Monday, August 25, 2014

Coincidence or Destiny

There are times in life when we have to sit back, scratch our heads and wonder if a meeting was by chance or by the touch of God's hand.

A few years ago, while sitting at a table during a writing seminar, I was looking over the program of events for the day. The names of the other attendees were also included, and I noticed that a name of one of the ladies was from my quaint, old hometown. Since I'd moved away from there, I always felt a bit nostalgic about it. Here I was far from home once again, and wondering if I could somehow ask around and perhaps meet this author. I'd love a chance to chat with someone from where I'd grown up. So many faces, so many people. And the seminar was going to begin soon. Would I have a chance to find her?

We all wore name tags that day. I happened to glance across the round table where I was sitting. A very pleasant woman sat across from me. I looked at the name on her tag, then down at the program. It was her! This was the woman from my town! We got to chatting, one thing led to another and a new friendship was forged. She's helped me in my own writing career with editing and ideas. And I'm very excited to do upcoming writing seminars with her. But today is her day, and I'd like to introduce my good friend, Alicia Stankay:

 Alicia Stankay is a writer living in Ambridge, PA. Her writing journey began when she was twelve and wrote her first book, The Riddle of the Missing Rings. That story still exists in its original book form, a black-and-white composition notebook. It still preserves the black crayon mark circles and purple scribbles of her younger siblings, making it a one-of-a-kind creative effort. Many unpublished poems and short stories later, she finally published her first children’s short stories while raising her own children. As her children matured, her writing advanced to adult short stories, and her foray into contests started bearing fruit. Many of those winning stories appear in her two collections of short stories, Between Two Bears: Short Stories on the Journey of Life (co-written with Bruce Midkiff) and Tales of Twenty Women: Reflections on Love.

Combining her love of nature with her enjoyment of hiking and photography allows her to document flowers, butterflies, and mushrooms, along with other natural settings. From May to July 2014, two of her photos were showcased with other artwork in the Merrick Art Gallery’s Legacy Exhibition in New Brighton, PA. When not using her imagination writing stories, she uses it playing with her four grandchildren in the role of a princess, or acting as Robin, Batman’s sidekick, or flying on the “pretend airplane” visiting the “pretend Disney World.” Most importantly, of course, she loves reading stories to them.

A short story that appears in Tales of Twenty Women sparked an idea for her first novel. She just recently published Beyond the Bridge, titled with the same name as the story, but with a different slant. Her photos also grace the front covers of all three of her books. Besides being a member of an Ambridge writer’s group, Taproot Literary Workshop, she also belongs to the Ligonier Valley Writers, and Pennwriters. Her books are available on Amazon and Kindle.

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