The Writers

Fran Alexander is a freelance writer in NY’s Westchester County, currently pur­suing an MA in Writing at Manhattanville College. Her articles on women’s health, education, parenting, and art have appeared in NYMetroParents publi­cations, Inside Chappaqua and several newsletters. She’s a board member of Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program for inner-city students.

Olivia Caffrey is a teacher, brewer and writer.  Olivia grew up on Long Island and moved to Boston.  She worked as an editorial assistant for the Weekly Dig, and freelanced for What’s Up? Magazine.  Olivia Caffrey is interested in all things food and what it means to be grateful.

Amanda L. Carlson is a freelance writer and fitness instructor.  She currently resides with her husband in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Charles Cassady Jr. is a writer and photographer near Cleveland, Ohio. He is also author of Cleveland GhostsParanormal Great Lakes, and sundry pop-culture compilations. His articles and reviews have run in the Cleveland Free TimesCommon Sense, and The Morning Journal of Lorain.

Beth Lynn Clegg, from Houston, Texas, has been published in a variety of genres since beginning her writing career after retiring from other endeavors. She en­joys church activities, gardening and reading when not involved with family and friends. She’s a member of the Writers’ League of Texas.

Bill Clifford, 45, was born in Ft. Lauderdale in 1963. Throughout college he worked in food service and went on to become a successful restauranteur. He mas­tered his skills as a Mess Specialist in the Navy. Now residing in Greenfield, IN, with his wife Michelle, he gladly prepares Thanksgiving dinner annually for all who come.

Courtney Conover is a wife, writer, and yoga enthusiast who is unsuccessfully try­ing to wean herself off eBay. When she’s not writing or doing upward dog, she’s on the never-ending quest to become more organized. She recently completed her first novel. Visit her online at

Leon Contavesprie is a native of New Orleans, and received an MFA in Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003.

Terri Elders’ stories appear in multiple anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the SoulA Cup of ComfortHCI Ultimate, and Literary Cottage’s Hero series. She lives near Colville, WA, with two dogs and three cats. She is a public member of the Washington Medical Commission. You can write to her at

Suzanne Fluhr is a recovering lawyer who copes with her turkey-cooking pho­bia in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to still churning out the occasional legal brief, she has had personal essays published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She can be reached at

Ashley Dalton Forsyth was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and received her BA in English Literature from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. She also earned a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. She currently works in higher education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and lives with her husband and pet rabbit.

Erika Giles has completed certificate programs in fiction and non-fiction writing at the University of Washington. Her essays have appeared in The Seattle Times and other Puget Sound area publications, Clackamas Literary ReviewNorth Dakota Quarterly, and Ascent. She lives with her husband on Mercer Island, Washington.

As a child, Carol Green entertained herself with make-believe friends and imag­ined places. She believes that people lead remarkable lives; their stories just fail to be told. She strives to illustrate this point through her essays and fiction. You can read more in her book, Golden Pan and Iron Skillets.

Fawn Hahnenberg is a stay-at-home mom and writer with an inability to cook a decent turkey. When not living in Shanghai, China, with her husband and two boys, ages five and nine, she calls Michigan home.

L. K. Hill is a graduate of Weber State University and is currently living and working in Ogden, Utah. She is a working writer and aspiring novelist. She comes from a close-knit family of fourteen.

Erika Hoffman is a wife, mother, daughter/caregiver, former teacher, and author of more than 48 published articles and one novel. Her novel, published by Comfort Publishing, is called Secrets, Lies, and Grace. Her e-mail address is:

Samantha Horrocks enjoyed a childhood of traveling throughout America. She is grateful that her father was not deployed, and that her friends’ father returned safely. Matthew deployed to Iraq in November 2009. Samantha and her spouse live in Rochester, New York. They eat fish for Thanksgiving.

Brian D. Jaffe lives in New York City and is the editor of Thanksgiving Tales: True Stories of the Holiday in America.

C. D. Jones lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and is focusing her time on freelance work, writing, spending time with her son and family, and generally feeling over­whelmed.

Anna Jones resides in Huntington, West Virginia, where she writes and studies non-fiction and poetry. She tutors undergraduate students in composition at the Marshall University Writing Center.

William Kenny is sixty years of age and spent thirty years in the restaurant in­dustry. For the last three years, he has been writing, working on his photogra­phy skills and marketing on the Internet. He currently lives in beautiful Denver, Colorado, and is an avid hiker and photographer.

Patricia Lapidus has published a memoir of life among spiritual hip­pies, Sweet Potato Suppers: A Yankee Woman Finds Salvation in a Hippie Village, second edition, spring 2010. Swamp Walking Woman, a modern mythic fairy tale, was published in April 2010. Red Hen’s Daughters, a collection of poems, is available from

Dorothy Leyendecker has had stories published in Reminisce and Good Old Days magazines and several anthologies, including the Barnes and Noble Anthologies, The Noble Generation Volumes II and III. Her poems have ap­peared in various publications. She is retired in Florida and is a member of the Florida Writers Association.

Marianne Lonsdale lives with her husband, Michael, and son, Nicholas, in Oakland, California. She is a member of the Writing Mama Salon at Book Passage in Corte Madera, and her writing mentor is Charlotte Cook, a writer, teacher, and publisher.

Rebecca J. Love lives in Arizona and works as a high school English teacher and librarian. She is madly in love with her culinary-impaired husband of six years and her adorable, four-year old son. Rebecca studies writing craft at Phoenix College in the Creative Wriing Certificate Program.

Barbara Boothe Loyd grew up in Sweetwater, Texas. Literature and art history were her majors at the University of Maryland. She taught art and English for 20 years. She and her husband presently live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she volun­teers as a docent at the Philbrook Museum of Art.

John McCluskey has published poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in literary and com­mercial publications. He recently obtained a Master of Arts in Writing (MAW) from Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY. John has lived in Chicago and Los Angeles before settling in Connecticut. He is currently working on his second novel.

My name is Carole McCracken. I am excited to write about the Thanksgiving tradition in my home! I hope you enjoy learning about my tradition, and I hope my children will carry it on even after I am gone. Feel free to email me at

Sheryl L. Nelms is from Marysville, Kansas. She graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Family Relations and Child Development. She has had over 5,000 articles, stories and poems published, including 14 in­dividual collections of her work. She is the Fiction and Nonfiction Editor of the Pen Woman magazine, the publication of the National League of American Pen Women.

Kristi Paxton was a postmaster for 22 years. Now a freelance writer, her weekly features appear in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. When not writing, she is a substitute teacher in Northeast Iowa. Kristi lives in the woods with her husband, Denny, and dogs, Bud and Ziggy. You can contact her at:

Emily Pepin graduated from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands in May 2009 with a self-designed emphasis in “Writing Human Ecology.” She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she success­fully surprised her family for Thanksgiving in November 2009.

Zara Raab’s poems have appeared (or will soon) in Poetry FlashWest BranchArts & LettersNimrodSpoon River Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her Book of Gretel was published in spring 2010; Swimming the Eel will be published in 2011 from David Robert Books. She lives in San Francisco.

Angie Reedy is a freelance writer who lives in central Illinois with her husband and two children. She delights in finding evidences of God’s extraordinary great­ness in the ordinary happenings of life and blogs about them at

Carol J. Rhodes’ creative work—short stories, essays, poetry, plays, and non-fiction articles—has been widely published, appearing in newspapers, magazines, journals, anthologies, and books, including Chicken Soup for the Girlfriend’s Soul. She is also a freelance literary and technical editor, and instructor of business writing courses, “Why Not Write it Right?” and “Email Protocol.”

Stephanie Russell-Kraft, originally from San Diego, California, is a young writer living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She has published a number of pieces online, including many food and travel articles on the growing New York-based Web site She can be reached at

Holly Rutchik is a freelance writer living in Wisconsin with her husband Joseph and their daughters, Tessa and Anna Clare. She holds a Master of Arts in Religious Studies and can be found blogging about faith, writing, and motherhood at fall­ She can be reached at

Trish Savage escaped from Texas to obtain degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She wrote software for more years than she cares to admit. In retirement, she teaches GED math (no higher than fractions) and takes Dr. Matt Petti’s creative writing courses at UDC.

Loren Stephens is the founder of Write Wisdom and Provenance Press, which pro­vide memoir writing and publishing services. She teaches a course titled “Writing Memoir.” Formerly an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, her personal essays have ap­peared in DistilleryMacGuffinJewish Women’s Literary AnnualOracleThe Los Angeles TimesChicago TribuneSun MagazineTapestries and other pub­lications.

Amy Stringer followed her boyfriend to New Berlin, Wisconsin, originally at the beginning of 2005, and since 2009, has been living there full time. Before that, she grew up in Australia in Queensland and northern New South Wales, and lived in Sydney since she was 16.

Paula Timpson breathes poetry daily, and has a “spirit series” of poetry books at and a poetry ministry!

Vincent J. Tomeo has been published in The New York TimesComstock ReviewMid-America Poetry ReviewEDGZSpiresTiger’s EyeByLineMudfishThe Blind Man’s RainbowThe NeoVictorian/CochleaThe Latin Staff Review, and Grandmother Earth (VII through XI), and has published 593 poems to date.

Lisa Trocchia-Balkits is an Italian-American who writes about food and culture from her cabin in the deep woods of Appalachian Ohio.

Geri Turner is a 46-year-old mother of one daughter. She recently relocated to Washington, DC, to be near her daughter, who currently resides with her father and step-mother in nearby McLean, VA. She can be reached at verbatim63@hot­

Humor writer Jan Underwood writes and teaches in Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband and far too many cats. She is the author of one novel, Day Shift Werewolf, published in 2006 by 3-Day Books, and blogs at

Charles West is a teacher and writer living and working in central California. He has published poetry, fiction and non-fiction in a variety of publications. His nov­el, A Sacred Disc, was published in 2000 by Salvo Press.

Rachel Wilkerson graduated from Michigan State University, where she wrote the sexy sorority blog, The Spartanette. She is now a freelance writer and social me­dia consultant, and the creator and author of the blog, Shedding It & Getting It.

Angel Williams majored in Journalism/minored in public relations at Ohio State University.  He currently lives in Los Angeles where he writes screenplays, novels, and children’s stories.

Patrick Williams, a full-time Civil Engineer, has enjoyed his occupation for many years. He has always remained truly passionate for entertaining those closest to him, mostly through exaggerated re-caps of everyday encounters. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his two feline companions. This is his first essay.

D. M. Wilmes is a Missouri writer who has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. He proudly supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure and its efforts to save lives and end breast cancer forever.