Profile: Kea Wilson

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Salt and Pepper

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Salt and Pepper

Barbara Froman


I remember where I was on September 11th, 2001. We’d come back from a wonderful visit with family in California barely a week before. I was still in its afterglow, as I was still in the long afterglow of four months in Budapest.

Fall was approaching, my favorite time of year. It was a beautiful, mild, sunny Midwest morning. I was relaxed. I was happy.

I came downstairs early, made my breakfast, sat on the sofa in the living room, and turned on the news to see smoke billowing out of the first tower and gawked in disbelief. A few minutes later, the phone rang.


New York.

Are you watching? Did you see it?  Her voice cracked. It always cracked. This time was worse.

Yes. I recognized the same crack in mine.

And we watched together, a thousand miles apart, as the second tower was struck, and gasped…

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Love Poems by Kathleen Lombardo

Barbara Froman

Kathleen Lombardo was a force — a phenomenally  talented poet, playwright, and librettist whose work is not only thought-provoking and innovative, but also deeply musical. My thanks goes to her husband, the composer and artist, Robert Lombardo, for allowing me to share some of her poetry with you. I hope you’ll share it with others.

Two Love Poems

I took a bath without water
wavelengths of longing
reached my chin-

while dressing
I dreamed up a light dry wine
of love poems
to have with dinner-

then I walked outside
sealed myself
to the sky

and dreamed of
drinking your feelings-


my heart was full
of drunken spinning fish-
but I just couldn’t say why

when I noticed the sun
on its big red belly
swimming down the horizon

then the moon appeared
like an apricot

and I remembered the night
you took a bite
and shared it…

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Dad unplugged

We Run and Ride

Father in the 40sIt’s coming up on two years on October 17, 2016 that my father passed away. I served as his caregiver for more nearly thirteen years after my mother died from a combination of cancer and stroke in 2005.

No one figured my father would outlast my mother given the severity of the stroke he experienced back in 2003. But the day that my mom called to tell me that dad was in the hospital after collapsing the night before, I turned to my (late) wife and said, “Well, my life just changed.”

Role playing

Because I knew in that moment there would be a massive role for me to play in supporting my mother in her role as caregiver for my father. Two years earlier, I’d helped her through the period when dad went through multiple bypass surgery. That’s because I was the son who lived closest and had the…

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I enjoy my walks in the early mornings because it is so quiet in those early hours with so much to see.

This Summer, with its exceptional hot weather,  has given me morning walks throughout my neighbourhood and beyond. Walking seems to slow a person down so that little things are suddenly visible; delightful surprises that  pass unnoticed when you’re driving past.  Walking takes a person down roads that promises new adventures if you’re willing to travel a new path.


On the route I chose this morning, I recorded a few of the eye-catching things that captured my attention.

One was the unexpected “Fairy Door” built into the base of an enormous oak tree that stood on the corner of a family-oriented neighbourhood. It was a nice strong door, painted red with a sturdy handle and a tiny lock.

Fairy Door

Another surprise were the unexpected “Free Lending Libraries”–cute mini-houses built…

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Paris to Rome by Train

Scribe Doll's Musings

“Why can’t we take the train?”

“What – all the way?” H. gives me his your-quirkiness-is-turning-into-madnesslook.  “It’s – it’s –”

“The longest leg would be just twelve hours,” I filled in, smiling sweetly.  “If you went to Australia, you’d have to sit on a plane for over twelve hours.”

“Y–yes, but–but, you’re actually proposing to take a train from Norwich to London, London to Paris, Paris to Rome, then Rome to Milan, Milan to Paris, then –”

“Yes, I know.”

“But you even want to go from Paris to Rome by train? That’s, like –”

“Yes, twelve hours.” My smile loses some of its brilliance.

I truly hate flying.  I do it when I have to but I find the whole experience increasingly stressful.  The wait at the airport, the luggage restrictions, sitting cramped in that tiny space, with the constant noise of the engine, and that…

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The Beginning

Barbara Froman

Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 4.06.24 PM Painting by Vincent Van Gogh

What is the story I want to tell?

How do I start?

There’s the town, the shop, the house, the pianos, and letters…

…and the man, my God, the man….


I didn’t come from here. My mother and I left the Hungarian city where I was born in July of 1938.

My mother died in 1965, yet I still see her in my kitchen salting stocks, and kneading dough.

No one bakes in the suburban cul-de-sac where I live. I suspect few know how.

They buy their breads and cakes in quaint Midwestern bakeries and markets, and bring hot meals home in plastic containers, or bags, or cardboard boxes.

But I am a creature of old habits, and fill my home with the scents of my mother’s soups and rolls.

She was a conjuror, my mother, giving life to everything she touched. reading past…

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Back in the Writing Groove

Michael Seidel, writer

Ah, sweet comfort. I’m back in the writing groove again.

Thinking about it as I made coffee this morning, I recognized how fiction writing every day helps me be more mindful. To understand characters’ motivation and behavior, I look to myself and other people that I know. I think about what I’ve done and what drives me, along with my inherent contradictions, and search for understanding of what I do, and why. And I do the same with other people, and the characters that I encounter in novels, short stories, movies, and television shows. All that is so that I can create richer characters and tell better stories.

Going through that thinking exercise as the darkness swept through me this week, I saw how my daily writing provides me structure and goals. Those structures and goals give my life meaning. So when I flail through the darkness and don’t want…

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I Can’t Write My Story Because I’m Not A Writer

Eva Lesko Natiello

typewriter medium photo by Anton Vakulenko

Someone said this to me the other night at an event I attended for people who have consulting businesses. This guy is a consultant with a compelling personal story, and he’s been told numerous times that he should write a memoir.

Earlier in the evening, I told a group of people my own professional journey from one career as an executive in the cosmetics industry to a novelist and consultant and I noticed his rapt attention. I told them that when I wrote my first novel, I wasn’t a writer. And that I wasn’t even sure what I wrote was a novel. It was that statement that resonated with this guy.

“I can’t write my story because I’m not a writer,” he later said to me.

What is it about us writers? We need permission. We need somebody with writerly authority to tap the sword on…

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