Moody River Estates Book Club ZOOMS in on Marta Elva

Marta Elva Gibbons, author of American Tumbleweeds, a Sarton Women’s Book Award Finalist, was hosted last month by the North Fort Myers Moody River Estates Book Club. She reports on the event as follows.

The Moody River Estates Book Club Discusses American Tumbleweeds with Author Marta Elva

  Marta Elva at Barnes & Noble in San Antonio, TX – 2016

Everyone misses the person-to-person contact of yesteryear.  These days, corona virus mandates that events, meetings, etc., be “ZOOM-ed,” a new verb that sounds as distant and cold as the computer screens required to participate in this high-tech experience.

During my career, I made a point of working behind the camera. Why? Because the unblinking camera lens is relentless, scrutinizing imperfections up close and personal.

Fortunately, the women of the Moody River Estates Book Club put me at ease immediately. In June 2020, the ladies invited me to participate in a discussion of my novel, American Tumbleweeds, via ZOOM. Their warm-heartedness radiated through the screen; they clearly had spent time thoroughly reading my novel—a privilege I sincerely value.

I’m always fascinated by the unique interpretation each reader has of the same journey. There’s nothing more satisfying than a reader expressing concern for my characters as if discussing old friends. It lets me know readers discovered a part of themselves in the pages of my novel. A most gratifying reward for any writer. The ladies’ acute observations and abiding remarks nourished my soul for future projects. This was an inspiring conversation greatly needed during a period of isolation.

I still long for person-to-person readings, but the remote experience with the Moody River Estates Book Club provided a gratifying alternative. Thank you for your support, Ladies!

At Barnes & Noble in San Antonio, TX – 2016

Creative Confinement?

The Florida Watercolor Society recently challenged its members to submit artwork created during their Covid-19 pandemic confinement. Pen Woman, Cheryl A. Fausel, contributed two paintings to the sale—for a sale it is!

Yes. You can purchase any of these works of art for yourself, or as a gift for a loved one!

You know, the imagination cannot be confined. Nor can emotion. Artists, for instance, often produce their best work under duress. Artists are gifts of the gods, who, after all, gave us lemons in the full confidence that we would figure out how to make lemon martinis.

So lift your glass and let us celebrate our artists!

Want to purchase artwork?

All entries to the Creative Confinement Challenge are available for purchase! Please click the button to download the price list and purchase instructions. Have your eye on a piece? Don’t hesitate – they’re going fast!
Cheryl’s paintings are:

“Lemons on a Ledge.”

(What was I saying about lemons?)


“Matlacha Beauties”

Actually, #1 (8″ x 8″) is only one of a series of four. (See below.)
#2- 12″ x 12″
#3- 17″ x 17″
#4- 17″x 17″

#s 1 & 2 framed will be  24 x 24, while #s 3 & 4 are mounted on wooden cradles!

You will find Cheryl’s two entries among the artwork at the purchase link above. It’s like the fun of hunting for Easter eggs in a flower-filled meadow.


The Whispering Heart

Marta Elva Gibbons contemplates “mayhem.”

Listen…to the Whisper of Your Heart

Writing in the time of corona virus is like meditating at a four-way stop sign,

Constant motion of emotion interrupted by the stop and go

Of politicians and everyday citizens championing wisdom and nonsense.

Confusion saturates sensations of the human mind – sight, sound and vision;

Only you can decide what’s right.

Nature calls outside my window, silently observing, as we rip each other apart –

The sanctity of silence, gone.

People arrive by boat determined to exercise their right to – PARTY!

On the road, traffic speeds by toward Pine Island,

Anxious drivers seeking justice for past atrocities of waiting in long traffic lines.

Nature warns us – its alarm ignored,

Rising death tolls preordained normal,

Human fragility mocked; dismissed by youthful arrogance and an ignorant government.

What to do when all our exits are blocked;

When voices scream, I can’t breathe – from hospital beds and city streets,

When the youth of America continues the struggle of a long, drawn out fight.


Not to screaming voices of frustrated Americans and activists.

Listen…to the whisper of your heart;

It knows, you know –

Something is wrong, and only we, can restore the sacredness of humankind.

Marta Elva, July 2020



Sipping Sweetness

Lorraine Williams just sent in this wonderful news.
“My poem, ‘Hummingbird’ will be included in First Wave, the first Beach Bards Anthology in New Jersey.”
An excellent accomplishment, but not the first of its kind for Lorraine. “Last summer,” she admits, “I was the ‘Beach Bard’ for June.” This month last year, Lorraine was one of two featured poets at the Beach Bards Poetry and Prose Reading series in Sea Isle, NJ.
But that’s not all.
“My Poem, ‘One Morning,’ has been accepted for publication in the Tribute Anthology honoring Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the former Poet Laureate of San Francisco, who founded City Lights, an independent bookstore ahead of its time, which featured many of the Beat Poets and continues as a mecca for writers today.
“Personally, it’s kind of cool to have my work published on both coasts,” she says.
“Kinda cool” is not how I would describe this remarkable confluence of events. But then, I’m not a poet.
Here’s a delectable tidbit from “Hummingbird.”

Hummingbird swoops afternoon sky,

flits bloom to bloom on whirling wings,

sipping sweetness, pauses then flies.

And another from “One Morning”…

“Poetry is the sun streaming down…in the meshes of morning.”  Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Late September sun warms, as I  cross the street to City Lights Bookstore,

and climb stairs to the Poetry Room where I

plan to read and maybe buy a book or two,

As soon as the anthologies are published, we’ll let you know.

Making It Personal

Cynthia in 2018, not long after the publication of her HIDDEN HISTORY OF FORT MYERS,

Cynthia Williams is getting personal with her writing. She’s making it her business to write about people’s personal lives, their families, even their pets. She calls it “writing personal histories.”

Writing personal histories is a real business, and it might have been conceived by Cynthia, herself, for it is only a whisper away from the broader narrative history she loves best. Cynthia often says that a nation’s history, indeed world history, is merely the sum of the personal histories of the individuals and families of that nation and our world. And now she proposes to begin writing them.

“For decades now,” she says, “people have been increasingly interested in exploring their family trees—even their own DNA—but what’s the point if you can’t share your discovery with those who share your history?”

Having a professional storyteller assemble all the bits and pieces into a beautifully crafted narrative would be the finest gift you could ever give to your loved ones and to future generations of your family. Your story can be told in any form you can imagine: in book form, filled with imagery of all kinds; as a e-book, also with imagery, along with the voices of family elders and children telling their parts, and with music to heighten the mood; and/or in video form, so that generations from now, your great-great-greats can see their ancestors telling the family history. You might even wish to have a beloved pet immortalized in a child’s picture book for the little (and big) kids who mourn her or him. As Cynthia says, the possibilities are limited only by your and her combined imaginations.

There is no better time than right now to think about both your past and the future. What you will pass on to your descendants? What do you want to say to them? Does it matter to you, or to them, that they know who you were, who your parents and grandparents were? Cynthia Williams thinks it matters. Because your history is, in microcosm, the history of our nation,. and without knowledge of our own history, we are neither a family nor a nation, but only swarms of rootless individuals wandering about in ignorance of our past and without the tools to build a better future.

For more information, and for samples of Cynthia’s writing, visit, or contact Cynthia at and discuss with your writer what you have in mind.