Thursday, September 12, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jan Ruth, Author of Silver Rain



Despite his hit and miss work life (house-husband, head-childminder, author, children’s entertainer) Al is no slouch when it comes to the kitchen. And it may seem that initially, Al really needs some redeeming qualities. I like writing about characters who are not conventional, especially where there is a romantic element as the traditional themes have been done to death. My main protagonists in this off-beat love story are both aged fifty. Al knows he is adopted, but despite the freedom of a country childhood and a ready-made brother in George, the feeling that’s he’s from a different background never quite leaves him and questions about his famous birth mother hover in the background until, aided by Kate, he finally manages to confront some of them.

Kate, once married to Fran’s deceased brother, is shocked to discover that Al has been banished from the family for a number of years, the reasons for which remain a dark secret and George remains tight-lipped. In fact, George is mightily disgruntled that since his divorce, Al is determined to bury the hatchet and move back to the family farm. Chathill Farm is a dilapidated small-holding, and the centre of Fran’s universe. Fran doesn’t cook and her housekeeping skills are notoriously rustic, and it’s further fuel to her husband's disgruntled fire that all the inmates are named after edibles – Butter, and Marg, the dogs; Bacon, the pig, and Stilton, the horse. Despairing, and hungry, George is forced to find culinary solace at a local hotel and since we’re in Wales, fare such as local lamb and bara-brith are staples of the menu.

Family drama is always rife at Christmas time and although Kate seems burdened with the main event in the kitchen, it’s Al who adds the more interesting ingredients – both figuratively and metaphorically – such as almonds and smoked bacon to the sprouts, and makes real custard from scratch… (I’m thinking the kitchen might be the only place Al is ever serious). But it’s the Christmas trifle which really takes centre stage, when Al’s ex-wife unexpectedly arrives on Boxing Day to gatecrash proceedings:

Lifting the tablecloth, Al wondered about getting underneath. He could see his brother, shifting his weight from one leg to the other, and he could see Helen’s knickers as she sat with her legs slightly apart, totally sloshed. It was tempting to drop down there and curl up in a ball, but what would that solve? No, the only possible option he had at that precise moment was one of surprise. Without rocking the table too violently, he managed to crawl underneath and surfaced next to Helen’s chair.

She seemed poised to begin some sort of rant, her finger ready to point and accuse. Thrown by his sudden, close proximity her nostrils flared and she inhaled deeply, steeling herself for battle. She was about to open her mouth and there was a brief connection when he looked, apologetically, into her eyes; the eyes of the woman he’d always love, as the mother of his children.

Then he pushed her, face down into the trifle.



Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Jan!



You can find Jan here:








Jan Ruth lives in Snowdonia, a mountainous area of North Wales, UK. Jan writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic, often blending life in rural Wales with a touch of city business. Her style is best described as fast-paced and realistic, with a sprinkling of dry humour.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Carole Bumpus, Author of Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table



If  you tell me what you eat, I can tell you where you're from
by Carole Bumpus

While traveling in Europe, have you ever strolled down a cobblestone street, passed an open window and heard laughter flowing out to greet you?  Have you ever stopped to listen to the banter while wondering what it would be like to live there?  In that house?  That village?  And, oooooh!  What is that wonderful aroma?  Say, what are they eating?  I did too.

My book series, Savoring the Olde Ways, is a compilation of intimate interviews, conversations, stories and recipes I had the good fortune to gather from European families as I traveled throughout their countries. Part culinary memoir and part travelogue, these books are the personal stories told to me by individual families—from inside their homes along those very cobblestone streets.

As a retired family therapist, my initial interests were about the families themselves.  But as a lover of traditional foods and home cooking, I discovered that favorite ancestral foods brought both French and Italian families together—not only for holidays, but every day—at their own family tables. 

What sure-fire recipe did I use to open a topic of conversation?  I asked my hosts to tell me about their favorite foods as children.  Or, I asked if they could share with me the treasured recipes they prepared when first married.  But I quickly learned that I needed to prepare myself.  I needed to have pen and paper in hand, along with my trusty tape recorder. (Yes, I still used one.)

I also needed to quickly pull up to the kitchen table, because, without fail, I was headed for a most passionate journey.  You see, once I posed my question, the fondest of memories immediately rose to the surface—moments of delight of holidays past, favorite family foods, cherished traditions and beloved family stories—all would come bubbling forth.  And, before I knew it, my host would jump up, eyes bright with excitement as he or she would rush to the kitchen to snatch up a favorite recipe.

‘Voici!’ I would hear exclaimed in French, or ‘Ecco qui!’ in Italian. ‘Here it is!’ they would shout as they made a beeline back to my side. And there, clutched in hand, was a recipe card, all smudged with past efforts and spattered with passionate conviction.  Immediately, and because I’m only fluent in English, their arms would fly in all directions with mixing motions sweeping the air as they enacted the preparation of their favorite recipe.

By collecting recipes, I learned about their culture, their history, their loves and their sorrows.  I learned the favorite way to celebrate family was to return to the recipes of the past—the cuisine pauvre (French) or cucina povera (Italian)—the traditional cuisine of the family.   And, I learned that if you tell me what you eat, I can tell you where you’re from.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Carole!



You can find Carole here:




   

Thursday, June 13, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Bo Kearns, Author of Ashes in a Coconut



For hundreds of years beginning back in the 16th century, Indonesian islands monopolized the spice trade. The country’s flavorful cuisine reflects that bygone era. In Ashes in a Coconut, Manhattan fashion designer Laura Harrison sets aside her career and accompanies her banker husband Jack to Indonesia to save her marriage. There are several scenes in the story where Laura and Jack experience the diverse local fare.

In Jakarta, they’re served gado gado, vegetables in a hot chili and peanut sauce, and a large bowl of steamed rice. Jack comments that he’s heard rice is used to calm the spice. Laura speculates that could be why there’s so much of it. 

In the Hotel Kediri’s elegant ballroom, waiters scurry about making last minute preparations for Laura and Jack’s welcoming reception. Over 500 guests have been
invited. Laura fidgets concerned she might do or say something offensive to the local culture.  An ice sculpture in the shape of a mythical bird dominates the buffet table. Its translucent wings extend over an array of exotic foods: chicken satays, nasi goring, giant prawns with a spicy-looking red sauce and a pyramid of colorful tropical fruit. Laura selects a prawn and dips it in the sauce. Overcome by spice, she chokes; her eyes water. She struggles to catch her breath and her plate tilts. Red blobs fall onto her white dress.

Fortunately things get better. Nissam is the cook in Laura’s household. Having worked for expat families of different nationalities, he comes with a range of recipes: boueuf bourguignon, pasta primavera, chocolate mousse, and Mandarin Chinese to name a few. He knows how to temper Indonesian dishes to accommodate the Western palate, without sacrificing the special flavors. 

The novel takes place in the 1980’s. The Palms is an upscale restaurant set in an old  mansion. Maroon velvet curtains frame tall, corniced windows and crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling, evidence of an era long ago.  The menu includes rijsttafel— a medley of island foods concocted by the Dutch colonials. Twelve sarong-clad young women each carrying a large platter with a different dish serve it. Laura thinks the elaborate presentation a bit much. She hopes Jack won’t order the concoction, though she suspects he will. He enjoys the spectacle. Soon twelve women parade in and line up behind Jack’s chair. One at a time they step forward, smile and dish food onto his plate. Laura casts an eye roll in his direction. A selamatan is an Indonesian celebration of gratitude where food takes center stage. Having survived a life-threatening incident, Laura and Jack host a selamatan. Guests sit on the floor on a carpet and an imam chants a prayer. The main meal attraction is nasi tumpeng, a yellow, cone-shaped steamed rice dish made with turmeric and coconut milk. It’s served on strips of banana leaf along with: rending (beef curry), pisang goring (fried banana), empal (sweet and spicy fried beef), sambal telur (hard boiled eggs in a pepper sauce) and sayur-sayuran (cooked vegetables). The guest of honor cuts the cone.

Pungent foods are often found in the cuisine of hot, humid locales. Some speculate the sweating that can accompany eating spicy food, ultimately has a cooling effect. Others say the anti-microbial property of many spices deters food from spoiling. Yet with air conditioning and refrigeration, spicy food persists. A more likely explanation is that it’s part of the culture. People in tropical countries begin eating spicy food at an early age. They become desensitized. So perhaps if Laura and Jack subsume enough local food, they might become desensitized, too.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Bo!



You can find Bo here:








Bo Kearns, journalist and writer of fiction, is the author of Ashes in a Coconut, a novel set in Indonesia where he lived for three years. He is a feature writer with NorthBay biz magazine and the Sonoma Index-Tribune newspaper. Several of his short stories have won awards and been published. He is a certified UC Naturalist, beekeeper, avid hiker and supporter of conservation causes. He lives in the wine country of Sonoma with his wife and rescue dog, Jake.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Back Luke Murphy, Author of Rock-A-Bye Baby



I love this blog! So many writers take food, and other important aspects of life, for granted in their books. Make sure that you include meal times, sleep times, etc., because people can’t live without food and sleep, even driven law enforcement types.

I’ve been asked to write a few things about the importance of food in my new novel for the blog. So I thought about what might go well with my new novel and my main character, Charlene Taylor. As a busy, on-the-run detective, who needs food for fuel, Charlene doesn’t always have/take the time or worry about eating. Luckily, Charlene has a loving, caring mother nearby to take care of her (moms are the best).

Charlene’s mother loves to bake, and she keeps her daughter fueled with hearty, nutritious home-cooked meals/food. In this newest story, even though Charlene’s adventure takes her from Los Angeles (her home) to Denver (visiting her sister). Luckily, Brenda Taylor tags along to see her daughter and first grandchild, so she is still able to supply Charlene with warm, home-baked, directly-from-the-oven blueberry muffins, so she doesn’t have to slow down while investigating a case.

As the investigation tightens and becomes tenser, Charlene goes lengthy spurts without food or fueling up, and her mother, who was married to a cop for over thirty years, knows what it takes to get them through.

Charlene is lean and athletic, takes care of her body both with the food she eats, and the physical activity recreational activities she takes part in. So knowing the importance of staying in great physical shape and keeping up her energy for a tough, high-speed investigation, I needed food that caters to her lifestyle.

Charlene’s quick, healthy breakfast for her on-the-go day:

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup white sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt         3/4 cup milk         1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg         1 cup fresh blueberries 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Directions
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line with baking cups.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, blueberries, grated lemon zest and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil and egg; blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy.)
3. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan. Serve warm.


Thanks for stopping back by to share more food for thought, Luke!



You can find Luke here:




Thursday, May 30, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rebecca Enzor, Author of Speak the Ocean



Thanks so much for inviting me, Shelley! I’m a huge foodie myself, although I can’t cook much more than frozen pizza or boxed mac and cheese (Hubs, however, is an amazing cook!). And while the human side of my story contains more drinking than eating (my human MC just turned 21 and is enjoying it), the mermaid side of the story is heavily driven by a lack of food.

Over-fishing has my Mer characters leaving the safety of their deep-sea home and taking dangerous chances to find enough to eat. My mermaid protagonist, Erie, is caught on a desperate hunt when she pushes another Mer out of the way of the “landfolk” nets. Once she’s trapped at the marine park, she refuses to eat the dead fish that were trapped in a net like she was. One of the first air-words she learns is “breakfast.”

The pivotal scene when she first speaks to her human trainer revolves around him trying to bribe her into eating a dead fish (Mer only eat live fish, so she’s really grossed out by this). There are several scenes throughout the book that focus on her not-eating, including my favorite line: “when he throws a dead fish in the water, I throw it back.” I can just imagine my pissed-off mermaid throwing a dead fish at my human trainer, and him trying to duck while getting hit with a cold, wet, dead fish. Knowing him, there’s definitely an expletive involved!

I can’t say too much more without giving away key parts of the book, but while it focuses heavily on the morality of subjugating other species to the whims of human entertainment (orcas at Sea World, for instance), it’s also about our effect on the food chain in the ocean. As we overfish and pollute the waters other species depend on, we’re also destroying a source of food that we depend on too. Eventually, we’ll be just as hungry and desperate as the Mer.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your food for thought, Rebecca!



You can find Rebecca here:







Rebecca Enzor is a fantasy author and analytical chemist in Charleston, SC, where she lives with her husband, two dogs, three cats, and sometimes chickens. Her articles on writing science in science fiction can be found in “Putting the Science in Fiction” from Writer’s Digest Books. Obsessed with everything ocean, she studied fisheries biology in college and electrocuted herself collecting fish in a river, which inspired several key scenes in her novel. Speak the Ocean, a Blackfish meets The Little Mermaid retelling, will be published by Reuts Publishing in July 2019. She’s represented by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Karen Pokras, Author of Ava's Wishes



Ava Haines isn’t your typical college student. She has big goals and is laser focused to make sure nothing gets in the way of her internship at the local art gallery and her bigger goal of owning her own place one day.

But a girl still has to eat, right? Especially when the esteemed and very handsome photographer Thomas Malloy offers to take her out to dinner while he’s in town for his show at the gallery. Perhaps Ava is not quite as focused as she thought she was. Even she’s entitled to a little fun once in while, and dinner with Thomas at Habanero’s, the chic and out-of-her budget Mexican restaurant, sure beats another bland meal at the college dining hall. They start off with Margaritas and tortilla chips. While the scene ends there, I’m certain Ava ordered the grilled Mahi-mahi tacos.

As good as that meal was, it has unfortunate ending. No worries though as Ava has other delicious meals in her future with both Thomas and her charming statistics tutor Max Wallis. Max invites her out to D’Angelos Pub where she orders a grilled chicken salad instead of the pasta dish she really wants, because she never orders spaghetti on a date. It’s way too messy. And is it really a date anyway if they’re talking about statistics?

Maybe some distractions aren’t so bad after all.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Karen!



You can find Karen here:






Thursday, May 16, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rick Polad, Author of the Spencer Manning Mysteries



When Shelley asked me to write a blog about my books and food, my first thought was that I wouldn’t have enough material for a paragraph much less a blog. After all, my books are about Spencer Manning and the cases he works on, not food. But after some thought I realized food is an integral part of my books and Spencer’s life for several reasons. The first is, fictional characters need to eat too, albeit fictional food. The second is, food plays a major part in advancing the story, especially in a mystery novel.

As the cases develop, Spencer needs to let the reader know what he is thinking so the reader can be involved in trying to figure out who did it. And what better way to do that than to have Spencer converse with other characters. He dines twice a week with Lieutenant Stanley “Stosh” Pawolski of the Chicago police and less often with his romantic interest, Detective Rosie Lonnigan. Gino’s East, one of Chicago’s favorite spots for deep dish pizza, is one of their favorites, as is Carson’s for ribs. Over a meal, they talk about the case.

Another reason for including food in the stories is purely selfish. I get to eat vicariously through Spencer. He gets to eat all the things I shouldn’t… steaks, burgers, pizza, ribs, lasagna. And he doesn’t have to eat vegetables. And he frequents some pretty fancy restaurants. My books are set in Chicago during the 1980s, so I had to rely on my memory and research to be historically accurate. Some restaurants are still here thirty-five years later. Some are not. And some exist only in my imagination.

In the first book in the now seven-book series, Change of Address, Spencer frequents one of the best steak houses in Chicago… Gibsons, one of my top three culinary experiences.  But in that same book, Spencer and Rosie dine at Stantons. It’s a restaurant on the shore of Lake Michigan in a North Shore suburb of Chicago. Every table overlooks the lake and Spencer and Kelly sit on the terraced veranda with drinks before dinner. The most frequent question I have had about my books is “Where is that restaurant? I want to eat there!” Unfortunately, it’s only in my imagination. Also in my imagination is the deli next to Spencer’s office.

But the place that holds the books together is McGoons, where Spencer is known by name and often meets with one of his many sidekicks for steak and beer and to discuss a case.  McGoons is a creation of bits and pieces from my memory of Chicago pubs.

In the third book, Missing Boy, Spencer visits the original McDonald’s (after Kroc took over) in Des Plaines and laments plans to tear it down. A museum was later built on the site. And as I was writing this, I realized Spencer has never had a Chicago hot dog. I’ll have to fix that in the next book. Bon appetit!


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Rick!


You can find Rick here:




Thursday, May 9, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Back Laurie Boris, Author of The Kitchen Brigade



If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen

Survival during wartime means doing without, but those who endure discover how to get what they need. For most of the characters in my dystopian novel The Kitchen Brigade, this revolves around food. Food is love. Food is culture. Food is community. For this group of women who have made cuisine their passion and their livelihoods, food is everything.

When we first meet Valerie, a former culinary student, she’s cooking with whatever she can scrounge in the mess hall of a refugee camp. To bear the nightmare her life has become since a war-torn America was occupied by Russia, she draws on memories of learning to cook as a child. She recites the names of the French “mother” sauces like a mantra; she recalls the aromas of licorice and vanilla that keep her father alive in her mind.

Again she calls upon her childhood comforts when she’s imprisoned and forced to cook for a Russian general. In his kitchen she’s thrown into a brigade responsible for crafting five-star meals for him and his guests…carefully supervised by a mysterious head chef and the general’s well-armed guards.

Since the story takes place in New York’s Hudson Valley, local cuisine is on the menu. Perfectly roasted venison is the star when the general entertains his special guests. Meals always include bounty from the nearby wineries, along with fruits and vegetables (as they can be found, or stolen.) For an extra dash of flavor and intrigue the head chef grows herbs in pots on the kitchen’s terrace. When the resistance interrupts their supply lines, the general’s men shoot ducks out of the sky and commandeer anything they can find in vehicles stopped at checkpoints.

Because the kitchen is often called upon to produce haute cuisine when certain staples are unavailable, the women need to be resourceful. They can make pasta without eggs, biscuits without milk, and nearly anything without butter. They even make their own butter—when they can bargain for cream.

In one of my favorite food-related scenes, Valerie makes up a plate of leftovers for a young Russian guard and sits with him over dinner. They barely know a few words of each other’s language, but sharing a meal provides an opening for empathy and compassion: they grow to understand each other’s struggles, and what the war has taken from their families. In a time when the world is trying to divide them, the simple act of sharing a meal can show what unites them.


Thanks for stopping by to share more food for thought, Laurie!



You can find Laurie here:






Thursday, May 2, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Adam S. Barnett, Author of The Judas Goat



The Judas Goat: Guns and Sausage Gravy

I am really good at arguing with myself.  And I lose arguments with myself.  All the time.  When I’m thinking about a problem, I am my own irresistible force and immovable object all at once.

As an attorney, it has come in handy over the years.  I know the weaknesses in my case before I ever set foot in the courtroom.  I know what the other side is going to say, so I say it first.  I control the weakness.  I put it on display.  And because I’m prepared, I can explain with confidence exactly why that weakness simply does not matter.

When I decided to write The Judas Goat, I had read many cases where one person used lethal force upon another and raised the issue of self-defense.  Some were successful, many were not.  So I thought about the “poster child” case, a term used in the profession for a case where the alleged events are so sympathetic it could affect the outcome of the case.  In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be such a distinction, but as well all know, this isn’t a perfect world.

In my past life, I have cooked professionally.  I’m not a chef.  I’m a cook.  And I’m still a cook at heart.  I can make anything you want, and make it the best you’ve ever had.  You want pineapple on a pizza?  You better believe you’ll get pineapple on your pizza.  You want a fried egg on your burger?  I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.  Tell me what the rules are, and I’ll exceed your expectations or go down swinging.

It’s not too big of a shift to practicing law.  As lawyers, we’re stuck with the laws we have.  There’s the rare exception where a higher court will say a given law, as applied, violates the Constitution in some way.  But the vast majority of the time, you are stuck with the laws you have.  Those are the ingredients.  Legal procedure is a recipe.  But it’s my job to make sure that my finished product is the best.

In The Judas Goat, diner owner Kyle Morrison shoots and kills a teenaged assailant in a robbery attempt.  Unfortunately, he may have deviated from the “recipe,” the narrowly-drawn parameters of self-defense in which the State will allow one citizen to take the life of another.  Kyle finds himself prosecuted for murder in a very high-profile case that destroys life as he knows it.

Kyle’s attorney, Owen Malone, has quite a challenge.  Crimes are elemental, much like the beloved BLT.  If I give you a sandwich with bacon and lettuce, but no tomato, what do we have?  I don’t know, but it’s not a BLT.  And crime is the same way – the prosecution has to establish that all the elements that make an act a crime are there.  The problem Owen has is… well, the elements are arguably there, even if Kyle’s actions could have been considered understandable.  Owen’s only hope is that the “recipes” of the criminal justice system won’t be followed to the letter.

The biggest challenge in writing the book was the inevitable argument of gun rights vs. gun control.  A quick look at the “comments” section of a Facebook post on the subject will tell you many people see no middle ground.  But, just as much out of force of habit than anything else, I found myself engaged in an internal argument on the issue.  Where exactly did I stand?  Is it possible to have a hard position on the issue?  Or is this one of those subjects where one can’t have a staunch position and truly understand the quandary?

In the end, I simply put all of my arguments in the mouths of my characters.  Sometimes they said things I agreed with, sometimes they did not.  The book won’t serve as a validation of either extreme.  But as a lawyer, the first thing I try to do is understand everyone’s position.  Often times, I have been able to spare litigants a lot of anguish by simply explaining competing perspectives and figuring out a solution other than war.  I hope this book lends itself to positive discussions about this issue and how we can all work together to solve it.

But if nothing else, Kyle shows everyone how to make awesome sausage gravy, one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  So there’s always that.  Sausage gravy makes everything better.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Adam!



You can find Adam here:






Thursday, April 25, 2019

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Barbara Scoblic, Author of Lost Without the River



Did you include the recipe for our mother’s Fruit Salad? One brother asks me. Her Baked Pheasant? Another brother chimes in. Her Strawberry Shortcake? That’s my sister.
No, no, and no. Sorry, guys.

Although food is at the heart of my memoir, Lost Without the River, I didn’t want it to be a cookbook. I didn’t want to tell how to prepare the food, but rather how it came to be on our table. Of how my family planted, tilled, and harvested food from the fields, and plucked berries and vegetables from the woods and our garden. With work suspended for a short time, we sat down to dine on freshly picked sweet corn, heavenly whipped cream fluffed from the top of unpasteurized, non-homogenized milk that our grass-fed cows had produced, fish we’d caught in our river only minutes before. We savored each bite, acutely aware of the effort it had taken to get it onto our plates.

Each neighboring farmwife was known for her baking specialty. My mother’s? Her sweet rolls, heavily perfumed with cinnamon and dotted with not-too-sweet frosting,  her pies, with fresh berries or fruit peeking through the crust of the flaky pastry shells, and her angel food cake topped with berries and some of that divine whipped cream.

Now many decades after my mother opened the door of the wood-burning stove for the last time, when my siblings and I gather, at dining table or in a diner, and bread or dessert is served, the spirited conversation stops and immediately shifts to “Remember our mother’s ….”

So when you read Lost Without the River carefully, you may be able to learn how to reproduce my mother’s famous baked beans. At least, as well as I did.

And, if you‘re willing to search for wild plums and locate a wood-burning stove to bake your own bread, and then find cream with the thickness and flavor of ours, you just may be able to make a stone’s throw version of my mother’s famous wild plum cobbler. Good luck!


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Barbara!



You can find Barbara here:








Photo by Nina Subin


BARBARA HOFFBECK SCOBLIC began her writing career as a reporter for The Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She now lives and writes in New York City.