About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Family Sherlock, a Genealogy Business

My sister, Jennifer van Edig, is a professional genealogist who runs a genealogy business called Family Sherlock. In addition to her website, she also has a blog called The Casebook of Family Sherlock. Jenny is a talented and expert genealogist. I highly recommend her services to readers of my blog, especially those of you who are writers. Your past can be an excellent place to find stories to tell. Jenny has done extensive genealogical research on our family and has found characters, charlatans, heroes, swindlers, hard workers, and skeletons in closets. It's fascinating! And it definitely gives me food for thought as a writer.

So check out Family Sherlock and consider my sister's services! You never know what you might find out, and again, if you're a writer, you might find material for some wonderful stories to tell.

Uncle Emil

Stories about my Great-Great-Uncle Emil are family lore on my mother's side of my family. He was a character, and my mom tells stories about how he lived in a cottage year-round on Honeoye Lake (one of New York's gorgeous Finger Lakes) and how much the family adored him. He died when my mother was still a child, but her memories of him are clear and strong and she gets a good feeling whenever she's at Honeoye Lake because it brings Uncle Emil back to her. His cottage was called the Iris and he had hundreds of irises planted all around on his property. Now my uncle, my mother's brother, has a cottage on Honeoye Lake that he named the Iris II.

Until very recently, Uncle Emil was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York, in an unmarked grave. My mother, her three sisters, her brother, and her cousin got together and bought a gravestone for him. I have a picture of it here. Note that it has irises on it.

Of course, I didn't know Uncle Emil--only through stories is he someone to me. But I'm glad he's no longer in an unmarked grave. But while he has this memorial now in Mount Hope Cemetery, he really lives on at Honeoye Lake. This post is just a little piece about one of my ancestors. I feel it's important to connect with one's ancestors. I'd like to think that, someday, my descendants will connect with me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Things Catholic

I visited an antique shop with my sister in Canandaigua, New York, over the weekend. There I bought an antique holy water font that I'm pretty sure is made of lead. Here's a picture of it.

I love Catholic iconography. I collect crucifixes and holy cards. My favorite and most valued crucifix is pictured here. It's an antique--a family heirloom from Sicily that I inherited from my paternal grandmother. I believe it belonged to her father at one time.

The holy water font stirs my imagination. I wonder how many hands have reached into it, whose hands those were, what stories the people with those hands could tell.

Two of the stories I'm currently working on, "The Infant of Prague" and "Santa Lucia", involve things Catholic. I'm fascinated not only by Catholic iconography, but by Catholic legends, stories, and saints. I'm glad I can draw upon my Catholic background to create fiction.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

"A Good Boy's Tale"

The September issue of The Round Up Writer's Zine has been released and my story, "A Good Boy's Tale", appears in it! I hope you will take a moment to read and hopefully enjoy this story. It's flash fiction, so it's a quick read.

I very much enjoyed writing this story. It all came to me quickly once I had established the character of Bobby Bouillon in my mind. He poured out onto the page, and with the addition of Kip, a story was born.

Meanwhile, I've made a lot of progress on "The Infant of Prague" and "Santa Lucia". My Catholic obsession! Just yesterday at an antique store in Canandaigua, New York, I bought an antique metal holy water font with a little crucifx on it. I'm so excited about this purchase and it goes well with my crucifix collection. I love Catholic iconography, which should be obvious once I finish and hopefully publish "The Infant of Prague" and "Santa Lucia".