November 14, 2009

Marge Amey is retired, lives in Falls Church, Virginia, with her husband, and has been involved in personal history writing for the past several years.

Barbara McLaren Bever currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia, though she’s also called Erie, Pennsylvania, Morocco, Pakistan, Indonesia, India, and Israel home. She’s been a communications director in the field of international development for 20 years and is now pursuing the writing life. She is a lover of books, her black lab, crosswords, Chautauqua, Scrabble, travel, and her fabulous family and friends.

A recovering real estate agent and appraiser, Christina Brockett is a writer of articles and short stories. She’s currently tackling her first full-length novel when she can find a few spare moments between working, raising kids, marathon training, and cleaning up scraps of Play-Doh embedded in her carpet in a ridiculous attempt to regain control of some aspect of her world. Her blog chronicles her evolution as a mother trying discover intelligent ways to parent grounded not only in self-knowledge, but also in understanding each person’s greater role in our society. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two children, and a truly lovable dog.

Peg Bruhn says art making has always been part of her life, from that first swiped lipstick and white wall. Nowadays she’s lucky to have time, a place, and lots of great art materials. She is surrounded and supported by family, friends, and a great community of artists at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, and SPARK is the latest addition to that.

Charisse Cecil is a writer and artist in Alexandria, Virginia.

Tami Cohen is mainly a wife and mother, like so many others of her ilk in suburban America. Tami is minorly a creative genius with a body of work containing miles of illustrations and reams of stories. She is also known to turn a hyperbolic phrase now and again.

Kristi Conley-Brockie lives in Los Gatos, California with her husband, Richard, and corgi dog, Mr. Spock. She writes, sketches, and makes digital art for fun.

Tamara Danoyan lives in Northern California and holds a non-creative job in academia. She does photography and dances Argentine tango for fun and self-expression.

Jewel Beth Davis is a writer and theater artist who lives in Rollinsford, New Hampshire with her cat Lizzie. She has performed, directed, and choreographed professionally throughout the United States and British Isles. She earned an MFA in Writing at Vermont College. She also teaches writing and theater at Great Bay Community College. Her writing has been published in the Compass Rose, SN Review, Moondance Literary Magazine, Cezanne’s Carrot, Bent Pin Quarterly, RE: Ports Magazine, READ THIS: MSU’s Literary and Art Publication, The Sylvan Echo, Poetica Magazine, Midway, Lilith, American Diversity Report, and Damselfly. This is her fifth SPARK.

Luisa DiPietro has been shooting commercial assignments and fine art photography for two decades. She lives with her husband and various companion animals on a farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Her studio is located in Silver Spring, Maryland. Luisa is available for commissioned photography of all kinds with a special interest in horses. She has shown in local galleries and won best in show on a national level. Recent projects include photographing privately owned collections of Mexican Silver and Chanel for table top books.

Dawn Doran is an artist and craftswoman living in Reisterstown, Maryland, with her Pirate Husband their two magical daughters. She teaches classes in fiber arts, fine arts, and craft.  Dawn has a degree in Art and Education.

Jim Doran lives in north Baltimore with his wife, Dawn, and two lovely daughters, and works as a web developer for Johns Hopkins University. Jim loves to draw and founded the junk mail art movement on Flickr.

Kathy Doran founded WORDrunner, Inc., a professional writing business in May 2000 providing content development for corporations, nonprofits and government agencies. She recently went to work as an intelligence analyst for one of her clients and continues to run her writing business on the side.

Lisa Eldridge is currently working on a personal mission statement. She enjoys reading. She published her first piece, a satirical poem, at age 13 in a Jughead Double Digest.

Lauren Flax is a writer living in Baltimore, Maryland, with several hairy creatures, including a fiance, two wiener dogs, and two arrogant cats. By day, Lauren is a mild-mannered yoga instructor and web content author; by night she is a free-wheeling, fiction and poetry writing, cookie baking, blogging dervish who will kick your butt at Scrabble.

Donna Gagnon, a born and bred Canadian, lives in a bright blue and yellow house in Haliburton, Ontario. She writes poetry, short fiction, and plays. Her work appears at The Fib Review, SmokeLong, Every Day Fiction, Short Story Library, Rumble, Bewildering Stories, Pen Pricks Microfiction, Smokebox, Wingspan Quarterly, Twisted Tongue, Gold Dust Magazine, in Gatto Publishing’s Short StoriEs e-anthology and in three anthologies published by The Write Idea. A collection of interlinking prose poems, “Two Double Beds in a Comfort Hotel,” appears in New Writings in the Fantastic, edited by John Grant (aka Paul Barnett), published by Pendragon Press. Her one act play, Deception, was presented at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2005 and will be produced by the Borelians Community Theatre Group in Port Perry, Ontario, during their Canadian one act play festival in May 2010. With her husband, Doug Pugh, Donna co-administers an online international writers’ forum (The Write Idea) and co-edits TheRightEyedDeer, a quarterly literary ezine.

Chandra Garsson’s artwork has been shown both nationally and internationally. Her paintings and sculptures have been featured at the Bedroom Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic, Berlin, Germany, Manukan City, New Zealand, and Art Forum Gallery in Singapore. Closer to home, her art has been seen over the years at Morphos Gallery, Olga Dollar Gallery, Fobbo Gallery, in San Francisco, and more recently at Expressions Gallery, in Berkeley. Chandra’s artwork and writing also features prominently in Bittersweet Legacy, Creative Responses to the Holocaust, an anthology edited by Cynthia Brody. Her book, Insomnia (Awakening), was published by Meridian PressWorks in conjunction with a major retrospective exhibition of the same title at ProArts Gallery in Oakland, California in 2004.

Jacqueline Gaulin is a writer who lives and works in Washington, DC, with Jester and Oscar, her two well-read, quite patient, and creative Bearded Collies who provide endless comic relief. She received an MA in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University and is currently at work on a short story collection.

Joanne Lozar Glenn is an independent writer, editor, and educator specializing in education and healthcare. She teaches writing classes in adult education programs and sponsors annual “Get Away, Get Writing” retreats at the beach.

Jane Hulstrunk lives in Williamstown, Vermont, with her husband. She dabbles in photography for creative expression.

Meghan Elizabeth Hunt currently lives and works in Columbia, Maryland but spent most of her life in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She spends a large percentage of her free time working on her novel in-progress and training to be a ninja. Only half of that sentence is true.

Robert Haydon Jones lives with his wife, Alice, in Westport, Connecticut.

Ben Jorgensen currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, but spent his “formative years” in Falls Church and the DC metro area. He works as a Senior Editor & Team Leader (whatever that is!) for a data and analysis publications division of Standard & Poor’s. He’s been in the editorial field long enough to realize that he needs to get his creative fix through his CafePress website and short story writing.

Lin Jorgensen, an Alexandria, Virginia-based freelancer, is also principal of her start-up, Ingenious Communications. She specializes in developmental and substantive editing and Web content advisory, including proprietary styleguides. The Elements of Internet Style, for which she was lead editor, was judged a leading reference book by Foreword Magazine in 2008.

Ruth Kelmer-Ovadia lives in Fairfax, Virginia. She moved to the United States from Israel for her job with a large software company. She is now taking painting classes at the Art League and at the Vander Zee School of Painting in Alexandria, Virginia, while caring for her daughters and husband.

Sarah Krouse is a business reporter living in Washington DC. She graduated from The George Washington University and spends her free time reading and writing fiction.

Paula Lantz is a painter of abstracted figures, a mix of acrylic paints and collage. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and is a member of the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria and Touchstone Gallery in Washington DC. Paula is also an associate member of the Lorton Workhouse in Lorton, Virginia, and docent at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. She has two grown sons: one four 4 kids, the other has a cute little dog.

Dale Leffler is a writer, poet, lifestyle coach and workshop presenter. He lives and works in New Jersey while his children afford him the opportunity to travel to Denver, Burlington, and Virginia Beach to see and hug his five talented and inspirational grandchildren. Dale escapes to Monterey, Tennessee, every chance he gets.

Teresa Toner Libera has been a fiction writer since she was six years old when she started writing animal adventure stories for her five younger sisters. She lives in Reston, Virginia, works in Washington, DC, and longs to live and work in Austin, Texas, close to those same sisters. She really enjoyed this SPARK inspiration project.

Rusty Lynn is an artist reborn and unbound. After a 40-year career in ministry, social work, and pastoral counseling Rusty is once again producing art. He is an abstract painter, collage artist, and sculptor. He is also the co-creator and leader of a new course called Mindful Meditation for Enhanced Creativity.

Brian MacDonald is a media communications professional living in Jericho, Vermont. His creative pursuits include writing, photography, drumming, and supplying his muse with chocolates.

Amanda Miska has an MFA in Creative Writing from American University. When she is not in the process of nesting (her first baby is due in February 2010) or substitute teaching, she is the co-owner (along with her sister and best friend) of Miskabelle, an online business specializing in vintage and reconstructed vintage clothing. She currently resides in State College, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful family, but hopes to someday return to the great state of Virginia.

Amy Moffitt is a poet, singer, and blogger who lives in, but is not of, the Washington, DC area. Her travels have taken her as far as Iceland, Guatemala, and (repeatedly) the UK, and she is her happiest when surrounded by people from other countries, belief systems and cultures. A self-identified Presby-Cathlo-Episcopa-Mennonite, Amy is an active participant in the life of Common Table, an emergent church in Vienna, Virginia, and in Emergent Village.

JoAnn Moore now lives on the coast in northern California after far too long in wintery Vermont. She teaches high school English for her day job, walks her St. Bernard, Apollo, daily and writes not nearly enough.

Rachel Morton likes getting her hands into things: manuscripts, clay, and dirt.

Allison Nance is an artist (photography/mixed media) and graphic designer living in Del Ray, Alexandria, with her awesome husband, Kevin, and their mischievous, mini-rex bunny, Francesca. She works as the graphic designer for the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the gallery assistant for their national exhibition space, the Target Gallery.

Maria Margarita Panas, born in Munich, Germany, immigrated to the United States, landing in Brooklyn and subsequently became a naturalized citizen. She attended Wayne State University in Michigan where she met her future husband of 40 years. They have two sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

D. Quentin Paquette finds his place and path in the world include a wide variety of opportunities for expression. In them, you can almost always hear him laughing: he is always open to another idea, which amounts to about the same thing. His work takes as many forms as it needs to. Many of his travels end up reflected on his blog.

Nick Piche is an Addy-award-winning copywriter in Baltimore, Maryland, but is originally from Troy, New York. He has been writing since he was 8. At least that’s as far back as he can remember. Nick writes poetry, songs, ads, short stories, and useless ramblings. Whatever strikes him at the moment.

Lisa Pimental lives in San Francisco and makes her living as a copy editor and proofreader. Lisa plays with a lot of different types of art — photography, collage, acrylic painting, and more recently, encaustic/wax work — and uses recycled materials whenever she can, out of both a sense of wanting to reuse resources and loving to reinvent things. Lisa likes to camp, hike, garden, cook, and spoil her cat, and aspires to learn how to play the banjo.

When Carl Rauscher was very young, his mother told him he could be anything he wanted and he’s tried hard to accomplish just that. He’s driven a nuclear submarine, hunted squirrel with a slingshot, ran his own business, got kicked out of a midnight showing of Rocky Horror, drove a truck while talking on a CB radio, had an intelligence officer show him a badge, sailed across Long Island Sound in a rented boat, ordered food in a foreign McDonalds, rode on a firetruck in full gear with the sirens blaring, blew the engine of a car in the middle of nowhere, and appeared in a major motion picture (or at least his elbow did).

Gabriel Shanks lives in New York City.  A poet, playwright, photographer and stage director, Gabriel was one of the creators of “The Village Fragments,” which received a 2007 OBIE Award. His poems have been published in The Wild Goose Review, Ya’Sou, From Now On, Chopin with Cherries and elsewhere, while his current photography is showcased at GlitterLens and in a long-form collaboration project, Imagining Oscar. The recipient of the Theatre Project Honor for Outstanding Vision, he was named a “New Arts Leader”by the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Amy Souza founded SPARK in 2008 and runs the project from her home in Arlington, Virginia.  When she’s not cajoling people to join SPARK, setting up partner pairs, nagging people about deadlines, or working on the website, she writes, edits, paints, and walks dogs. Amy has a master’s degree in radio and television from San Francisco State University. In 2009, she received an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest 78th Annual Writing Competition for her Best Friends Magazine feature article, “Marching Orders: What happens to military pets when their owners are deployed?”

Mary L. Tabor’s short story collection The Woman Who Never Cooked won Mid-List Press’s First Series Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared recently in the anthology Electric Grace, Paycock Press, The Missouri Review, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Image, the Mid-American Review, River City, Chelsea, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and American Literary Review. She was a visiting writer at University of Missouri-Columbia in 2006-2007 and she teaches at the Smithsonian’s Campus-on-the-Mall, George Washington University, and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Mary is writing a memoir “live,”entitled Sex After Sixty in the format of a blog.

Norma Tennis is an artist and graphic designer who lives by the ocean in San Francisco. Her friends, family, and animals are her inspiration.

Lisa Ventrella is a writer and part-time critical care RN who lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two children. She received an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and dreams of living in Montpelier, Vermont, someday. She writes short stories and has recently discovered the challenge that is flash fiction.

Michelle Townsend Wallace is a writer, artist, and musician living in Dallas, Texas. She has a background in counseling and nonprofits, and is always looking for opportunities to integrate her many passions. Michelle has been married for 11 years to her childhood sweetheart, and they have three children.

Helen Whittaker is a freelance educational author and consultant with a background in primary teaching. Originally from the UK, she emigrated to New Zealand in 2005. By day Helen writes non-fiction for children, but by night she writes fiction and poetry for adults.

Nick Winkworth was beamed by matter transfer from his native England to California’s Silicon Valley in 1989, and has so far found the process to be irreversible. When not marketing computers he makes photographs that owe less to Ansel Adams and more to the modern abstract painters and sculptors he was exposed to from an early age by his parents (both artists).

Janet Yandik lives in Shirlington Village in Arlington, Virginia. Her hobbies include having fun with photography.


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