About Nancy

I used to ride the playground ponies — painted metal creature swings behind my childhood home — and dream of a book with my name on it: Nancy Schatz. Now I’m married and my body’s pretty close to being 50 years old. My dream came true with minor adjustments: The name on the cover of two books is “Nancy Schatz Alton.” I think it took writing these holistic healthcare guides — The Healthy Back Book and The Healthy Knees Book — to believe I really am a writer. But I’ve been a writer before I could pencil the alphabet on the itchy lined paper in Kindergarten. It’s just who I am.

I wear many other definitions. I’m lucky enough to be a mom to two teenagers. I’m a poet, a freelance writer, editor and writing teacher, too. I’m a baker and a short-order cook, an off-key singer and car dancer. I’m a former long distance runner, an avid reader and a lover of color. I’m also a spy, because writers are spies, right?

This blog was born perhaps a decade ago. That’s when I tired of denying myself the privilege of having a blog. Some of what I have written here is part of a memoir manuscript entitled “But Still and Yet: Navigating the Learning Differences World with My Daughter.” Many entries feature rough drafts of my poems. A lot of this copy is random musings about what it means to be a human being. Existential angst, really. This is my space to live out loud in hopes of connecting with the universe at large, one reader at a time.

Boom. Enjoy my blog. Say hello via a comment if you have time to share a bit about yourself with me. Welcome to Within The Words, Finding the Green within the Grey.

17 thoughts on “About Nancy

  1. Hi Nancy-
    I just read your stories on ParentMap about getting your daughter tested. I am interested in the program but don’t see how to connect with them. Can I ask how did you? Please email me off-line.

    Alisa McMullen

  2. Hi Nancy,
    I thought I might try getting in touch with you this way… I’m not really sure how to go about this.

    You wrote a fabulous article for Parent Map about outdoor preschools a couple years ago – it is very active on Google for any outdoor/farm/preschool searches in Seattle. Nice work!

    I started a school in north Seattle 5 years ago (one of those years I was teaching at Seattle Waldorf School) called ‘Little Farm Preschool’. It combines my passion for getting children engaged with the outdoors, animals, food production (familiarity), nature and quite simply the awesome wonder of nature.

    My core belief: The basic principle of learning is that “everything we will ever learn will come through our senses” – at Little Farm Preschool I am working to create an environment to support healthy sensory development, which is age appropriate. A strong healthy body and sense development will support cognitive development as children grow and mature.

    Everything happens in ‘the beginning’.

    As I mentioned, I’m in my fifth year of development as a school. I have a full roster and waiting list – even though I’m a ‘secret’ in north Seattle. I’d like help letting more Seattle families know about what I’m doing here at Little Farm! I’m scheduled as the #1 tour site for the Seattle Tilth urban farm and coop tour July 11th this year. I’ve not had any articles written about my school yet, so I’m reaching out to writers I can find that may have an interest in what I’m up to. I’m hoping you might be one? I’m ready to let people know about Little Farm.

    We’re outside for 2+ hours every morning
    We have 3 goats – one is due to have ‘kids’ next Wednesday, the other is due July 17th
    We also have 5 ducks, some chickens and 2 bunnies
    There is a large vegetable and fruit garden. Several fruit trees
    We are a Waldorf ‘inspired’ preschool
    12- 14 children attend with 2-3 teachers/assistant
    Outdoor space includes:
    A working hand pump (pumps up ground water)
    large sand box – 8 tons of sand
    Mud pit (see my FaceBook page video)
    Swing/slide/play structure
    ‘Real’ barn with hay loft
    ‘Little Forest’ play area in the woods
    and more….

    My website is embarrassing… I really need help to upgrade it. It has my basic information though.

    I also have a FaceBook page:

    If you’re not interested, or too busy, do you know of any writers that might be interested in what I’m doing? Are there any articles in the works about ‘Farm Preschools’, ‘Animals and Preschoolers’, ‘Farm, Food and our Children’ that I could be included in?

    Thank you for considering,

    Please pass on if you like to another writer

    1. Hi Tamara, I’ll get this info to my editor at ParentMap and also keep it in mind for future stories…

  3. Hi Nancy!

    I’ve just read your article about dos and don’ts for parents of new cell phone users on ParentMap. Wonderful one! Thanks!

    I got an idea that you might be interested in writing one more article about “kids and cell phones”. I believe it would be useful to give your audience an insight into raising thoughtful Digital Citizens.

    FYI During recent Digital Citizenship Week 2015 parents and educators highlighted a lot of interesting thoughts on the topic – https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/digitalcitizenshipweek

    Our Digital Parenting Expert and me would be glad to help you any way possible with covering this topic on ParentMap. If it sounds interesting, just drop me a line to my email.

    Thank you in advance for consideration!

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Elena,
      Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. I’ll contact you by email within a few days. Thanks for commenting and for the good idea.
      Best, Nancy

  4. Hi Nancy,

    Please give me a ring about a writing project. Allison Ellis said you may be interested in this. Please give me a ring at the contact info below. Thanks!

    Dawn A. Crawley
    Account Executive
    The Seattle Times
    p: 206.652.6372
    c: 208.416.1468
    f: 206.493.0755
    e: dcrawley@seattletimes.com
    Check out our online Media Kit!

  5. I just read an article in Parent Map about bilingual children.My child was in a French school for two years but now he’s in public school in the Ballard area. Are you bilingual and speak French to your children? I know there is a French school in Phinney, and the Alliance, but I’m looking for something less formal for my child to continue his language learning. Any ideas? Thanks!

  6. Hi Nancy,
    I am a seattle mom interested in educating myself more about learning disabilities. Your blog is a beautiful earnest read for anyone interested in this subject. May I connect with you via email? I would love to be able to share a little more about what we do with you.
    Thank you

  7. Hi Nancy,

    I’ve read some of your past work in ParentMap and have a related story for you. Could I email you?


  8. Hi Nancy,
    I left you a message on Linked-In about Open Arms, I just wanted to make sure you saw it since those sometimes go to spam folders. Not meaning to stalk you! 🙂 My email is connected to this comment — feel free to connect if that is of any interest, or if not if you know people for whom that would be a good opportunity. Thanks! Love your blog, by the way — I wish I had known about it when my kids were younger and I was needing learning differences resources! I would love to connect.

  9. Hi Nancy,
    I want to come to the class you are holding on Thursday 4/4 and the next one at Ram and Bee ( or is it Bee and Ram ?) When I click to register I end up here on this lovely blog. Even more excited.
    Phrases for a spring day- imperfectly perfect ….fascinating boredom.

    1. Jane, I saw that you signed up! I’m excited to meet you and hope the classes work well for you. See you soon!

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