Below are sketches of each of the writers included in our first 4 anthologies


Roz Antoun

Roz Antoun earned a Master’s Degree from Binghamton University, was formerly a hairstylist and is now the Director of Jewish Family Service of Greater Binghamton, where she writes for The Reporter newspaper. She enjoys examining her emotional life through writing and hopes that sharing her experiences in the happy times and the tragic struggles will educate, support and validate her readers. Her precious grandchildren are the lights of her life.

Jennifer Bokal

Jennifer Bokal lives in upstate New York with her husband, John, and their three daughters. Her first novel, Celtic Heart, was a 2007 release, followed in 2009 by The King of Avalon. She has also worked as a columnist and editor, written several short stories, feature articles, and a poem or two. Jennifer holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. When not writing, Jennifer enjoys practicing yoga and Pilates, having lunch with friends, shopping for shoes, and the occasional full night of sleep.

Marcia Craner

Marcia Craner has worked in the field of university advancement for 34 years first at her alma mater, SUNY Geneseo, and at Binghamton University since 1983. She is currently the Vice President for External Affairs and Executive Director of the University’s Foundation. Marcia has a BA in Art History and Communications from Geneseo and received her MA in Social Sciences in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Binghamton in 1994. Marcia enjoys the creative process: writing and other means of communications, such as a burgeoning desire to design collages with found objects. Her artistic passions have focused on interior design and gardening. Joining the anthology project has helped to shape and inform the writing process. Marcia has resided in central New York her entire life. The Southern Tier has been her home for 29 years, and she resides in Vestal with her husband, her daughter who attends Haverford College, and an almost two year old Tibetan Terrier named India. 

Janice Fiore 

Jan’s storytelling experience, along with her years as a bakery owner while being a librarian raising 2 young children gave her plenty of ideas. Now “retired,” she writes when she isn’t giving workshops, teaching brain gym, doing reflexology, or practicing kinesiology with her clients. She lives in Binghamton with her partner, Vicky Gordon, and 2 rescue dogs, Lulu and Cocoa.

Elizabeth Garufi

In her previous life, Elizabeth Garufi was a freelance graphic designer and marketing consultant. She married her soul mate in 1999 and was blessed with three children in less than five years so she now channels her creativity into writing. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, currently enrolled in an advanced Writing for Children course, working on a middle-grade biography about George F. Johnson. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) since 2001, she ran a local ShopTalk group for children’s writers for five years at Barnes & Noble in Vestal, New York. Elizabeth makes her home in Binghamton with her husband Carman, their two sons and daughter, and three rescued pets. Italian by marriage, she enjoys traveling to Italy, amusement parks, cooking vegetarian, entertaining friends and designing interiors with soulful color. She reads mostly on the topics of spirituality, food and parenting, and has probably amassed the most extensive parenting library in the Southern Tier. 

MaryEllen Gilroy

MaryEllen Gilroy is an educator, world traveler, and nature lover. As a child, the world opened up to her while living abroad and experiencing many travel adventures with family. She continues to cultivate the love of cultures and nature around her through her work and moments of quiet contemplation. MaryEllen is grateful for the people throughout her life who have shared the pleasures of love and laughter with her, and lives by the words of Basho, a 17th century Japanese poet, “Every day is a journey and the journey itself is home.”

Marcia L. Guardia

Marcia L. Guardia, a retired elementary school teacher, has always loved reading and writing. As a child, she listened to her grandmother's colorful stories with special interest. She would like to incorporate these stories into her writing. Marcia tries to look at life and writing with a sense of humor.

Conny Horne

“I'm a real Hamburger,” says Conny Horne. Born and raised in Germany, she added spice to her life by becoming a dance instructor for ballet, modern, jazz and folk-dance. To broaden her education she came to New York City for classes with Merce Cunningham, the Limon Institute, Viola Faber and other studios on Broadway. Lettuce and tomatoes she grew herself. Raising a family were salt and pepper. Yes, she baked her own bread. Often it turned out so hard she could have used it as a weapon. Turning soft, Conny became a massage therapist. When in a pickle, writing has been therapy and helped Conny to stay focused on the important things in life. 

Heather Humphrey

Heather Humphrey lives in the tiny town of Kattelville, NY with her husband Rick, two teenagers Lindsay and Dylan, dog Lucy and cat Ethel. Heather dedicates much of her free time to learning the craft of writing and trying to produce short stories similar in quality to the stories she loves to read.

Gary Ingraham

Gary Ingraham is an award-winning documentary producer/director, a lecturer in the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, the bass player in a 60s cover band, and a freelance writer. His articles and essays have appeared in various publications including the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Gary lives in upstate New York with his wife Patricia and their two dogs.

Kathleen Karlsen

Kathy Karlsen grew up in a small town in Vermont. Her father was a clarinetist and her mother was an avid reader and an aspiring writer. Kathy went to the Crane School of Music at Potsdam, NY and for a while lived in the Hudson Valley teaching and playing the oboe. She moved to Binghamton in 1985 to get a graduate degree in music and has been living in Binghamton ever since. One of her jobs was working for the Press & Sun Bulletin, where she wrote obituaries and small ads, but most of her writing has been journaling, poetry and occasional articles to promote musical groups. Since attending Bob's classes, she has learned a bit about the process of writing and has great respect for the work.

Pam Keeler

Pam Keeler always felt writing was a reality maker by turning thoughts into ideas to consider again and again. She has been journal writing since she was 16 and in the last few years has been seriously considering poetry as her genre of choice. Pam was a high school English teacher for over 30 years and now enjoys a busy, happy retirement living with her husband Greg and cat Cleo.

JoAnn Guiton Jones Kunkle

JoAnn Guiton Jones Kunkle was born in Binghamton, NY. She worked in a Children’s Home, in a local Library and for the last 20 years in a nursing home as a Social Worker. After her first husband died, JoAnn was lucky enough to fall in love and marry her present husband, Jere. JoAnn has two children, three step children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys summer garage sales, gardening, baking and family parties. JoAnn also enjoys writing, discussing her work and the work of friends, reading children’s literature, poetry, historical fiction and non-fiction and books on useless information. She enjoys the sound and the beauty of good writing. JoAnn wrote a number of local historical pieces that were published in a community course brochure.

Phyllis Neff Lake

Phyllis N. Lake was born on a dairy farm in upstate New York where she attended a one-room school for five years. A graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia with a Bachelor of Science in education, she has spent many years in elementary classrooms both as a teacher and a substitute teacher. Lake has been writing for publication since completing the Famous Writer’s Course in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Lake collected, wrote, and delivered area news for a small local television station in the Mohawk Valley, New York. Later she became a correspondent for the Gloversville, New York, Leader-Herald, a daily newspaper. She covered western Montgomery County school, village and township meetings and wrote many feature stories. Since then Lake has continued to write both fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. Lake’s publishing history includes material in Highlights for Children, Appleseeds, Family Digest, Catholic Digest, The Church Herald, and a romance novel, To Be Three.

Darnell Alanda Morehand-Olufade

Darnell Alanda Morehand-Olufade was born in Manhattan, New York and was raised in Los Angeles, California. She attended Ardenne High School, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies and The Open University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. She holds a BA degree in History with a Minor in Ethnic Studies from Arizona State University, and an MA degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. She was an Instructor at Glendale Community College, Glendale, Arizona and taught African American History for seven years, and Ethnic Studies as a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University West Campus, Glendale, Arizona. Darnell retired from Arizona State University in 2009 as a Professor Emeritus after working as an administrator for 10 years. She moved to Binghamton, New York in 2009 and presently teaches American History I and II at Broome Community College. Darnell resided and worked in Nigeria, West Africa with her late husband, Professor Adelani Olusegun Olufade, and two sons for twelve years, and also in northeast and southeast England for six years. She is presently researching the genealogical history of Black Indians along the east coast of the United States, and assisting in the writing of an autobiography of a Cherokee Freedman whose family heritage historically dates back to before the beginning and the aftermath of the Trail of Tears. Darnell enjoys reading historical and mystery novels, traveling throughout the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom.

Joy McMicken

Joy McMicken grew up in Binghamton, New York. She attended Catholic Central High School, also in Binghamton and American Intercontinental University, Chicago, Illinois, where she earned an ABA and a BFA. She began living a life of creativity from a young age as a craftswoman, music explorer, and artist. Always an avid reader, she has added the title of writer. She has had the wonderful opportunity to live in different places such as Georgia, Louisiana, California and Germany. She presently resides in Binghamton, New York. Joy is currently involved in co-writing a book on antique laces including various patterns and instructions using older forms of needlework.  

Vicki Milunich

Vicki Milunich spent 34 years in education as a Spanish and French teacher. She and her husband raised two sons. Now that she has retired she spends her time writing, reading, exercising, and researching health issues. She is a lifelong learner. She has enjoyed the intricacies of working with words her entire life. She believes they can be powerful tools. She takes great pleasure in creating works that expound the joys and tribulations of life. She takes these tools and works with all types of situations – letters, stories, guiding thoughts, and reflective pieces. She resides in Binghamton, NY with her husband. 

Nancy Oliveri

Nancy Oliveri writes at every opportunity. Shopping lists, handwritten notes to her kids, long careful emails to people who may, or may not want to read them, ad copy, text messages, and so on, but she has never published anything…until now. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English Lit and Rhetoric from SUNY Binghamton, and later worked in public and commercial radio, direct mail marketing, and publishing, where she writes one sentence descriptions of upcoming titles for independent bookstores. Nancy has grown twins with her husband, Jeff, whom she wants to thank for encouraging her to write, just for the fun of it.

B. Bianca Podesta

B. Bianca Podesta, New-Jersey born, has been drawn to the craft of writing since the age of twelve. Her poem “Whitecap” was published in an anthology of high school students’ work by a national poetry foundation. In her thirties, while a psychology intern in a New York hospital, Podesta authored a chapter on the use of Family Systems Therapy with polydrug abusers, for a book published by Basic Books. In 2005 she wrote several articles for the Press & Sun-Bulletin’s “Faith and Values” series. Scleroderma Coping Strategies, Podesta’s book about living with an autoimmune connective tissue disease, was published in 2011: At present, she is working on a collection of stories about her own and others’ experience of God, two of which appear in this anthology. Among her unpublished works are three children’s books written for her son and grandchildren. 

Julie Sifert

Julie Sifert is a full-time mother and part-time teacher. She has other passions, like writing, which deepen her mental and spiritual growth. For Julie, writing is a tool allowing her to better understand herself and others. Her gift for you is the first of a series of children’s short stories and a poem which can reach out to readers of various ages. Her writings approach generational issues that set off a spark in the very young and the very old. Julie hopes her writing serves a purpose for you – whether it is stress release, a starting point for an emotional journey or a logical look at your world. Enjoy the ride! 

Katerina di Vincenzo

Katerina di Vincenzo dances, is married for life, and loves her children. She spends much of her time watering plants and wondering if fish dance in dreams unseen.

Betty Warner

Betty Warner has written poems to help her through many challenges in her life and for friends as gifts. When her daughter was born, she started a journal to record memorable events and milestones. She wrote brochures, advertising copy and newsletters as Marketing Director for Tri-Cities Opera. She is currently pursuing her passion for writing by taking workshops to become a better writer. She appreciates all the support she has received from all the writers she has met through this anthology project.

Mary Beth Willis

Originally from the Western suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Valparaiso University in Northern Indiana, Mary Beth Willis and her husband Luke, have made the Southern Tier their home for over 30 years. Together they have raised two daughters while sheltering and feeding numerous cats and an occasional dog. 

Lisa Wilson

Lisa Wilson was born and raised in Binghamton, NY. Her high school English teacher told her she should write an advice column because she apparently had a lot to say. She is an avid quilter, cat lover and believes everyone has a story to tell.

Alice Wojcio

An expert facilitator, consultant, and coach, Alice Wojcio works in large and small organizations to build more effective teams, to improve communication, and to enhance performance. Developing leadership capabilities on all levels of an organization is her specialty. Alice describes herself first and foremost as a person in her own right, as well as a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, cousin, and friend to many; a former manager who used to take things too seriously; currently an avid (but less than stellar) golfer and a developing quilter; a person who holds no grudges, and sees age as no barrier; a voracious reader who takes the concept of "continuous improvement" both seriously and lightheartedly and has spent her life helping people be more effective at what they do... and someone who usually hates run-on sentences.... Although much of her writing is focused on the workplace, Alice enjoys exploring the lives and impact of people she has interacted with over the years. Not all of those personal essays can be shared with the public....

Ellen Young

Ellen Goodwin Young is a homemeker, a proud mom, a widow. Her hobbies are painting, reading and knitting; she also enjoys people. Ellen has been using up pen and paper since her teens, believing writing is an open door for her mind. She dreams one day of becoming a published author of children's stories.  


Joe Abbate

Born in New York City at the height of the Yankees Dynasty, Joe moved to Central New York in search of higher education and snow. He found both in abundance. He also found love – love of the area, love of the people, and love of his college sweetheart, whom he married immediately following graduation (which pleased both sets of parents because they were doing things in “the right order”). Since that time, Joe has held many jobs. He has worked in radio, education and mentoring young people, and is currently freelancing in web and graphic design. His most important job, however, has been that of a stay-at-home dad, a job which he joyfully held for 18 years. His passions include writing, baseball, photography, music, art, and of course, his family.

Howard Bartle

Subject Howard Bartle has long exhibited a lack of direction. To wit: he has been observed being an artist, builder, ceramist, director, egotist, farmer, guitarist, husband, idiot, job seeker, kilnbuilder, lover, motorcyclist, nihilist, optimist, painter, quester, renovator, student, teacher, underachiever, vegetarian, writer, X-ray subject, yogi, and Zen guy. Further observation may be necessary.

Karen Burke

Karen Burke, a native New Yorker, has always lived close to beautiful Lake Ontario. Family and friends are among the thing she values most in her personal life. She also enjoys writing, reading, gardening, baking and exercising. During her 30 year elementary school teaching career, she teased her students that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up! Retirement has offered many opportunities to encourage that growth. 

Lisa Davis

Lisa R. Davis lives in the country along with her husband, three almost grown offspring, two cats and one dog. An avid gardener and nature lover, she is also an artist specializing in botanicals and fairy figures made from flowers and plant parts.

Mary Ann Donahue

Mary Ann Donahue dismounted from her first pony ride, a horse-crazy girl. Her love of horses continued into adulthood. After earning her B.S. in Secondary Education from SUNY, Mary Ann was hired by Trans World Airlines as an air hostess, what’s known today as a flight attendant. Flying opened windows to the world she had not experienced growing up in Oswego. She enjoyed many exciting travels, but her most satisfying adventure was the journey she shared with an off-track chestnut thoroughbred race mare, Shamrock’s Happy. Having her first horse was a dream come true and more. It proved to be a catalyst of self exploration through training and competing in the equestrian disciplines of eventing and dressage. Today, the mare she named Special plays the muse for Mary Ann as she continues exploring her heartfelt connection by writing stories about her beloved mare and the times they shared.

Quinn Etchie

Quinn Etchie, aided by friends and family and armed with the ultimate knowledge, has embarked on the newest leg of her life’s journey. As a teacher of the abused, undermined and forgotten, she spends her days attempting to repair the damages of society and (ideally) imparting hope and knowledge upon her students. As her career infuses her life, asleep and awake, she writes when she is able, enjoying the sweet frustrations and victorious victories over the words of her pages. She lives wherever she is, but, for the time being, resides in a cozy, cat-filled apartment in Boston. 

Jim Farfaglia

Jim Farfaglia has always loved the magic of capturing the world through the written word. He dabbled in writing science fiction as a child, tried to emulate his favorite singer-songwriters during his teens and, greatly influenced by poets Mary Oliver and Ted Kooser, finally found his literary home in poetry. Jim is happiest when he remembers to pay attention to the pause in time that poetry offers.

Alexis B. Finnerty

Alexis Finnerty was born in Syracuse and never left. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Textual Studies and Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, and she is working on her master’s in Media Studies, also from SU. She loves reading and playing medieval themed role-playing games on her Xbox. She is in the process of writing her first novel, Killing Crows, which was heavily influenced by the work of George R.R. Martin.

Bill Fisher

Bill Fisher was a Depression baby, 1933 vintage. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He has two years of college, has been married 52 years to the same woman, has four kids and ten grandkids. He became interested in writing several years ago, completed a writing course and immediately developed writer’s block. Recently he revived his literary career and has returned the Pulitzer Prize to his Bucket List.

Lorraine Goldych

Living on Oneida River, Lorraine acquired a love of water and sports that ignites her adrenaline. She received her BFA from Oswego State, learned photography, has taken master classes towards a trauma counseling certificate, and also has taken ministry classes. She travels the world as a photographer and missionary. Lorraine designs inspirational posters that illuminate from His Light. She enjoys the opportUNITY to serve her church and commUNITY. The survival of three deadly accidents, amnesia, divorce, attempted suicide, and spinal surgery has inspired her to write a memoir. Lorraine has been on a 22-year journey to heal her heart, a call following Jesus up the mountain, with 20 years of lost memories restored. Her prayer is that healing her heart will be able to help other hurting hearts and restore relationships. Embrace Freedom, Faith and the Future alongside Lorraine.

Linda Hannock

Linda Parker Hannock is a middle child, born, raised and educated in Oswego, New York. She graduated from SUNY Oswego, married her high school sweetheart, divorced and has a son, Brent, a daughter, Melanee, and a granddaughter, Michelle. She is retired after teaching Physical Science and Earth Science for thirty-two years at Fulton Jr. High School & G. Ray Bodley High School. She is a Co-founder of Harbor Hounds Greyhound Rescue and a foster mom for Oswego County Humane Society, spending a great deal of time working for the fair treatment of animals and is an avid environmentalist. Queen of “As We Go Red Hatters,” she loves social engagements, laughter and bling. She likes to read and is currently writing personal essays about the trials and tribulations of growing up. She still resides in Oswego.

Kelly Hennigan

Kelly Hennigan is a passionate individual. Critics have accused her of caring too much and being too sensitive. She considers both to be compliments and proudly owns them. She chooses to use her writing as a vehicle of self expression.  She hopes to raise awareness and heighten the sensitivity of her audience. Her writing often exposes vulnerabilities. Kelly treasures her children and husband. She feels blessed to have the support of her mother and friends. She would like to express her heartfelt gratitude to all those who venture into the personal journey of reading her writing.  

Joanne Henry

Joanne Henry writes to keep memories indelible in a world of impersonal and short-lived communication. She writes a lot about her grandmother who will always be a kindred spirit. She also writes about her children. Her inspiration emanates from countless sunsets and sunrises, and the days in between, over a beloved small bay on Lake Ontario. She lives here with her husband, son and daughter, from April until November. She takes a lot of advice from her third grade students who try to help her writing by showing her the world from an untainted perspective. 

Debbie Hough

Debbie Hough is a wife, mother, grandmother, and apparently the town babysitter. She childproofed her house a long time ago, but somehow they still manage to get inside. Debbie graduated from the school of Life With Little People, with majors in Dirty Diapers and Childhood Illnesses, and a Master’s in Stress Is Real. She writes to escape the mad world she has found herself in, creating characters that actually get to talk without interruption. Debbie has been published in several magazines and newsletters, and writes a weekly column, “Thinking Out Loud,” for the Oswego Palladium Times. Her hobbies include writing, quilting, reading, volunteering, playing hand bells, and scrap booking. Though she has written 18 children’s books, she hasn’t found the time to search out a publisher yet.

Dick Kaulfuss 

For the past twenty years Dick Kaulfuss has spent his professional life doing technical support and troubleshooting for various computer and billing systems. To ease the stress, he would escape to the flower gardens at his home in the town of Oswego where he and his wife of thirty-two years, Kathy Fenlon, reside. Following the death of his father, he felt it was time to begin to share some of his untold stories with his two grown daughters. An active outdoors person for most of his life, Dick writes many stories involve canoeing, kayaking and other outdoor adventures. His collection of memories and musing, which he hopes to share with others, has the working title of “Time to Bury Old Ghosts.”

Linda Knowles

Linda Knowles grew up exploring the gorges and streams that flow down through the hills of Ithaca, New York and empty into Cayuga Lake. Fall quickly became her favorite time of year as the trees burst with vibrant shades of red and gold. The first story she ever wrote was a picture book about a pumpkin falling off a fence. That was the whole story. At the age of six she was captivated by the ability to make something happen. Linda left her hometown as a teenager to enter the Writing Arts program at SUNY Oswego. Upon graduation she quickly published two poems in The River Rat Review for which she received no pay; she changed course. Today she continues to write about animals and nature although the plots found in her work are a bit more complex. She teaches both high school and college English in an alternative school setting and has made the Port City her home, anchored there by a family of friends.

Anne Bisnett Knutson

Writing was a change of gears for Anne. Her inspiration to write began twenty years ago when she married her Kindergarten sweetheart. Anne grew up in the Pacific Northwest, then moved to Rochester, NY, to Newfane, VT, and to Oswego, NY; through four children combined, one shared, and all cherished, she loves, argues, and perseveres. Five years ago, walking the trails of Camp Hollis, she realized it was time to share how she had survived in the face of devastation. 

Kitty Macey

Kitty Macey is a Professor of Costume and Make-up Design at SUNY Oswego. Kitty and her family live on the lake in Oswego. During her career Kitty designed well over one hundred productions at her university and for Syracuse Opera, Oswego Opera Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera workshop, Bronx Opera and an U.S. Army base in Munich. Her designs for live performance in Renaissance fairs have appeared in upstate New York and Maryland. She loves to read mystery novels and now is writing her second novel, Death Comes Anon.

Vance Marriner

Vance Marriner is an up-and-coming writer whose work has been enjoyed by several and earned almost universal critical acclaim from his wife and two sons. When he isn't writing, Vance is usually hard at work in his day job as a market research analyst, which mostly involves creating pie charts in PowerPoint. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego and earned a master's degree in advertising at Syracuse University's Newhouse School – a fact that he frequently tries to work into conversations when he first meets people in a sad attempt to impress them. His contribution to this anthology represents Phase One in his master plan to become the only famous person ever to have come from Fulton, New York. But even if that doesn't pan out, Vance has already earned a reputation among his peers as a guy who should never be allowed to compose his own bio.

Robert Marcuson

Robert Marcuson has been writing since at least the third grade. He published his own newspaper out of colored-paper stock and attempted to sell it for one penny on the playground during recess. Later, he rewrote Jack London for a high school Spanish Class. Robert is one of the few people for whom whether the universe continually expands or cyclically collapses actually matters. His science fiction novel written last century took so long to write, they changed the whole Theory of the Universe before its completion. He does not expect My Last Three Days with Mike and New Guy to be made obsolete by any changes in science or human nature. He is presently working on fiction and a memoir.

Bonnie Perfetti

Bonnie Perfetti is a lifelong Oswegonian. She is an Administrative Assistant for the Oswego City School District. Previously, she worked for 20 years in the elementary school libraries, where her love of picture books came about. She enjoyed seeing the excitement on children’s faces when they “found” their favorite book. Bonnie is still involved with children as a Girl Scout leader and a volunteer for the Oswego Bookmobile. Her passion is flower gardening. She also enjoys spending time with her family, corresponding with her pen-pal of 45 years, camping, kayaking and reading.

Molly Schneider

Marlene W. Schneider 'Molly' was born 26 June 1932 near Owensville, MO and grew up on her parent's farm. Graduated from Washington University School of Nursing June 1953 as a Registered Nurse. Worked in rural general practice, then as Head Nurse in a Pediatric Clinic at the Univ. of MO Medical Center. Married Raymond H. Schneider in 1957. They moved to Oswego, NY in Sept 1961 when Ray was hired to teach Earth Science. Have remained here and have five children who graduated from Oswego Schools. Molly writes memoirs, and mostly poetry for a hobby.

Leonard Spano 

Born of Italian immigrants who traveled to America seeking a better life, Leonardo “Len” Spano entered the world in New York City, just before the start of the depression. There his family lived until the 1940’s when, through the “Fresh Air Kids” program, they were exposed to life in Central New York. Falling in love with the area, the family moved north and has lived here ever since. Len was married in 1950; and he and his wife Eleanor raised five children, a girl and four boys. One of his sons, Mark, was killed in a car crash in 1978. It is Mark about whom this story is written. Len can be reached at:

Margaret Streitenberger

Margaret Streitenberger, called Tumbleweed by her friends, lives in a motor home with her 2 dogs and 7 cats. After a varied career including music teacher, accountant and then an entrepreneur as a pet sitter, Margaret turned to writing. Animals and Travel have provided fodder for her pen. Partnered with illustrator Jim Arnold, she has published two books as memoirs of a pet sitter (“What Happened When the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon?” and “Did the Cow Really Jump Over the Moon?”). Her life in a Motor Home, traveling the US with her pets since 2005, has provided humorous stories for her travel logs shared through emails and blogs.

Megan Urbach

Megan Urbach is a seventeen year old senior in high school who is fluent in sarcasm and enjoys KitKats. She was born in Syracuse, NY and raised in Fulton, NY and writes most of her pieces hiding in the back of chemistry class and dodging every attempt to learn about the periodic table.


Writing was a change of gears for Tom Adessa. After a career in heavy industry and a few years as an Animal Cruelty Investigator, he wrote a story incorporating his love of the outdoors and animals. His first work, a children’s book, was self-published. After a few years of writing seminars and some expert editing advice, Tom’s writing has taken a new direction in depth and emotion. He summarizes his philosophy of writing as follows: "Write as if you have the colors of an artist’s palette in your pen; the pages are your canvas as you paint a picture of words." 

Nancy F. Bailey
, a pediatric nurse-practitioner, enjoys writing as a creative outlet. Originally a Vermonter, Nancy settled in central New York over 20 years ago. She misses the mountains so she visits the Adirondacks frequently and wishes it would snow more than it does in central New York. She and her husband have three children.

Joyce Barnett is a native of New York State and has resided in central New York since the 1970’s. She holds a BA degree in International Politics from Eisenhower College. A publicist and professional fundraiser for 25 years, she has written every day of her work life, but has just recently begun to write fiction, a lifelong goal. Always interested in how to motivate and organize for the common good, she founded a local political party and was elected to public office. She is a Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener, a professional florist and horticulturist, and is the owner of a business offering group tours and events focused on history, architecture, art and gardens. 

As a child Margaret Baum enjoyed listening to the stories her mother told. Often she would beg her mother to tell “just one more” before falling to sleep. A decade later it would be a school project that required writing about family history that sparked her interest in writing. Margaret had an abundance of ideas, thanks to her great storyteller mother. Ironically, Margaret’s first published story would be about the last days with her mother. Margaret has followed in her mother’s footsteps, sharing with her daughter the best family stories. She continues to enjoy writing stories that bring out the deepest emotions of people.

Leslie Camaione’s love of writing has most frequently been expressed through well-researched academic and professional reporting. She is currently exploring her interest in reality fiction while participating in writing workshops and clubs. Leslie has a BA in Psychology and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Social Policy. She is a Human Services Professional and advocate for the developmentally disabled. Leslie resides in Camillus, NY, with her husband, Richard. They have two grown daughters.

Cletus Capitano is a teacher. 

Kathryn Carlson
, a graduate of Cornell University with an AB in psychology, recently retired after more than 30 years in the Skaneateles School District. While employed there, she served as interim superintendent, assistant superintendent, director of pupil personnel services and school psychologist. In her retirement she has found a variety of volunteer outlets, but considers her writing to be her recreation. Kathryn’s interest in writing began in high school where she was an editor and writer for the school newspaper. Expository and technical writing have been a major part of her career over the years, but she recently became enthusiastic about creative writing after taking several classes through the Creekside Bookstore. She is currently working on a series of vignettes based of life in the 1950’s and 1960’s. 

Carrie Chantler has spent every summer of her life on (and in) Skaneateles Lake. Answering the call of her DNA, she chose a creative path in life and became a professional actor and comedian after graduating from Syracuse University in 1986. Carrie returned to central New York to attend graduate school and in 2008 graduated from her alma mater with a master’s degree in journalism. She has been a contributing writer for The Post-Standard, a freelance public relations specialist, a copywriter and is currently a staff writer at the Skaneateles Journal.

Sheila Palmer Chilson has lived in many wonderful spots in the United States and has traveled to the great places in Europe. She believes, however, that there is no place like home, and home is central New York. She and her husband Robert are history buffs and run Purple Monkey Antiques in Weedsport, New York.

David Couch grew up in Skaneateles, New York. He enjoys the Finger Lakes area and living near a large extended family. He often writes for family and friends and has published several human interest stories in his hometown newspaper.

Carolyn M. Crews has wanted to write for a long time, but family, friends, and owning her own business consumed all of her time. She awoke one Sunday morning, turned to her husband and exclaimed, “It is the perfect time for me to start.” She sought out the Creekside Writing Academy. Carolyn’s life has gone through many changes. Now it was time to put her stories to paper. She is eager to see her work published. 

Sarah Layne Curtis was born in Watertown, New York. She attended Sandy Creek Central School for a short time before graduating at Lafayette Junior Senior High School. She went on to attend Keuka College where she received a BA degree in English with a Minor in psychology. She is currently living in South Onondaga with her wonderful husband Shaun and her beautiful cat Mina. They recently bought land in the hills of Lafayette where they plan to someday build a home. When she is not writing stories and poems, she enjoys yoga, kayaking, dancing, and singing at the top of her lungs. She loves to travel and has been to such places as France, Italy, and Bali. She feels blessed to have amazing family and group of friends who encourage and support her. With them by her side she feels as though she can accomplish anything. 

Bob Doolittle grew up in Syracuse, where he currently lives. He is a retired middle school principal, middle and high school English teacher. He is currently teaching English at Onondaga Community College. The majority of his public school teaching career was spent with 8th graders, where he felt right at home. His biggest fear is that someday he may outgrow his own adolescence. Bob is a musician and songwriter. He plays guitar, harmonica, banjo and ukulele, and his true love is the early acoustic blues of Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, and others. He has been performing as half of a duo with his friend, Bob Bone, for over 20 years. He has been writing since first grade, when he got to read one of his poems over the intercom to the whole school.

Born in the early thirties in Germany, Marie Theres Dünkelsbühler lived with her family close to the Ruhr area. As a child she experienced the horror of war. She and her family spent night after night and, later in the war, hours of broad daylight in their basement bomb shelter. After WWII she studied German literature, history of art, and economics at the Universities of Freiburg/Breisgau and Munich. After graduation, she married and had five children with her husband Peter. The family moved to the United States to build up a farm for organic venison in Upstate New York. While Peter ran the farm, Marie Theres worked as a potter, using the remodeled old chicken coop as a workshop. Today they live near Skaneateles, New York, reading, writing, working, and watching wildlife in their large garden with a view to the lake. 

MBE Gentner is a freelance writer and lifelong poet. She is a native New Yorker who enjoys living and working in the Finger Lakes region. Some of her poems are published regularly in Olive Trees magazine, an Auburn area quarterly.

Daniel Glaza is currently a sophomore at Skaneateles High School; he plays soccer and tennis. In the winter he spends most of his spare time snowboarding and in the summer he is an avid swimmer. Listening to music and writing are his two favorite hobbies. He has written many short stories and poems, and prefers writing poems.

Stephen Halebsky grew up in southern California, attended college in Paris, San Francisco, and Madison (Wisconsin), and now lives in upstate New York. He teaches sociology at the State University of New York College at Cortland.

Virginia Hamlin lives in Skaneateles, New York with her family. She has always been interested in writing and is grateful for this chance to become published.

Frances Hansen is a registered nurse, freelance writer, and graphic designer. She is a mother of three grown children and grandmother of six. She lives in Auburn, New York. When she is not working or writing, she enjoys reading, travel, sewing, and collecting stained glass. Some of her writings have appeared in the Journal of Christian Nursing, The Old Schoolhouse, Home Education, VietNow, and several online sites. 

Elisabeth Hurley was born and raised in Germany. She graduated from Fordham University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature and a Master of Science degree in Education. Elisabeth held administrative positions in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. She has written curricula for children and organized a curriculum for an employment and support program for young adults. Other written material included fundraising proposals, employee handbooks, and market studies. Elisabeth wrote about historic explorations of the Hudson Highlands. She penned a detailed travel log about a trip out West that included participation in an archeological excavation. After her retirement, Elisabeth fulfilled a long-time dream by writing Digging Spring, a picture book for young children. More recently, she wrote Christmas and Other Memories of Hope, Love & Good Tidings. Her proudest writing achievement is fulfilling her daughter’s wish for a family memoir. 

Heidi Doheny Jay grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After earning a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from Syracuse University she remained in upstate New York. She has worked in the areas of Cardiac Rehabilitation and the pharmaceutical industry. She recently moved back to Philadelphia and currently works in sales for a small biotech company. When she is not working, she enjoys reading and writing, attending ballet class, playing the piano, exercising, spending time with her niece and nephew and seeking out any creative adventures she can get her hands on. 

Laurie Jerva has been a project manager at Coburn Design in Auburn since February 2010. Prior to that she worked at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University where she was the Director of Development Information Services and an adjunct instructor. Laurie resides in Auburn, New York with her boyfriend Ben and her two children, Alec and Tessa. Laurie enjoys music, Yoga, and reading when time allows.

Bruce Keller calls himself a farm boy and physicist who can write “technical stuff” but has a hard time with fiction. He jokingly says that he wrote his best story in the fifth grade when he rewrote the George Washington myth. He called it “Who Mutilated my Morenci?” Morenci is a variety of cherry tree. He appreciated alliteration at a young age even though the reference was known only to orchardists.

Bourke Kennedy and her twin sister were adopted into the creative world of Hollywood, California. She is an artist, writer, theatre director, peace activist and world traveler.

Wendy Kopley has lived the past thirty-six years in Skaneateles. She and husband John have raised two sons, now living in North Carolina and Virginia. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Oneonta and a Master of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a reading concentration from SUNY Cortland. She taught in the Skaneateles Central School system for twenty–eight years and retired six years ago. Presently, she is on the Skaneateles Education Foundation Board and is a past member of both the Skaneateles Festival Board and the Baltimore Woods Nature Center Board. When time permits, she and her husband enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. She is an avid reader and enjoys all genre of writing.

Joanne Mark grew up in Liverpool, New York and now resides in the Finger Lakes region of central New York with her husband Eric. She is a graduate of Long Ridge Writers in Connecticut. Joanne writes creative nonfiction and humorous stories. She works in a school regional education center in the Professional Development Unit and enjoys reading, gardening and classical music. A great influence for her writing is music, traveling, cooking and gardening. She aspires to be a successful writer of short stories involving a musical Rock ‘n Roll journey.

JC Merritt, a native Auburnian and a local merchant, lives in the country with her husband and cat, Frankie. She enjoys country living and her hobby of writing.

Judy Morrissey says she is considered elderly, and rightly so, as she just celebrated her 75th birthday. She has always liked to write and prefers to express herself with pen on paper more than verbally, as it gives her time to reflect and ponder. As a young girl she always liked to keep in touch with friends by writing letters and postcards. She had many pen pals from different countries over the years, including a girl in Latvia. When she was in high school she corresponded with a soldier stationed in Korea in the early 1950s. After a couple of years of seeing writing courses being offered locally, she decided to join a group. It has opened a whole new world for her. She has met interesting new people and discovered new ways of dissecting literature. She intends to keep on writing to improve her own ability to create good stories.

Beverly Ann Scholl graduated from Geneseo State Teachers College with a dual certification in speech therapy and elementary education. She has completed graduate courses at Syracuse University and Nazareth College. She loves to write, fish, read, and paint with watercolors. Her dream is to create a book for her family that includes fantasy, science fiction, true life experiences, poetry, and stories of the travels that she and her husband Fred have shared. She says she has four wonderful children, all married to terrific spouses, and four outstanding grandchildren. “Who could ask for anything more in life!”

Elizabeth Hepburn Weiss is a seventy two year old free-lance writer. She has lived in Skaneateles for the past twenty years. She has had a few short stories published over the years and two poems in small literary magazines. She is presently working on a memoir. 

Sarah J. Turner has studied metaphysics for many years and is especially interested in the role of women in society and in the feminine divine. She is a trained and accomplished horticulturist with a special interest in the history and use of medicinal plants. As a strong intuitive and a Reiki Master she is experienced in providing comfort, pain management and spiritual support to the ill and dying. She believes that for thousands of years, dominant society has not only spurned the feminine side of spirituality, it has often vilified, persecuted and forbidden it—leaving our world tragically out of balance.


Brandon (Émond) Amo was born in Ogdensburg, New York (the Maple City – la Ville d’Érable), is a dyed-in-the-wool New York Rangers fan, and knows nothing else matters. An avid jazz trumpet player and Dead Head, he listens to all music, and is envious of people who can really play. A former high school Social Studies teacher, he is now the Work For Success Liaison at the New York State Department of Labor, assisting previously incarcerated individuals with their career development plans. An avid reader, he is working his way through the Faulkner canon, currently trying to understand As I Lay Dying.  He lives in Watertown, New York, and enjoys a wonderful life with his girlfriend Tina Smith and her Hemingway Tuxedo cat, Mittens.

Cathy Anderson is a freelance writer residing in upstate New York. She authors pet articles and a variety of creative fiction, non-fiction and online content. Her column, known as "Watertown Dog News," appears at Her website can be found at She holds a Masters degree in counseling and is an LMHC, employed in emergency services. Anderson is active in animal advocacy. She is on the Jefferson County SPCA Board of Trustees and is co-chair and editor of their newsletter. She began working on "One Man's Treasure" in 2008 with a co-worker, Paul Ferendzo. The writers are continuing this story in a novel. Readers are invited to contact the authors at with their comments. 

Caitlin Beal is a transplant to Watertown, New York from the great state of Texas, courtesy of the United States Army. She enjoys traveling, eating, seeking new adventures, and spending time with her awesome dog, Emerson.

C.A. Cirillo lives in Batavia, New York, with his wife, Joan, and daughter, Emma. He has a BA in Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University and is an avid reader. Recently retired from the NYS Veterans Home at Batavia, where he served as both a contract and budget specialist, he hopes to have much more time to spend on his writing. He has authored several short stories, over 400 poems, and continues to work on his novel, "The Saga of Perkins Grove."

Shari Culbertson grew up in upstate New York and is a proud military brat. She has three grown children and four grandchildren. She has worked hard all her life and has faced many challenges throughout. Shari has been writing her whole life as a hobby and loves taking unique pictures of all sorts. The piece she has written is an excerpt from her grief writing, after the loss of her son to suicide. She has established a Memorial Scholarship fund at the School he graduated from. She is also attempting to establish a tree gift memorial to local parents who have had to go through the loss of a child. She is teaching herself how to grow the trees from seed. 

Paul Ferendzo is an artist, creative writer and an avid outdoorsman. It was during his explorations of Fort Drum that he stumbled upon the remnants of the old townships and found the story of the "Lost Villages." Once vast farmland, Sterlingville and the other villages were absorbed into the army post called Pine Camp, now Fort Drum, at the beginning of American involvement in WWII. In 2008 he began writing a fictionalized version of what happened when the residents of Sterlingville were told their land was being taken from them under eminent domain. Ferendzo has explored the history of that time period extensively, gathering a great deal of material and ensuring the story reflects historical facts accurately. He and his co-writer, Cathy Anderson, are completing the tale in a novel of the same name.

Holly Cordova Gaskin grew up on eastern Long Island and migrated to northern New York in August of 2001. Her published works include A Little Company (suspense), Tricked (YA fiction) and Finding My Father: A Search for the Truth in the Face of Alzheimer’s. Ms. Cordova Gaskin has worked for nearly twenty-five years in radio broadcasting. An avid fan of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe, Holly also loves cats and serves on the board of the local SPCA.

Michael Paul Kiblin is from and still resides in Watertown, NY. His niche in writing is short-stories, screen scripts, and poetry. Most of his stories involve elements of science-fiction, fantasy, humor and pulp-fiction. It was in the fourth grade when he began to have a passion for writing. He has been in several writing courses and seminars to enhance his writing voice. Michael’s hobbies and interests include billiards, wrestling, sports, sci-fi collectibles, music, movies, reading, coffee shops, and hanging out with friends.

Darcy Moore is a native of Lorraine, a small town in upstate New York. She is the mother of three energetic boys who constantly offer inspiration. She enjoys being out in nature as much as possible. She has been writing stories and poems since she was a child. She writes to understand the world around and within her. Now she has decided to share her perception with others and try a new adventure in writing for the public.


Patrick Thomas Morgan is currently working toward his Ph.D in English at Duke University. He grew up in Watertown and graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a dual major in English Literature and Geological Sciences. His science journalism appears in Discover magazine, Earth magazine, and The American Gardener, in addition to Discover’s in-house blogs, 80beats and Discoblog. In her editorial introduction to the Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies, science and literature critic Laura Dassow Walls calls Patrick’s scholarly work a “surprising discovery,” referring to his 2010 publication, “Aesthetic Inflections: Thoreau, Gender, and Geology.”  More recently, Patrick co-wrote alongside Priscilla Wald the March 2013 preface to American Literature’s Thoreau Symposium. In September 2013, he published a digital humanities book with Cathy Davidson and the 21st Century Collective, entitled, Field Notes for 21st Century Literacies: A Guide to New Theories, Methods, and Practices for Open Peer Teaching and Learning.

Mary Elizabeth Myers started writing as a means of survival. She started writing a journal after her husband passed away. She decided to turn her writing into poems in an attempt to help others deal with the loss of loved ones. She enjoys music, reading, and, most of all, being a grandma.

Debbie Paine is a slacker baby boomer who has avoided empty nest syndrome by having four children over four decades. She has spent many years trying to find her true calling in life, and alas, she has none. Her search has led her to become a proud grandmother, a competent piano player, a business owner, a former business owner, an outstanding bookkeeper, an occasional writer, an inquisitive Buddhist, and a dedicated hospice volunteer. This is her first published work, unless you count the poem she sent to "Highlights for Children" when she was in second grade. Debbie lives on a small private lake with her husband Terry, her youngest child, Jacob, and her devoted dogs.

NLH Paroubek is a married mother of two who has been writing stories about other worlds and fanciful creatures since elementary school. After publishing essays and winning the North Country Writer’s contest for non-fiction, she’s happy to get a little more imagination on the page.

Katie Semtner Stokes is a marketing consultant who lives in Watertown, New York, with her husband and two children. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English & Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego in 2001, Katie has taught herself graphic design, social media marketing and copy writing, and in 2011, launched a blog called NNY Life, which led to a bi-monthly column in the regional NNY Living magazine.

Barbara Tifft is a Jefferson County native who grew up on a farm in the Winona Forest region of Tug Hill as the youngest of nine children. Following college, she returned to the area to work several years as editor, photographer and reporter for the Journal Publishing Co., Adams. Barb's fiction has been honored at the North Country Writer's Festival and appeared in Lake Effect magazine. She is currently working on a collection of short stories with the theme of aging, inspired by the amazing elderly population of Jefferson County, for whom she has worked for the past twenty years.

JWTrout (aka John Warakomski) has been a fly fisherman for 50 plus years. John guided fly fishermen for 15 years in the Catskills, Delaware River System, South Western Adirondacks, and tributaries of Lake Ontario and across central New York. He resides in Skaneateles, New York, at the Redd Rose Bed and Breakfast. He keeps himself busy teaching fly fishing, building fly rods, and refinishing bamboo fly rods, plus being on the river fishing and learning. He has had fly fishing articles published, written a column for the Skaneateles Press and is currently an active member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association (NEOWA). John continues to write about fly fishing and do power point presentations on fly fishing for fishing organizations. John and his wife Rose own and operate the Redd Rose Bed and Breakfast (a “redd” is a spawning bed for trout). Contact JWTrout at the Redd Rose Bed and Breakfast, LLC,1193 Lacy Rd., Skaneateles, NY, 13152. Phone: 315-685-3943.,

Barbara Briggs Ward is a writer who lives in Ogdensburg, New York. She is the author of the award-winning Christmas story, 'The Reindeer Keeper,' represented by Bergman Entertainment, Los Angeles, for option of film rights and chosen by Yahoo's Christmas Book Club Group as their December, 2012 Book of the Month. Barbara's 2nd work of Christmas fiction for adults, 'The Snowman Maker', was released October 1, 2013. Her short stories and articles have appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, 'Christmas Magic,' the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, 'Family Caregivers', Ladies' Home Journal, The Crafts Report, and Highlights for Children. She is the creator of the Snarly Sally book series and has been a featured author on Mountain Lake PBS, Plattsburgh, New York, and at Target Book Festivals in Boston and New York. Barbara invites you to visit