Two Extraordinary Writers Who Inspire

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Text Me, Love Mom by Candace Allan

We were honored recently to host a reading for Two Extraordinary Writers Who Inspire other women to find their voice.  Over 50 women attended our “Wine and Women of Words” evening.  The highlight of this get-together was readings from Candace Allan, who has just published the memoir Text Me, Love Mom, from Iguana Books, and Kristina Bicher, who has published a poetry chapbook, Just Now Alive, from Finishing Line Press.

The goal of this evening was about empowering women to find their voice by hearing from two women who had done just that and in different ways.

Award-winning short-story writer Candace Allan had always intended to write a novel but was instead inspired to write this memoir as her four children began leaving home.  She kicked off our evening by reading some funny and heartwarming accounts from her book of her kids’ adventures and misadventures, including tales told by one of her sons, who had traveled across America and recounted the host of personalities he ran into along the way.  Although Candace raised her children in Calgary, Alberta, all of us at the gathering found it very interesting to be reminded that a mom’s heartstrings can still be pulled and tested in the same way no matter where you live.

We asked Candace how she found her passion to write.  “Miss Simon in fourth grade Language Arts class was the first to encourage that passion.  I studied creative writing in university and continued to spin tales that were published in magazines and broadcast on radio while raising my four kids.  While pounding out words on other subjects, my own family’s dramas, and observations on family culture, became my muse.

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Candace Allan Reads Excerpts from Text Me, Love Mom

“For a good part of a decade I managed our house full of four teenagers.  Their leaving home was something I never allowed myself to reflect too hard on.  So when the first of this bevy of mine decided to depart our slightly chaotic household, I started to have little panic attacks.  You might say I self-medicated by writing the story of this next stage of parenting with my book Text Me, Love Mom.

Who among us moms hasn’t wondered what it will be like when it’s time for our children to leave the nest? How will we cope? Text Me, Love Mom is available in print and e-version from your favorite on-line bookseller.

You can click here for a link to Barnes & Noble  and click here for the Amazon link.

Kristina Bicher then read four unpublished poems. “And Eve Knew Even Before,” “What Did I Love,” “Bringing our  Brother Home” and “If You Are Late to Sunset at Herring Cove” really wowed the crowd.   She also read “Overnight Sail” from her chapbook.

Since Kristina has held many readings around our community, we asked her about how she found her passion and voice.  “I try to be open to new possibilities. I had always planned on being a lawyer but instead went to live in Manhattan after college.  Through a friend, I found myself a job as a research assistant for a Wall Street brokerage firm.  There I stumbled onto the field of equity research, which drew upon my research, analytical, writing and people skills and also was intellectually fascinating.  I never knew this field even existed!

“Many years later, I was on the board of a nonprofit, and its executive director left.  A board member suggested I apply for the job, which had never occurred to me.  I was a little resistant since I hadn’t done anything like that.  It turned out to be amazing and exposed me to a whole new world, and I developed new skills and interests.
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Poet Kristina Bicher Reading at a recent Rye Arts Center Event
“I found poetry through trial, error and accident.  I wanted to try my hand at fiction and then write the Great American Novel.  I worked at it, but it never quite jelled.  One day I came across a poem by Marie Howe called, “What the Living Do.”  I was blown away by it and by what poetry looked like and could be, how it was so much more than Shakespearean sonnets.  As it turns out, this semester I am studying with Marie Howe, who is now the poet laureate of New York State.  I guess my creed is to stay open to new possibilities, take risks and try new things you wouldn’t have predicted.  And talk to everyone you know about the things they do and why they love them.” Kristina’s book is available on (click here:)  Amazon.

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Poet Kristina Bicher with Blogger Stacy Koenig: sparkykoenig.wordpress.com

Following Kristina’s advice, we also included interactive chats from several local women we know who had started successful businesses in our community:

  • Nicole Zabotin of Larchmont (914-834-1640) founded a consulting business that helps high schools students select and apply to college.
  • Mary Fitzgibbons has her own video montage business at www.mitzvahmontagemaker.com .
  • Holly Staudinger created Ann’s Network, a resource for finding professionals in Rye and the surrounding communities who offer services such as tutoring, travel advice, legal help, health and exercise, bookkeeping, and so on.  You can check it out at annsnetwork.com .

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Nicole Zabotin, Independent College Consultant, and Author Candace Allan

Since we always feel it is so  important to help our local small businesses, we were happy to serve delicious cheese and fruit and cookies from the Rye Country Store,  along with yummy chocolate delicacies from Blue Tulip Chocolates and a fine selection of both white and red from Wine at Five .

We hope you will discover these two Extraordinary Writers Who Inspire other women to find their voice and that they will inspire you as well.

 

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Suzanna Keith is an experienced marketing professional who believes in leveraging revolutionary insights and ideas to grow extraordinary brands. Her expertise includes researching consumer insights and building on these insights to drive long-term strategic direction in all aspects of brand management. read more

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Stacey Egan October 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Thanks for the tip on the GREAT books…..I love hearing about women who help empower other women. We all need to help each other with this. The company I work for believes in this too…. Can’t wait to read the books. Thanks Suzanna.

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