After the annual A to Z Blogging Challenge, which ended on April 30, I generally take a break from blogging. Can you blame me? Although most of the work is done during the months of February and March (so that I don’t have to blog each weekday – believe me, I learned the hard way!), still, I keep up with the April posts, catching little errors here and there. Also, I like to visit as many blogs as I can during the month of April, so little else gets done.
However, again this year I was chair of an annual project involving my fellow Rhode Island authors. For the sixth consecutive year, the Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA) will publish an anthology of stories, essays, and poetry by Rhode Island authors. This is my third year chairing and editing the project. It’s always exciting!
For 2021, I chose the theme of GREEN. I do believe an anthology should have a theme, something to tie together the submissions, and GREEN can be interpreted in many ways. There were stories and poems about GREEN in its many forms – envy, money, grassy areas, green eyes, ecology. The was memory and fantasy and baseball! We have a multitude of talent within our group.
So, look for our anthology, coming soon. It’s presently with the publishing company we use (https://www.stillwaterpress.com/). Copies will be available both online and through Stillwater.
And if you’re looking for past anthologies, check them out here:
Each day this month, meet a Rhode Island author! Comment on the blog post for a chance to win our Grand Prize (a $200 Amazon gift card) or our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card). Some authors are giving away books, too – your comment enters you into their drawing as well. (See details at bottom of this page)
The title might seem a bit odd for a memoir, but not if that is how one came to the United States. At 93 years of age, Theresa Landry, a local Rhode Island dance teacher, decided to lace her dance shoes and retire. I had known Theresa since the age of 5 when her daughter, Susan, and I entered the first grade together and remained lifelong friends.
Theresa had been saying for years that she wanted her life’s story written in a book. Being an English teacher and one of the many people who never said “no” to our beloved Theresa, she and I began my first published memoir.
I would go to Theresa’s house two or three times a week, where she would talk about her past experiences, and we would look at, literally, hundreds of pictures that proved each of her stories. She even had two small journals, one brown and one black, which she had written in over the years. The brown one contained dates, times, places, and the amounts of money she was paid for her performances. She included how her “agent” got her to “gigs” in Boston and other parts of Massachusetts, usually by bus. Also in this book were the names of dance teachers from whom she had taken lessons. She traveled by train as far as New York because a teacher was so well known for what she wanted to learn. The slightly bigger black book contained the names and addresses of businesses where Theresa rented space for her studios, until she finally got to the last one, from which she retired after being in the building for 60 years.
Theresa’s studio was wallpapered with life-sized pictures of her posing with famous people – actors, dancers, and politicians. She had met so many, but it is how she met them that was the “hook.” The stories became an obsession for me. HEARING, LISTENING, WRITING – the whole process was a labor of love. This woman was not just a dance teacher. She was a businesswoman, a people person, a lover of children, a wife, a mother, a lover, a humanitarian, a world traveler – an institution!
The three parts of this book begin with the tale of Theresa’s parents’ trek moving with their children from Canada to the United States. The second part is broken into vignettes: Theresa’s stories, happy and sad, but always ending with her own positive spin. And, finally, a gallery of pictures, allowing the reader to view her embellished life.
The conclusion shows how one person can be so many things to so many people. Mostly, it shows how many people Theresa Landry loved and how many people loved her. Sadly, Theresa passed at the young age of 96.
Lynda has generously offered to gift a copy of Truck of Potatoes to one lucky winner! By commenting on this post, you’re entered to win Lynda’s book, and you have an entry to win either our Grand Prize or our Bonus Prize!
Lynda (Simoneau) Nagle was born and lived in Central Falls, Rhode Island, until the age of 19, when she married and moved to Pawtucket. She is a graduate of Rhode Island College, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education – English, as well as Master’s degrees in English, Educational Administration, and Psychology. Currently, Lynda is a retired high school and college English teacher.
Lynda’s first book, Truck of Potatoes, is a memoir which became a labor of love while she listened to stories and wrote from another person’s perspective. This led to her thinking of writing children’s stories and two books entitled Albert in the Middle and Albert’s Dog Daze. Each is based on Lynda’s father as a young boy. Her hope is that, after reading these books, children will learn how to live, love, and enjoy the good in life, even if, at any time, life is not perfect.
At this time, Lynda is involved in writing more memoirs. She also writes poetry and songs, a favorite pastime as she sings and plays the guitar.
You can leave a comment on each day’s blog post during November, for up to 30 chances to win. Daily giveaways by authors will be drawn one week after publication. The author will contact the winner to coordinate delivery of the book(s). Grand Prize and Bonus Prize winners will be drawn and announced on December 8.
“SAND DOLLAR is one of those rare books that makes you feel, laugh and cry all at the same time. This smashing debut by Sebastian Cole reads like the best of Nicholas Sparks.”
– Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of The Tenth Circle
Noah Hartman has it all, or so it seems. Groomed since childhood to inherit the family fortune and business empire, the effect of living the life set down for him by controlling parents has left Noah out of touch with his inner self. Enter Robin, who — in direct contrast to Noah — is a vivacious, free spirit with no material possessions to speak of. Robin’s love saves Noah by inspiring him to stand up to his parents and reclaim his true identity at all costs. But Robin harbors a secret that could devastate their lives forever. Is it enough for two soul mates to find each other, or are the forces that would tear them apart too great to overcome?
Many years later, Noah lies in a hospital bed recounting his life of love and loss, only to discover a far greater truth about the past, present, and future. And the one certainty that remains unchanged in Noah’s heart — true love never dies.
Looking for the next great love story? Look no further: read SandDollar:AStoryofUndyingLove.
Sebastian Cole never intended to be a writer. He graduated from Brown University in the 80s, then worked briefly in New York before returning to Rhode Island to work in his family’s business. Nineteen years later, he took a leap of faith and left the company to pursue his dream, writing a debut novel emotionally inspired by his own personal life experiences. Sebastian Cole writes from the heart, believing in true love, love at first sight, and finding that one person in life you’re meant to be with. Many have compared him to one of his favorite authors, Nicholas Sparks, whom Cole cites as an inspiration. Whether or not he ever achieves that kind of success, touching the lives of others through his writing has been the single most gratifying thing he has ever done.
Visit Sebastian’s website for more information about where to purchase his book and where you can follow him on social media.
You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.
Instead of torturing myself with NaNoWriMo (who am I kidding? I can’t write 50K words in 30 days, I have a novel to publish!), I’m devoting the month of November to showcasing a different Rhode Island author each day. 30 days, 30 authors – from all genres.
So, if you’re local (southeastern New England), please mark your calendars and come to the Third Annual Rhode Island Author Book Expo on Saturday, December5, 2015 at the Lincoln Mall in Lincoln, RI. And if you’re not local, you may discover a new author through these profiles.