of writing the book for the musical. Once ready to share with songwriters and composers, we will work on the music. After that, I will probably arrange a staged reading and then, hopefully, a workshop before a small audience to see how it plays. There is still much work to be done before I can give you a definitive date. 

Mar 8, 7:38PM EST0
What were some issues dealing with kids with special needs and how is it different from normal kids?
Mar 8, 2:32PM EST0

Hi there, Laraloum

I worked mainly with kids who had learning or processing challenges such as auditory or visual processing causing trouble following spoken directions or visual learning. The regular classroom teacher often gives assignment instructions and due dates verbally and/or subject content visually such as writing on a whiteboard or lengthy textbook reading homework. Another issue is attention span. In my classes, I would vary the length and duration of activities and make them more interactive to keep the students engaged in learning. Students with dyslexia were given textbooks and literature assignments via auditory channels once called books on tape but now is done on the computer, phone, or tablet. 

To qualify for my resource specialist program, students had to have a discrepancy between intelligence (IQ) and academic performance based on a battery of standardized tests. Therefore, my students tended to be talented, intelligent people whose learning needs were not met by large class education. Many great artists, writers, and actors have dyslexia or other processing "disabilities." These people succeed due to their determination to succeed and use of compensatory skills. 

A highly successful TV writer was once asked how he got a college education with dyslexia, and he replied that he enrolled in a lot of courses and on the first day of class would ask the professor if spelling would affect his grade.  If the answer was yes, he dropped the class. After college, he hired a secretary. This was Steven Cannell, author of 21 Jump Street and Castle. 

Last edited @ Mar 8, 3:41PM EST.
Mar 8, 3:36PM EST0
How many special needs kids were in your class at any given time?
Mar 8, 2:22PM EST0

Hello, Alexmayer,

One reason I went into special education was to work with kids in a small group setting. Over the years, the size of the classes got larger and larger until my retirement. However, I never had more than twenty students in one class. 

Mar 8, 3:13PM EST0
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