Contributors

Marilyn Ackerman is a fiber artist and musician living in rural Mississippi. Marilyn plays classical guitar and also creates one of a kind clothing.  Her studio overlooks a tree farm she and her husband started when they moved to Mississippi from New Orleans in 1992.  Marilyn has been oil painting for a number of years and lately has been exploring the concept of negative space.

Greg Adkins is a fairly normal kinda guy living near Portland, Oregon. When not wasting hours on Facebook, he usually tends to write very random stuff on his main site, Deviant Advice. He also occasionally blogs it up on the ole Facebook.

Amy L. Alley is an artist, author, poet, educator, mother, free-spirit and tree-hugging lover of nature living in Upstate South Carolina. Her work is in public and private collections internationally and abroad. She also enjoys reading, gardening, and knitting scarves!

Ainsley Allmark has been writing poetry and taking photographs for quite some time now but only recently they have been coming together to form an integrated whole. Living in the west of Cornwall [UK] has been an inspiration to him and will continue to be so…

Tony Anthony is an artist, writer and filmmaker who lives in Mendocino County in Northern California. His latest project is a film called “Stillness” narrated by actor Malachy McCourt, featuring the monks of the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California.

DJ Asson is a fiction writer living in Columbia, Maryland. He has wandered for many years through the fields of computer science, anthropology and politics. With the support of his family, he returned to his first passion, writing.

Cheryl Somers Aubin has been writing and publishing for 25 years, including essays in The Washington Post, Foundation Magazine and other magazines, newspapers and online journals. She has an MA/Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Cheryl teaches memoir writing and is a featured speaker at book festivals, writing conferences, and workshops. Her book, The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story, is available at the 9/11 Memorial Museum and online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Aubin.mail@cox.net; www.cherylaubin.com; www.thesurvivortree.com.

Lisa Marie Basile is a writer and editor from New York. She’s been published in several Literary Journals and is the Editor/Founder of Caper Literary Journal, a journal of poetry and prose. She loves the desert, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the sun. She’s won six writing awards from Pace University and has finished editing an anthology, Vwa: Poems for Haiti, a poetry collection by Caper contributors. The book is sold and all proceeds go to charity. Visit her website at Lisamariebasile.com.

Owner of Aberham B. Photography, Aberham Berhanu is a 20-year-old self-taught, visual storyteller. He is driven by the adventure and exploration presented to him by the world around him. He often spends his time hiking or biking through nature in search for inspiration and meaning of life. When he is done with his daily tree-hugging hippie activities, he uses his the rest of his spare time meeting, hearing, sharing, and seeking stories and inspiration with some of the lovely 7+ billions people he is stuck on this planet with.

Barbara Bever now lives in Cairo, Egypt. She loves books, her black lab, crosswords, Chautauqua, Scrabble, and all shades of pink. Previous overseas postings include Morocco, Pakistan, Indonesia, India, and Israel, but she claims Fairfax, Virginia as home.

Lisa Lynn Biggar owns and operates a specialty cut flower farm with her husband on the eastern shore of Maryland. She is currently marketing her first novel, We Were Here, and has had short stories published in The Dickinson Review and The Main Street Rag. Her poetry has appeared in National Forum. She teaches fiction writing online for Union Institute.

Barbara Black was a recent finalist in the 2015 Canadian Authors Association Vancouver Short Story Contest and semi-finalist for a 2014 Disquiet International Literature scholarship in Lisbon. Her poetry has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, FreeFall, Love in the Time of Predators, and the anthology Poems from Planet Earth. Other publications include writing in Room, non-fiction in Chicken Soup for the Soul: It’s Christmas, award-winning creative non-fiction in Island Writer, and short fiction in The New Quarterly. She lives in Victoria, BC.

Hildie S. Block is the “CECH” of Hildie Block’s Workshops (Chief Executive Cat Herder). She’s published over 50 short stories and her book Not What I Expected came out in 2007.  She keeps a blog for writers at hildieblog.livejournal.com and on Facebook.

Lavina Blossom is a painter, mixed media artist, and poet.  Her poems have appeared in various journals, including 3Elements Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Paris Review, Poemeleon, and Prompt and Circumstance. She is an Associate Editor of Poetry for Inlandia: A Literary Journey. She teaches visual art to children and seniors.

lori B (Bloustein) is a multi-directionalist living and loving in San Francisco, California. Part poet, part snake-charmer, part vitamin, her expressions include music, photography, movement and the alphabet. After 20 years known as LORI B, she is reclaiming the last eight letters of her name.

Val Bonney is a slapdash writer, artist, and designer living in Devon, England. The creative path along which she has danced and dreamed is littered with abandoned projects and ideas she has fallen out of love with; currently she is considering making fancy-dress costume manufacture her next doomed undertaking. If this fails – and it probably will – there is always the Diabetic Desserts cookery photo-book she is working on … or a cake decorating business … or interior design …

Casey Bottono is a writer and poet well-versed in exploring the light and shade of life. Her work is influenced by that of Hafiz, Rilke, and Rumi, and treats some of the same themes. Further information on her journeys with words can be found on her website, www.caseybottono.com.

Amanda C. Brainerd is a designer living in America.

Christina Brockett is a photographer and author of The Missing Pages of the Parent Handbook. When she can find a few spare moments between working and raising kids, she enjoys writing short stories. Her blog chronicles her evolution as a mother trying to discover intelligent ways to parent grounded not only in self-knowledge, but also in understanding each person’s greater role in our society. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two children, and a truly lovable dog.

Greg Brown is very simply a force of nature. This poetry can be found on the blog theiandthenoti.wordpress.com.

Thomas Burke has an MFA in creative writing from UMass Amherst. He currently works for the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University. He is working on a novel, Everett and the Cosmos, and his work as appeared in Tin House and Hobart Pulp.  He resides in Chicago. 

Grace Burns is a mother, automation/validation engineer, technical writer, and wedding DJ. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, her two children, and her rat terrier. Grace has recently appeared on vox poetica’s 15 minutes of poetry radio show. Her poetry has also been published on vox poetica.

Gay Guard Chamberlin is an interdisciplinary artist and writer living in the beautifully diverse Devon Avenue neighborhood of Chicago. After a successful month-long solo show of her recent surrealist collages, Gay is currently working on a new series about Medusa rising in response to the election and in support of the Water Keepers.

Nancy Claeys is a retired insurance investigator, now full-time Midwestern farm wife. When she’s not taking care of the farm, she enjoys photography, gardening, reading, and learning about self-sufficiency.

Sandy Coleman has been painting and drawing since childhood and considers art play. Her goal is to explore and follow where the Muse leads as she seeks to understand her own artistic voice. Often she creates acrylic-based mixed media pieces that incorporate collage and showcase the beauty, power and mystery of women. But she also creates works that reflect her  fascination with pattern and bold color. Most pieces are imbued with a texture that invites viewers to want to move closer to see, and makes them wish to touch.

Kristi Conley is an art ’n crafts creative type gal in Los Gatos, California. Higgs, her little mutt, sleeps next to her while she creates.

Jennifer Cooreman believes living a good life is a universal desire, and that loving and helping others is the simplest way to get there. She writes regularly for Bershan Shaw (OWN life coach and founder of www.URAWarrior.com) and Danny Baker of depressionisnotdestiny.com. She also works as a TEDx speech writer, blogger, content marketer, and freelance legal and inspirational writer.  She lives in Colorado with her husband, three children, and one wild puppy. You can follow her writing at theattentivesoul.com, find her on Facebook at The Attentive Soul,  or follow her on Twitter @JenCooreman.

Donna Lewis Cowan’s first book of poems, Between Gods, will be published by Cherry Grove Collections/WordTech Communications in March 2012. Her work previously appeared or is upcoming in Crab Orchard Review, DMQ Review, Notre Dame Review, Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry, and The Worcester Review, among other publications. She is an experienced technical writer and computer programmer in the Washington, D.C. area, and attended the MFA program in Creative Writing (Poetry) at George Mason University. Her writing blog is http://donnalewiscowan.wordpress.com/.

Kevin Craig is a writer, poet and playwright living in Ontario, Canada. His first novel, Summer on Fire, from MuseItUp Publishing, will be released in July, 2011. He is a three-time winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon Best Novel Award.

Carey Davis is a community networker in the Southwest neighborhood of Philadelphia where she seeks to encourage and inspire community change through collaboration. She enjoys dark coffee, dark chocolate, and light men, namely her hubby and two sons! Her art is at this point a creative outlet…with hopes of further development in the near future.

Jewel Beth Davis is a writer and theater artist who lives in Rollinsford, New Hampshire. She is a Professor of Writing and Theater at NHTI-Concord Community College. She earned an MFA in Writing at Vermont College, in addition to her theatre degrees. Her creative nonfiction and fiction has been published in 27 literary magazines including Diverse Voices Quarterly, which nominated her story for Dzanc’s Best of the Web 2011. Recently, her work was published in both Bewildering Stories and Poetica Magazine. She has just completed her first novel, Sadie and Irving Fix the World; www.jewelbethdavis.com.

Kim Dollar is by no means a “writer.” She just enjoys writing. And reading. She does both in her hometown of Dallas, Texas, where she works for – and lives with – her adorable husband and two children.

Jim Doran is a musician and artist living  in sunny Baltimore, Maryland. His Web site is http://jimdoran.net/.

Cecilia Reid Driscoll is a poet and librarian living in a suburb of Buffalo, New York. She believes in the wonder and magic of the world and the word.

Lisa Eldridge is a writer living in Northern California. She lives near the beach with eight cats who are all very supportive of her lifestyle. She enjoys chortling. She published her first piece, a satirical poem, at age 13 in a Jughead Double Digest.

Sindee Ernst is a writing enthusiast who believes everyone has a story to tell, and is the founder of the on-line group memoir writing experience, Memoir Medley. Her work has appeared in Tiny Lights, Passager, The Urbanite Magazine, Writing It Real, and Keeping Time: 150 years of journal writing. She also plays the banjo, writes fiddle tunes, and loves traditional music and dancing of all sorts.

Barbara Duarte Esgalhado is an interdisciplinary artist who runs an art collective in New york City for underrepresented artists. She works as a psychologist, too, and teaches at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. She gets a lot of inspiration from Portugal and people and things Portuguese. She especially likes to write poems and make things with her hands.

Caroline Evey grew up in northern Virginia and has since moved around the south east. While she is moonlighting as a construction project manager, she prefers to be behind a camera, capturing the world around her.

Susan Feller is a mixed media artist from Maryland. Her art pieces are generally created in encaustic (painting with wax), with digital imagery, or in acrylic. Her work has been shown locally and nationally, and will be featured in a book on encaustic monotypes by Dorothy Furlong-Gardner. She is an active member of the Art League at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria Virginia, and Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC. 

Jennifer Fendya practices Jungian psychotherapy, Miksang contemplative photography, and good housekeeping near the Niagara River on the west coast of New York State. Until she starts dreaming again, she’ll keep making sandplay pictures and word-salad poems.

Barbie Fischer is a self taught painter who spends most of her time as a restorative justice practitioner on the east coast of the United States. She began her artistic life as a vocal performer yet has enjoyed painting since she was a child and embraced that side of her when she was in college. Barbie uses her love of art in helping to heal wounds of those affected by conflict, conducting trauma healing through the arts where participants take part in exercises using music, painting and poetry to express the trauma they have been through and begin their healing journey. She has also utilized her artistic talent to aid in empowering people in conflict regions and prison.

Lauren B. Flax is a writer and yoga instructor living in Baltimore, Maryland, with several hairy creatures including two wiener dogs, two wiener cats, and one wiener husband. She is presently pursuing a Masters in Fiction Writing at Johns Hopkins University.

Donna Gagnon lives in Haliburton, Ontario Canada. She writes poetry, short fiction and plays. Her work appears at The Fib Review, Shot Glass Journal, SmokeLong, Every Day Poets, Short Story Library, Rumble, Bewildering Stories, Pen Pricks Microfiction, Smokebox, Wingspan Quarterly, Twisted Tongue, Gold Dust Magazine, in Gatto Publishing’s Short StoriEs e-anthology and in three anthologies published by The Write Idea.

Adam Garcia is a classically trained percussionist specializing in marimba performance and instruction. He currently resides in Northern Virginia. How fancy.

Lené Gary is a writer, poet, and recreational photographer living in the Green Mountains of Vermont. She has won national literary awards. Her writing appears in both print and online journals. Her photographs have been published on the web in Orion Magazine’s “The Place Where You Live,” One New England, on websites for local businesses and nonprofit organizations, and in Vermont Nature and The Bridge.

Jay Young Gerard’s father understood creativity: “Ah,” he said, “I see you have made something out of nothing.” Accordingly, Jay has lived her life making something out of words and pictures, pictures and words, with a little music and dancing thrown in for good luck.

Frank Gibson was born in Yorkshire which some people regard as part of England. For the past 20 years he has lived in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and is happy to do so. He has had a lifelong interest in imagery and has dabbled in painting but has been a life long photographer. With Photoshop and similar software he finds he can get the best of both worlds and is now hopelessly addicted to digital image making. (Much less messy and smelly than paint). Frank will have a website one day.

Ana Gonçalves is a healer, life coach, artist and writer living in Surrey in the United Kingdom. Having grown up in Portugal, she later moved to the UK with her family, and has resided in the UK for the past 20 years. Ana has always had a very strong connection with the source, nature, the collective consciousness and the spirit world, and uses the creative medium to transcend her inner works on paper and print. Ana can also read nature, animals, and children, and it is through her open heart and giving nature that she is of service to the planet.

Jean Gordon enjoys hiking, bicycling and trying her hand at new crafts. Also,dabbles in poetry, photography and children’s stories. She is retired and lives with her husband in East Tennessee.

Dana Gray is an artist and teacher, yogi, avid gardener, tree hugger, and natural foods freak. she lives in Sacramento with her husband and rad labradoodles. Dana tends to her blog “catnip and mint” and juices organic fruits between yoga classes and naps.

KJ Hannah Greenberg gave up all manner of academic hoopla to chase a hibernaculum of imaginary hedgehogs and to raise children. En route, she moved to Jerusalem, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and took on some editorial responsibilities at journals hither and yon. Hannah’s work can be found in lots of places, including in: Cantaraville, Language and Culture Magazine, Poetica, Poetry Superhighway, The New Vilna Review, and Vox Poetica.

Cristal Guderjahn writes, sings, paints, and gives advice to the lovelorn. She lives in Pleasanton now, after 15 years in San Francisco, because she married the love of her life and had to move. Which is OK, because even the suburbs have room for her.

Claire Guyton is a freelance writer and copyeditor in Lewiston, Maine. She’s taking a break from putting together a short story collection while she writes a story every day for a year and blogs about the experience at dailyshorty.com. She also blogs about writers and writing for Hunger Mountain’s Another Loose Sally. Her fiction has appeared in Crazyhorse and elsewhere, and her Hunger Mountain essay celebrating the short story was nominated for a Pushcart. Claire is the Maine Arts Commission’s 2012 Literary Arts Fellow.

Frann Haykin is a British writer, serving the New England region. As an ‘intuitive wordsmith’ her writing style may be light-hearted or profound. She craftsher work in different genres. These include plays, childrens’ fiction and articles exploring higher consciousness or holistic themes. From time to time she also uses her writing skills to assist small business owners with describing and informing about their services or products, by means of wording style or enhancement of their Web pages, business literature etc.

Dani Harris {not a boy} has a blog “haiku love songs” which is a work in progress as she has only been writing since February 2010. She is in love with words. In 2011 she is becoming more involved with sites {such as SPARK} where she can learn more as well as meet more poets and other people in the arts. She is also featuring photographers’ and other poets’ works on her blog, and has begun to do works in collaboration with other writers, poets, photographers, and artists.

Caroline Harrison is an artist who lives in Brooklyn. Primarily a draftsperson and painter, she is fascinated by the unsettling beauty that can be found in the aggressive, grotesque, and disturbing. She wears a lot of rings and spends a lot of time in dark rooms photographing very loud bands.

Lynne Elizabeth Heiser is an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator, jewelry designer and mixed media artist. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia and continued her studies at Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy where she received her Post Baccalaureate Certificate in painting. She currently resides in Reston, Virginia with her best friend and her 2 lovable rescue dogs Zoë and Bailey. You can check out her pet portraits and other artwork at artworkByLynne.com and her graphic design is available for viewing at in2itCreative.com.

Katie Helms is an art teacher and an administrator at an early childhood school in Washington, DC. She is currently designing a series of artist’s books based on the five elements of Chinese medicine. She dabbles in watercolor, is fascinated with pentimenti drawing, and offers play workshops for adults in her community.

Brian Eugenio Herrera is a writer, teacher, and scholar presently based (and forever rooted) in New Mexico. He doodles daily and recently started stitching again. See more about Brian at his website.

Gary Hewitt is a writer/poet who has had the odd bit of publishing success here and there with a few pennies for his efforts. He is rather unique and bizarre at times with his work and at the moments is dabbling in poetry courtesy of a local writers’ group.

Bette Hileman is an independent photographer, writer and editor who lives in Culpeper County, Virginia. She is a member of Old Rag Photography Gallery, which is housed in River District Arts in Sperryville. A retired journalist, Bette has published poems online in vox poetica and Orion Headless. Also, she has written the first draft of a novel and edited several anthologies and nine novels. She blogs at bettehilemanblog.wordpress.com.

Mary Hill grew up in Vermont looking at the Adirondack Mountains with the sun, wind, and constantly moving Lake Champlain as her muse. Mary has studied dance, fabric design, printmaking and has recently started her videography career at the age of 53. Many of her paintings start out as monoprints and evolve from there. Shades of grey have become a new favorite color.

Hmm, a writer/poet who has had the odd bit of publishing success here and there with a few pennies for his efforts. He is rather unique and bizarre at times with his work and at the moments is dabbling in poetry courtesy of a local writers’ group.

Gabby Holden lives in Portland, Oregon, and likes to knit, draw comics and listen to metal all at the same time.

Marcela Horness is a scholar, painter, mother and lover of life. She lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Jane Hulstrunk dabbles in photography for creative expression. She lives in central Vermont with her husband Bill and her dog Peppermint.

Meghan E. Hunt loves antique typewriters and lives in a room full of letters and books. She occasionally ventures out for hilarity and other legal forms of mayhem. She writes fiction and photographs the world for posterity.

Robert Haydon Jones lives with his wife, Alice, in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Kathleen Finn Jordan is a native New Yorker. Her latest published works include the poem “Autumnal Photo Shot” in The Silence Remembers, and nonfiction academic works “Third Culture Persons” and “Identity Formation and the Adult Third Culture Kid.” Currently editing her first novel, Global Changes – Mobile Lives, and a stage play, “The Whoosh Factor,” she has prepared two chapbooks of writing responses to gallery art shows in collaboration with Del Ray Artisans.

Tony Joyce is a poet, musician, writer, worsmith and hack. He hangs out in Malvern, Worcestershire, united Kingdom, The world. Find the Web window to his musings at MargaretMJoyce.com. They say the darkest hour comes right before the dawn.

Paula Kaiman is a former educator-administrator for a social services organization addressing the needs of children and families.  In addition to creative writing, she enjoys photography, art, cookery, herbalism, and time spent in nature.  Her work includes poetry, short stories and children’s stories.

Donna Kendall traveled a number of windy roads before arriving at a career in writing. Some of those roads were dead ends and others turned into muddled detours, but today she’s following a path that leads her home. It’s been said that all roads lead to Rome but Donna’s family lives in a small village in southern Italy and she’s been spotted there on occasion picking olives and cherries on a parcel of land she inherited from her grandfather. In returning to her roots she’s found more stories buried in the soil of her ancestors than she could have ever imagined. Her recent book, Dancing with Bianchina, published this summer, is a memoir that chronicles her mother’s life in Fascist Italy during WWII and the postwar devastation, where all Italians understood the proverb, “In a country of the blind, the one-eyed man is King.”

Ashley Seitz Kramer is a writer from Ohio. She earned her M.A. from Ohio University and her M.F.A. from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in a handful of journals, including Dogwood, Wicked Alice, Brevity and Cutbank, and is forthcoming in Hunger Mountain and Slice. She was a finalist for a 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship and recently won the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. She lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and animals, and teaches writing in the SAGES program at Case Western Reserve University. She collects small elephants and vintage aprons and is drawn to all things epistolary.

Tori Lane is a writer and dancer living in northern Virginia. She is currently a seminary student at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies and Artist in Residence at Convergence in Alexandria.

Alisa A. Laska is a Youth Director and freelance writer from Springfield, Virginia.

Joanna Suzanne Lee has never been formally trained in any kind of writing, thank you very much. She can, however, dissect the brainstem of a neonatal mouse or diagnose your lower back pains. Her first full-length book of poetry, the somersaults I did as I fell (iColor, Richmond, VA), was released in January of 2009, while much of her evolving work in both poetry and photography can be found in the continuously morphing darkroom that is the Tenth Muse.

Julia Latein-Kimmig is an abstract painter who works on mostly big or multipaneled canvases. Color rules, nothing beats color. Paint, charcoal, tape and collage set the stage, before lines, boundaries, ideas join, making their adventurous journey onto the canvas, which after much chaos gets eventually tamed, more or less.

Matthew Levine has been painting landscapes, portraits and still lives for 35 years. He studied watercolor and oil painting with his father, the caricaturist and painter David Levine, and others. He is also the director of marketing and communications for Research to Prevent Blindness, a New York-based nonprofit that supports medical research.

Helen Lewis writes stuff and takes photos. She is currently flirting with minimalism.

Lisa Lipkind Leibow is an author of smart women’s fiction. Her novel Double Out and Back (Red Rose Publishing) takes the reader on the roller-coaster ride of infertility treatments as seen through the eyes of three women. Originally working as a lawyer, Lisa decided to trade the billable hour lifestyle for fiction writing. Winner of Pitchapalooza D.C. and an Honorable Mention in John Gardiner Award for Best Character Description, Lisa’s work has also appeared in Pisgah Review, Sanskrit Literary Arts Magazine, and Diverse Voices Quarterly. She lives and writes in Northern Virginia with her husband, three sons, two clumber spaniels, and two red-eared sliders.

John Lewis is an expat Brit who has been living in the frozen wastes of Finland since 1986. He loves writing of all kinds: poetry, songs, short stories, long stories, stupid captions in caption competitions, ridiculous Facebook dialogues with friends and relatives. He doesn’t particularly like writing checks.

Tom W. Lewis has lived in Minnesota for 12 years. When not editing, designing, and project managing publications for his day job, he writes poetry. His current draft of “Collected Poems” runs to 1,400 pages. His poems have been published in Listenlight, the Saint Paul Almanac, and Midway Journal, among others. Tom holds a BA in Ancient History from UC Santa Cruz, and a Master’s in Classical Literature from San Francisco State University. More of his work (texts, images, and sounds) can be found at his blog.

Sylvia Light is recently retired from a career in public affairs at San Jose State University and, previously, at The College of New Jersey. She lives with her husband, photographer Skip Light, in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California.

Greg Lippert–Day job: Art Director, creative something or other, multimedia producer, computer geek. Weekend job: Struggling musician – a weekend warrior. We are the 162,865 most popular band in the world. www.scratchtheband.com. Spare time: Devoted dad & husband. Spend a lot of time trying to stay out of trouble.
Hobbies: baseball, softball, biking, camping. Other: Long sufferin’ Jets & Mets fan! Favorite quote: “There’s nothing wrong with me, it must be the universe!”

Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, an online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the everyday. She has been reading and writing poetry since she could read and write. A lifelong Bergen County, New Jersey, resident, she lives two miles east of the hospital where she was born.

Jone Rush MacCulloch is a teacher-librarian during the school year and a blogger, poet, and writer the rest of the time.  She shares her poetry passion with students through a club, Poetry Rocks: Performance Poetry. Jone is published in Poetry Friday Anthology: Celebrations along with a couple of haiku publications. She is currently working on a middle grade verse novel. Outside of school and writing, she likes taking road trips her husband and her dachshund, and hanging out with family.  She usually has a camera, pen, and notebook in hand. Find her at Deowriter and @JoneMac.

Lavinia Magliocco is a dancer, writer/poet, tanguera, music junkie, and foodie. She was dance writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer in the 1990s, dancer at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC from 1992-98, and has taught dance/Pilates/rehab in her Portland Pilates studio since 2000. Last year, she read for Unchaste Readers and also on KBOO. She lives in  Portland with her giant cat Lao, and her honey, Irwin.

Margaret Mair is an artist, writer, and cruising sailor. She creates her art with love, thought and passion, drawing from and reaching out to the world around her.

Russ McIntosh has been working as a graphic designer for nearly 15 years; though he enjoys making a living being creative, it is his personal work that drives his imagination and fuels his soul. The images he has created have many layers in them, and though at first glance the main composition does register with viewer, it is upon further reflection that they can see “hidden images” that were originally unnoticeable. If you look at the shadow shapes and highlights within the image, other objects will start to take focus.

Mark Owen Martin is a software engineer by day and a musician and composer by night. He played piano and harpsichord exclusively until a car accident 10 years ago ruined the critical little finger of his right hand. He began to study harp 18 months ago (the little fingers are never used in harp playing) and has been composing and performing again. Mark has participated in several SPARK events.

Gwynne Mason creates unique and unusual handmade papers and textiles from domestic plant fibers and from recycle paper and fabric. Her small, but fully equipped paper mill is located in Falls Church, Virginia.

Liz Mathews is an artist and writer. She currently studies communication and media as an MS/PhD student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Marty McGihon is diverging from her career as a graphic designer to explore abstract painting. With a degree in fine art from Virginia Commonwealth University, she focused for many years on writing and illustrating educational materials in print and electronic media. Now she’s making broader, more physical art without a mouse and Photoshop…at least after business hours. Shaking things up a bit, and learning to play the djembe, too!

Amanda Miska is a writer, new mom, dreamer/schemer, and lover of all things beautiful, good, and true(especially fellow Spark-er Quentin Paquette and her daughter, Aurora Jaymes). She has an MFA in Creative Writing from American University, focusing on short fiction. She also collaborates and runs two Etsy vintage shops with her sister (and another fellow SPARKer), Jayme Cawthern. These days, she mostly writes blogs and reads college essays.

Brenda Moguez is a woman of many passions, but having two full time jobs, homemaker and client engagement for social media technology company, she has narrowed her pursuit to writing, reading, music, and travel, and in this order. Once upon a time she had a rolodex of friends, but since taking up writing, her primary passion, she now has three and half. The fat cat, who watches her intently and resents her laptop, is the half. She’s finished her first novel, and while working through the business side of publishing, she’s started writing her second book. Brenda has dreams of living the writing life in Barcelona in a fully staffed villa, complete with a personal trainer. In the meantime, she writes in her suburban home outside of San Francisco, and assumes the role of the CFO, caregiver, chef, and chief bottle washer. 

Amy Moffitt writes because she can’t draw and sings because speaking doesn’t get anywhere close to what she wants to say. She works for the gubmint and is blessed to be part of the leadership at the fabulous Church of the Common Table. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with two cats and a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Fabio that someone gave her as a joke.

Linda M. Rhinehart Neas is an educator/writer/poet,who has written two books of poetry, Winter of the Soul, (2008) and Gogo’s Dream: Discovering Swaziland, (2010). She teaches English as a second language, writing and poetry throughout New England. She is currently awaiting the release of her first children’s book inspired by her grandchildren. She lives in the Enchanted Cottage with her Beloved.

Lisa Nielsen is a single mom living in Staten Island who is using poetry as a means to get her groove back. She is doing her best to get the words out of her journal and into the world.

Maureen O’Donnell writes fiction, mostly in short story format although she is currently working on her first novel. She also pens a fitness and exercise column for a local news site and runs a blog that covers topics like writing, running, and food.

David Ord has been, often by accident, a Civil Servant, an industrial engineer, a financial analyst, a journalist, a PR consultant, and a commercial writer. He is also a bass player, probably the only intentional career move he has ever made, and the only one which doesn’t feature on his CV. One day he will finish his novel, which may well be at some point after he begins to write it.

Robin Peace was born in Manhattan, New York, and was raised and now lives in Gwynn Oak, Maryland. She is a paralegal specialist for the government, with her J.D. and an undergrad in English. Her short stories and poems tends to be fiction-based and her novels tend to be fantasy/dark-urban fantasy. 

Annie Perconti is a writer, artist, and poet with a passion for charcoal, dreams, transformation, and CG Jung. She has an MA in counseling psychology and spent the last six years working as a psychotherapist.

Irene Plax is a writer, video producer, cook, and mover/shaker living in New York City. She has been participating in Spark rounds since 2010.

Douglas Pugh is a Canadian poet/writer/painter. He does not profess to be good at any of them, but he will try, and smile while he does it. We’re not sure if it’s the medication or the radio waves from the mothership that really helps with that. If you really want to make his day, find his Hgup! fan page on Facebook.

D. James Quinn writes science fiction and listens to late ’90s trip hop when he’s not wasting his time on the internet. At Stetson University, he studied contemporary poetry and weird fiction, and completed a Masters in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College. His work has appeared in SPARK, Touchstone, and A Bad Penny Review. Quinn lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his fiancée and a grumble of imaginary pugs.

Traci Robison is an archivist by day and writer by night who also finds focus behind the camera lens every now and then. She is currently finalizing edits on her first novel and is working on drafts of a half dozen others. A lifelong Nebraska resident, Traci lives with her husband and their beloved dogs.

Cat Ross is a twenty-something who has yet to find a use for her bachelor’s degree and claims not to know a heck of a lot about writing. She’s joined SPARK to inspire more consistent writing and creating.

Diana Sharp is an artist living in Victoria, BC, creating artworks in acrylic, pencil, and 3D shadow boxes of mixed media. She enjoys allegorical fantasy and has been expanding into abstract images this last year. She lives in her grandmother’s Craftsman bungalow with her husband and cat, surrounded by flower gardens, fruit trees, and singing birds.

Ray Sharp writes poetry and short fiction from his home on the rugged and remote Keweenaw Peninsula of northern Michigan. Sharp is the author of three poetry books: Nothing Abides (2012), Memories of When We Were Birds (2013) and Dating Tips for Conservatives, A New Poetry Primer for a Desperate Age (2017).

Editor of the art and literary journal Little Patuxent Review, Laura Shovan was a finalist for the 2012 Rita Dove Poetry Award. Her chapbook, Mountain, Log,Salt and Stone, won the 2009 Harriss Poetry Prize. She edited Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems and co-edited Voices Fly: An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artist-in-Residence Program, for which she teaches.

Crossley Simmons is a curly-haired girl who likes to write and power lift.

Although Nina Simon has always loved to read, writing is something she only began by accident about seven years ago. At last she feels she has found a means to express herself and channel her over-active imagination into poetry and short stories.

Vita Sims is an interior designer and watercolorist. She has a BA in Studio Art from University of Maryland and an MA in Art Therapy from George Washington University. She is a juried member of the Potomac Valley WaterColorists and has been painting for over 40 years, primarily in watercolor and more recently in acrylic paint. Her loves are nature, the ocean, and Maine. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and son.

DiAna Hart Smith considers retirement her smartest career move after serving over 33 years with the U.S. Forest Service. She resides in McLean, Virginia, with her husband. She has been published in The Washington Post, adores her two granddaughters, vigorously attends her garden, and religiously volunteers at Washington National Cathedral.

Nancy Smith scribbles poetry and dabbles in all the domestic arts. She spent a lifetime as a nurse and now am an acupuncturist. She loves the synectics of SPARK, drawing different images or writing into connection.

Amy Souza founded SPARK in 2008 and runs the project from her home in Arlington, Virginia Portland, Oregon. When she’s not cajoling people to join SPARK, setting up partner pairs, nagging people about deadlines, working on the website, or planning SPARK’s Next Big Thing, she writes, edits, paints, and walks her dog. Amy has a master’s degree in radio and television from San Francisco State University. She graduated from the Comics Certificate Program at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, where she also studied prose and poetry. In 2013, Amy won a Luso-American scholarship to attend DISQUIET International in Lisbon.  Join Amy and SPARK on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D., is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, writer, and creativity coach living in South Carolina; her latest books are This is how honey runs, poetry from Unbound Content and Shamrock and Lotus, a novel from All Things That Matter Press. She provides inspiration and guidance for creative people through her Co-Creating practice; learn more at her website.

Elizabeth Stelling hails from Texas and is a working chef in Princeton, New Jersey, where she also runs open mic for poets, writers, and singer/songwriters for the past three years. She writes about her cooking and wine experiences when she is concentrating on writing fiction and poetry.

Leah Sturgis lives in Northern Virginia. She takes great delight in the fact that her children are finally grown. When not working at her paralegal job, she writes, taking perverse satisfaction in neglecting the dusting and yardwork.

Sukia is both an expressionist artist and a teacher of the creative process. Fueled by the spontaneous expression of feelings her art work pulls the viewer into the core of each piece. The paintings she creates are bright and alive, full of motion and energy.

Lauren Tivey has been living in China for the past two years, where she’s been working as an English Literature teacher in the American Program at a Chinese high school. She received her MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and her poems have appeared in The Literary Burlesque, The Legendary, Message in a Bottle, Gutter Eloquence, Snakeskin, and Sierra Nevada Review, among other publications, both online and in print over the years. She lives for poetry, photography, travel, and adventure. Her first chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas, is due out in July of 2011, by Big Table Publishing Co.

Vicki VanArsdale works as a project manager and is pursuing a Master’s of Science Degree in Health Communication at Boston University.  She expresses herself creatively through memoir, short stories, free form poetry and photography, and is a lover of red wine, sunshine, fresh air and cats. 

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is writing teacher living in on an old farm in Holland, New York. She has several poems published in children’s anthologies and her first book, Forest Has A Song, will be published by Clarion in 2013.  You can find Amy at amylv.com, poemfarm.amylv.com, or sharingournotebooks.amylv.com.

Rus VanWestervelt is a writer and photographer living in Towson, Maryland. Although he has an MFA in creative nonfiction, he explores all forms of writing and values voice above all else. You can read his works, study his photography, and possibly get inspired by going to his website.

Michelle Townsend Wallace is a writer, artist, and musician living in Dallas, Texas. She has a background in counseling and nonprofits, and is always looking for opportunities to integrate her many passions. Michelle has been married for 12 years to her childhood sweetheart, and they have three children. You can find her online at her blog.

Charles Waters is a children’s poet, actor and educator who has performed in schools and universities across the country. His work has appeared in various textbooks and anthologies including The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by former Children’s Poet Laureate of the United States, J. Patrick Lewis. For more information please visit www.charleswaterspoetry.com.

Judy Weinberg is a freelance photographer. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A hobbyist photographer for many years she started pursuing photography and a career recently and has found it to be very rewarding.

Annie Welch is a poet with a passion for charcoal art, dreams, transformation, and CG Jung. She has an MA in counseling psychology and spent the last six years working as a psychotherapist.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Wexler is a clinical social worker and kids yoga teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. Writing is her first love. She writes creative non-fiction and personal essay, often inspired by the work she does with others. She has been published locally and has just recently started taking the Baltimore open-mic circuit by storm.

Amanda Whitener is a fine art photographer living in Washington, DC. She enjoys exploring themes of identity, childhood, and mental illness in her work. She knows she has strange ideas for her art sometimes, but appreciates the support of her boyfriend, Nick; and her fish, Sir Willy the Blee. She hopes that someday her work can be appreciated outside of her studio and the internet.

Ann Marie Williams is an award-winning fine artist and illustrator residing in Reston, Va. She has worked as an illustrator, graphic designer, publications manager and art director, but painting is her passion. Her paintings are very expressive and incorporate acrylics, collage, oil pastel or crayons to achieve varied textures. She uses a very strong sense of color, line and movement. Ann has also illustrated four children’s books that have won national book awards. Visit her at www.annmariewilliamsart.com.

Andrena Zawinski, a prize-winning poet and educator, is also an avid shutterbug with photos appearing in many literary journals both online and in print. frankbettecenter.org/artist-galleries/artist_andrena_zawinski.html.