#WritersResist courtesy of @WebstersBooks

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of reading once again with many of my talented neighbors and friends at the second #WritersResist event held by State College’s beloved indie bookstore, Webster’s.

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For this particular reading, I decided to go with a piece written many years ago for my children. The Dreamer’s Tree, as it eventually became titled, came out of a quiet summer afternoon that found my three children and I searching for something to do. So I told them a story, making it up as I went along–talk about pressure, right?!? But I managed to weave a tale without too many holes and the ending I stuck without any problem (I’ve always been a writer who needs to know the ending before I can start writing–or in this case, telling).

Eventually, as I heard my children mention the story again and again when they’d conjure up memories from summers past, I decided it was a tale worth writing down.

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At our second local #WritersResist event, with the theme of Looking Forward, I wanted to share something hopeful. And so I found myself going back to this cherished story from when my children could still fit in my lap and be carried to bed; looking back and looking forward at the same time.

The evening featured powerful readings from Cate Fricke, Nicole Miyashiro, and several other poets, singers, and writers from the Happy Valley region. It was a night full of camaraderie, hope, intensity, and calls to action. But most of all, it was a gathering of love, for our town, for the written word, and for each other.

 

 

That’s a Wrap: Launch Party Memories

This past Friday, I had the privilege of officially launching my debut novel, A Flash of Red, at Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe.  As an author, the entire evening was truly a dream come true. Below are some pictures of my wonderful evening sharing my book with family, friends, fans, and new readers.

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Posing with a big poster of my beautiful cover–thank you Pandamoon Publishing!

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Reading a passage for the audience. I was surprised with how nervous I was–I lecture twice a week in front of 200+ students, but sharing my writing out loud with an audience was a new experience.

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My Mom came especially for the evening from Ohio. My late father, Stephen, is the namesake for my nom de plume. He was certainly there in spirit with us.

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Answering questions afterwards. As nervous as I was to read onstage, the Q&A was exactly the opposite. I loved fielding questions from the audience–my daughter (who is caught at the bottom of the photo above) even asked a question 🙂

So many friends came out to support me–and some new readers too!

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My buddies from our YMCA bootcamp class were there as well–what you can’t see is that our instructors, Josh and Vanessa, made us do planks afterwards 😉  Thanks for keeping me healthy and energized guys!!

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In bed that night, I couldn’t fall asleep because I kept reliving the entire evening. It was perfect. Thank you to Elaine and everyone at Websters, thank you to my friends and family, and thank you to my readers. I’ll remember it always!