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January 2018

I have been blessed with a wonderful family, supportive friends, and a community of generous and companionable fellow writers. They enable me to do what I love: write.

In addition to writing, I love to dance. I was a ballet dancer in another life and I still am enthralled by the art. (The small snapshot is the cover of a series of stories I wrote on Smashwords.com  It's called "Prima Ballerina.")

 I am keen on traveling, especially to Europe. I've been to Italy, France (twice), Greece and the islands (twice), Ireland (twice)and London, England. 

I read everything I can get my hands on, including poetry, but I rarely write it. It's just not my forte. For fun and escape, I find mysteries and detective novels irresistible.

Currently, I've just finished a terrific book by Peter Gilboy: The American Pearl. Tension filled, plot twists, great characters. Highly recommended.

That's all for now. As my late husband used to say, Stay Tuned.

February 2018

I am constantly learning, not only from my family, friends, and clients, but  from fellow writers, who so generously share their expertise and talents with me. I'm struck by the goodwill apparent in the writers' group to which I belong, as well as the seminars and workshops I've attended. Not all the arts boast such benevolence. 

If you're wondering about that little photo, it's the cover of my lighthearted mystery, Suzy the Default Detective. It's available on Amazon/Kindle if you'd like to check it out.

A final thought until next month:

We write because we must, I think, because we need to put down on paper all these feelings and emotions and sorrows in order to understand ourselves better. At least for me, it makes my life real to see it in black and white.

March 2018

March is always the month I look forward to. Maybe because it heralds spring in my mind (though not really to be counted on here in Minnesota), and also because my birthday is in this month. Birthdays are just numbers, of course, but the flip of the calendar offers promise. I've been writing a lot this month and submitting to various publications. On that note, I am thrilled to announce that GlimmerTrain magazine has given me an Honorable Mention for a piece I submitted recently: The Irish Bury Their Dead. I am  planning to attend a workshop at the Rosemount library on March 24. I debated about attending another in St. Paul but decided on this one because of the manuscript critique offered. I think we all need to spif up our writing and get out and network with others. I've also joined two book clubs to enlarge the scope of my reading. Otherwise, I'm stuck in the mystery-thrillers genre and need more literary  works to stimulate my brain. Next month I'll give you a few book titles that I've found enlightening.

Until then ....

April 2018

I have added a new section, "Archives," where I will occasionally post some of my new and older work. Click on Portfolio and click again on that header. The latest piece is The Irish Bury Their Dead, which just won Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train literary magazine. The background image (Hope it's clear--I'm working on it!) is a cemetery with Celtic crosses near the River Shannon. It's at the ruins of Clanmacnoise, which I visited in Ireland in 2012. Let me know what you think!

May 2018

After a looong siege of snow (in April!), we are all looking forward to warm weather and flowers, if that's possible. I looked out my window one snowy day, when visibility was zero, and I thought of something my late husband would have said (in his best Dudley Do-Right voice) : Spring came early to Canada.

I am doing a lot of editing and submitting for my own and others' work. Such productivity! I am also reading (and re-reading) some Lawrence Block and John Sandford as I wait for new books. My book club is reading The Miniaturist for our May meeting. I had read it before and recommended it to our group, so I am gratified we will be discussing it.

Good writers are invariably big readers, I have found. Here's to Spring and lots of good reading for all.

June 2018

This photo is my grandma, Adelaide Pinirini Benda. I wrote about her kitchen and the house in Duluth in another piece in my Archives (accessible under Portfolio). She was a strong woman who journeyed here from Italy with two small children, meeting my grandfather, Carlo, in New York City. I can't imagine how she felt alone, with no English, but hopeful for a new life in America. I can only remember her bravery and write about her lovingly.

Well, spring has finally emerged, although we're heading to summer now, with warm days (some would say HOT), but it's the way I love it. "What is so rare as a day in June?" asked the poet (James Whitcomb Reilly). I'd like to bottle them up and save them for the winter that's sure to come. But not for a long time. This was a perfect time to read Wintering by James Geye. It's a trek through the Boundary Waters of Minnesota in the dead of winter. One of those stories best read when it's pleasant outside.

"Summer afternoon." Henry James's favorite phrase. And mine, too. Enjoy!

July 2018

It's been a busy month for me: three of my children's birthdays are in July, and, when my husband was alive, we celebrated our anniversary in between. I spent the 4th with my oldest daughter, Lisa, who currently lives with her husband Jeff in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The photo you see is of me on the iconic Blue Bridge in GR, the site of many wedding pictures.

I've done a lot of reading this month, with mixed reviews. Wintering by Peter Geye, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and my favorite, The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. The first two lack real characterizations; the main characters are not fully drawn and very stereotypical. And the editing lacks  are prevalent -- too many switches in POV and timelines that confuse the reader.

August is fast approaching -- too soon, too soon. When they announce the Minnesota State Fair's dates, the summer is over for me. I'll try to savor each day until then. Until next month, Cheers!

March 2018

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M‚Äčarch 2018

March 2018

March has always been a favorite month for me, partly because it' means Spring, and partly because my birthday is in March.

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