Members & Friends

Dawn Addy (Friend) served as Center Director and chief administrator for the Center for Labor Research and Studies (CLR&S) and in a joint faculty position with Women’s Studies at Florida International University.  She worked closely with faculty, students, university administration, staff and external constituency groups.  She retired in July, 2015 but continues to serve regularly on doctoral student committees and on both the medical and social sciences Institutional Review Boards at FIU.  She has served as national President of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) USA from 2014 to 2017.

She teaches, conducts workshops and seminars with adult learners both nationally and internationally.  She trains trainers, consults, conducts research, leads strategic planning initiatives, and facilitates community building. She has coordinated conferences and workshops nationally and internationally.  Through her research efforts she has designed specialized training programs and materials in areas of:  Strategic Planning and Development, Workplace Diversity, Workplace Violence, Conflict Resolution, Harassment, Effective Communication Skills, Problem-solving, Leadership Skills, Electronic Publishing Skills, Labor Law, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, HIV-AIDS, Stress and Self-Image, Bridging the Gender Gap, Workplace Literacy, Adult Education Techniques.

She currently serves as editor and chief of 4 newsletters:  The AVP USA Transformer (quarterly), The AVP International Education Bulletin (monthly), The Strawbridge Art League ART NEWS (bi-monthly), and the Quail Ridge Communique (quarterly).  She is currently working with an international team to produce two books about the Alternatives to Violence Project.  The first book is coauthored by a group from the USA, Australia, and South Africa.  The second book is a compilation of stories from over 30 countries around the world, telling their experiences with AVP.  She also participates on writing teams for producing a series of AVP training manuals at both the national and international levels of the organization.

As a visual artist, she paints primarily with acrylics and water color.  A member of the Strawbridge Art League, she is a local coastal and pet portrait artist.  With a BFA from MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) she expresses her own unique style in demonstrating her love of pets and Florida living.  She has exhibited in juried shows throughout Florida.  Dawn’s work has been featured in exhibitions across Miami and Central Florida, Washington, Minnesota and Massachusetts.  She has painted commissioned works for patrons in Florida, Minnesota, California, Romania, Australia, Michigan, New York, Canada and Mexico.


Lynne Anderson (Friend)In the 80s, when my children were small, I joined a painting group using oils and acrylic and so enjoyed it. I entered two of my works into juried shows and sold them both. Soon after that, I left that area to build a log cabin in central Maine. I stopped painting but continued with crocheting and knitting, making many socks, toys, and blankets. My last four years were dedicated to caring for my dear husband, who passed in July 2020. A Pen Woman Friend encouraged me to meet the Pen Women, and I so enjoy their company. I plan to pick up painting soon as I make a life for me. Thanks to all for your encouragement and support!

Janet Ashworth (Friend)


Susana Balaguero (Friend)Teaching, writing and theater were Susana's passions while living and working in Spain and Germany for over three decades. She taught Conversational Spanish to the military and College level courses at Torrejon Air Force Base in Madrid.  In Germany she was a K-8 Guidance Counselor and High School Spanish teacher for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools, journaling and writing poetry of her experiences while living and traveling in various locations.  Special highlights of Susana's travels include performing at the International Theater Festival in Dundalk, Ireland; three trips to Venice, and most recently, Machu Picchu in Peru and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador where she photographed and painted watercolors of the Blue-Footed Boobies, one of her favorite birds.

Now living in Cape Canaveral,  Susana is a member of the Brevard Authors Society, Wednesday Morning Writers,  Central Brevard Art Association, Group Therapy Improv at the Library and Nolan’s Irish Pub Ukulele Collective.  She also volunteers and has performed in Our Town, and Fiddler on the Roof at Surfside Theater.  

Ginny Beeby (Friend) I took some art classes in high school and picked up classes over the past few years.  I have enjoyed various arts and crafts over the years, but oil painting is the only medium which allows me to completely escape from all of life’s demands.  My hope is to improve my oil painting techniques and skills enough to someday paint portraits of my grandchildren.

Anne Bonner (Letters) Having lived all over the world with her Air Force fighter pilot husband, Anne considers the Philippine Islands and Hawaii her favorite places. She learned Asian cooking, oil painting, cake decorating, snow skiing, and played lots of bridge when she was not involved with her children. Anne’s writing talent enabled her to become Editor of the Officers' Wives' Club magazine at Perrin Air Force Base, Sherman-Denison, Texas.

No matter where Anne traveled, she was always reading and writing, and poetry was her first love.She is a member of the Florida Historical Society, the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and is a former board member of the Space Coast Writers’ Guild.

Anne has written eleven books in eleven years. She also paints in oils and her painting, "Sunny Magic" is the cover of her latest book, ENJOY! New and Selected PoemsVisit her website: www.ANNEBONNER.COM

Elaine E. Cartechine (Letters)

Marion Coste (Letters) writes books for children, mostly nonfiction books about Hawaii’s natural history. Her books are widely used as resources by children in grades four through high school. Kolea, Marion’s third book, won the 1999 Hawaii Book Publishers Association Ka Palapala Po‘okela award for excellence in children’s literature, and The Hawaiian Bat ʻŌpeʻapeʻa received honorable mention for the same award in 2005.  Marion is also a manuscript reviewer and freelance editor and has edited more than 30 books for children and adults.

Marion grew up on the Jersey shore and graduated from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. As a Coast Guard wife, she moved around the country for 26 years, teaching elementary school and working in various other areas of education, including Director of Education at Mystic Marinelife Aquarium in Mystic Connecticut, Teacher Trainer and Consultant for Kamehameha Schools O‘ahu, and Instructor of Education at University of Hawai‘i Mānoa. 

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During the 33 years Marion lived in Hawai‘i, she joined forces with a University of Hawaii English professor and local businessman to create a popular and successful read-aloud program (RAP) that engaged parents and children throughout the islands. (see

Marion’s seven books for children are Nēnē, Honu, Kōlea, ‘Ope‘ape‘a,The Hawaiian Bat,  and Hawaii’s Animals Do the Most Amazing Things (University of Hawai‘i Press); Finding Joy (Boyds Mills Press),  and Wild Beach (Finney Publishers). All her books are available at and Barnes& Visit Marion on her website:   Marion served as President of the Cape Canaveral Branch 2016-2020 and is currently Membership Chair.

Mia Crews (Letters) is an author, journalist, and book editor. Her clients include many talented Pen Women including Anna Flowers, Rosemary Brofos, Marcy Von Kohorn, Paulette Cooper, Rosemary Dronchi, French poet Anne-Marie Derouault, and Kay Williamson. Non-Pen Women clients include Canadian author Julie Copp, Gene Davis, Marshall Frank, Bill Hahn, Florida Tech professor John Lavelle, columnist Marilyn Cohen Shapiro, and Susann Elizabeth Richards. 

Mia started out writing as Mia Maxam, with five Silhouette romance novels to her credit. Her romance novels have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese. Her most recent novel is Last Stop Paradise, available on Amazon as a Kindle book and paperback co-written by Mia Crews and Karlene Conroy. Between writing novels, Mia worked as a newspaper correspondent, business writer, and college teacher.  She also lectures on how to format a book as a paperback and Kindle for Kindle Direct Publishing.

Mia has been active in the Brevard County, Florida community, having served as a volunteer Victim Advocate for the State Attorney’s office, served on the Malabar Schoolhouse Preservation Committee, and is one of the original founders and past president of the SpacecoasT Authors of Romance (STAR). She has served as President, Vice President and Treasurer for the Cape Canaveral Branch of the NLAPW. She recently served as second vice president and parliamentarian for the Florida State Pen Women. She was named Florida’s Pen Woman of the Year, 2007-8.

Mia graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a degree in Mathematics. She also studied graphic design and uses her artistic talents to create book covers for clients.

She and her husband Phil Crews have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

Mary Doerfler Dall (Art & Letters) is a freelance writer, illustrator and artist, and former kindergarten and elementary school teacher. She wrote and illustrated three Happy Hat books for Teacher Created Materials, Making Hallelujah Hats for Paulist Press, Little Hands—Create! for Williamson Publishing, Snipper Critters for Maupin House, Children Discover the Mass and Hands-On Faith for Ave Maria Press. Though out of print, there is still limited availability on  

Her Celebrating Poetry That Fits in Your Pocket books, When Magic Helps Us Steer, Happy Birthday-Florida! and Critters Are Cool are all available on Mary now has two picture books in print; Ambrose, Little Ant and Ambrose Little Ant’s Awesome, Action, ABCs, both available on Amazon.

Besides Pen Women, she is secretary (and Past President) of the Central Florida Watercolor Society, a member of the Florida Watercolor Society and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) (Arts and Letters).

Mary is the past president of the Cape Canaveral PenWomen, an office she shared with Toni DiRocco. 

You may find Mary online at her blogspot where she shares tips on creating crafts for children and adults alike. To follow Mary, check out her site at   Her website is:


Anne-Marie Derouault (Letters) was born and raised in Paris, France. Currently a resident of Brevard County, she has lived in Florida for almost 20 years. Her love of writing started at a young age, however life called her to other endeavors as an executive in the computer industry with a PhD in Mathematics and a degree in Psychology. She later founded Emergence Resources LLC to offer consulting and coaching internationally on leadership, communication, and stress reduction. In addition to extensive traveling to Europe and Asia, she has a lifelong passion for mindfulness and yoga. She is certified in Integrative Relaxation and Conscious Eating and is a registered teacher with the USA Yoga Alliance.

Anne-Marie has had a daily practice of stream of consciousness journaling for many years. She writes free verse poetry in French and in English, as well as haikus and short stories, inspired by her love of travel, nature and human beings. She published a bilingual collection of her poetry in 2018: While The Poem Lasts – Le temps d’un poème. 

Two of her poems, Kerala Sunset Cruise and Places, were published in the 2018 Brevard Driftwood XXXVII anthology. She a member of the Brevard Authors Society, Space Coast Writers Guild, and Brevard Scribblers.

Anne-Marie self-published a series of short Conscious Eating handbooks: Enhance your life-force with living foodsThe anti-aging raw dietWhere to get high quality plant protein for strength and well being; and Living tastes from around the world. She also created two Relaxation CDs, Letting Go and Harmony with Food.


Lilyanna (Susan) Engleton (Friend) I moved to this area in 1965 graduating from Satellite High in 1970. I wish I’d heard of the scholarship for art students back then. I have a BA in Special Education. Ended up working in the Post Office. (Not creative but decent pay). Happily retired. Divorced. I have two daughters and four granddaughters that don’t live nearby. I visit Palm Beach County often to enjoy the family. I have a lovely 19 year old cat named Tiger Lily and a cute little house in Melbourne with butterfly garden. I love to paint furniture and have painted the quality stuff my parents left me. I enjoy acrylic painting and also write poetry. 


Pamela Farley (Allied Art)   Pam Farley grew up in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states and made her way to the beautiful, sunny space coast in 1974. Pam had a successful career as a Materials Management executive and was responsible for production planning and scheduling, $100,000,000 in purchases, $20,000,000 in inventory, and a staff of 55 employees. While advancing her career in materials management, Pam earned her Bachelor of Professional Studies from Barry University and her MBA from Florida Institute of Technology.  She and her husband, Darrell, were avid boaters and fishermen for many years. They spent as much time as work would allow enjoying the Florida and Bahamian coastal waters.  Pam combined her love of the outdoors and her creative nature to become a jewelry artist in 2005.  Following their retirement, Pam and Darrell traded boating for the RV lifestyle.  They have enjoyed seasonal traveling around the country and have especially enjoyed visiting and photographing many of the national parks.  When not traveling, they reside near their children and three of their five grandchildren in Melbourne Beach. Retirement has afforded Pam more time to create her jewelry pieces that reflect her love of the ocean and the outdoors.  She founded her business, Creative Designs by Pam, in 2011.  She individually designs and handcrafts all of her unique jewelry items. Many of her materials are found during her travels.  In 2019, she participated in a mission trip to Uganda and purchased hand-made paper beads from local artisans. She incorporates these paper beads along with freshwater pearls, shells, and stones into one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.  Pam’s jewelry reflects her love of the ocean and the outdoors.   Examples of her work can be seen on her Facebook page, Creative Designs by Pam and on her website

Luanne Faulkender (Letters, Art) is an energetic and creative actress, artist, author, poet, acting coach, and CEO of Theatre Techniques for Executives, a firm that teaches fortune-500 companies her scientific methodology and protocol of dynamic public speaking, presentations, and leadership workshops. She brings vast experience from theater and film to the boardroom and the corporate world in the form of a profound training program called Peak Dynamics. Her company has been featured in national magazines and newspapers nationwide.  

She started out as a commercial artist receiving awards that eventually promoted her to Art Director of a leading Advertising Agency in Toledo, Ohio. 

As an author, Luanne received several honors for her short story and poetry awarded by the NLAPW-FSC and has earned kudos for her novel, Thief of Innocence, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Booklogix.  

She creates her award winning art in watercolor, photography, oil, acrylics, pen and ink, clay sculpture, and Faberge-style egg decorating and jewelry. Commissioned by the International Egg Commission, she created a Faberge-style award for the First Lady in 2009 that will be in their future Library. 

Luanne judges art shows and travels nationally as a keynote speaker and also speaks on the subject of Master Craftsman, Carl Fabergé and Faberge-style EggArt and its development into present-day egg artistry.

She served as 2nd Vice President of the Florida State Association of the National League of American Pen Women (FSA/NLAPW) and has served as Past President and Vice President of The EggArt Guild of Georgia (EGG) and as a Board member of the National League of American Pen Women-Atlanta (NLAPW-Atlanta) and Women in Film & TV-Atlanta. (WIFTA)  Luanne is finishing the sequel to her novel and enjoys the Florida sunshine with her husband in Viera, Florida

Kathryn Flanagan (Letters) Kathryn has been writing since she was a child. Her first book was Mr. Polka Dot, created, with pictures, for her siblings who had chicken pox. Her first published book is Beyond the Fine Line, an Anthology of Short Stories and Poems. Three of the plays she has written have been performed by Playwrights Workshop at the Surfside Playhouse. She has acted in two plays at Surfside and has film credits for being an extra in The Model, a short than was featured in the Brevard International Film Festival. Also, she is Co-President of the Cape Canaveral Branch of the National League of American Pen Women and Communication Vice President for The Brevard Author's Society.

Anna Flowers (Letters) is an award winning author of six true crime books.  She has been an active member of NLAPW since 1993, the year her first book Blind Fury, about serial killer Gerald Stano, was published by Kensington, NY.  It received seven mass media printings and was a True Crime Book Club selection in hardback.  Bound to Die, (Kensington, NY, 1995) about Tampa Bay serial killer Bobby Joe Long, also received multiple mass media printings, was distributed world-wide, and was a major book club selection.  It was republished in 2017, shortly before Long’s execution. Anna appeared in five nationally televised documentaries on this case. In 2000 she wrote Murder at Wayside Antiques about a double homicide in an antique shop north of Ocala.  The shop is now under new management, and this book has again become a continual seller in their book store. Wanton Woman, sub titled Sue Logue, Strom Thurmond and the Bloody Logue Timmerman Feud, was written in 2007, and was revised in 2015 under the title of Vengeance at Meeting Street.  Among her awards during a successful crime writing career, she is very proud to have received the Florida Pen Woman of the Year Award in 2013. 

Barbara Fradkin (Friend)

Cynthia Hall Headshot 2

Cynthia M. Hall (Letters)Writer, editor, has over 30 years of personal writing experience - including 15 years as an industry trade editorial reporter - before embarking on a professional freelance career in 2020. In a few short months, she's amassed close to 100 bylines in a local weekly and is a contributing photographer. Two of her poems have been published in the anthology Horizons (November 2022), available on, and her first book, The Happy Muse, will be published before the end of the year (2022). 

2022 has proven a most ambitious year, which has witnessed Mrs. Hall commence her editing career. To date, she has edited various pieces in both fiction and nonfiction, including Spanish translations. Personal projects are always on the horizon, with three books in line for publication in 2023: Diary of a Dual Nature (poems and prose, volume 1 of 2), Spring Has Sprung in Springville (children's book), and her first novel Hope Springs Eternal. These titles will soon be available for purchase on Mrs. Hall's professional website, and

When not updating her ongoing portfolio and managing her blog, also titled The Happy Muse, Ms. Hall enjoys various creative and personal pursuits. These include singing, dancing, painting, crafting, hiking, road trips, and epicurean diversions. She shares these hobbies with her husband of 26 years and her adult children (25, 20). 

Ever the collaborator, Ms. Hall is an active member of the National League of American Pen Women, the Space Coast Writers Guild, and Inspire Writers' Center.


Barbara Castle Hanson (Letters) Barbara Castle Hanson (Letters) of Melbourne, Florida, holds a B.A. in English from Trinity College in Burlington, Vermont, an M.A. in English from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and an M.S. in Gerontology from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire.

She taught High School Literature and Creative Writing in Connecticut for ten years, serving as Chair of the English Department for two of those years. She initiated and mentored the school’s first literary magazine and also taught Creative Writing for an Adult Education Program.

Her second career was spent working with elders at an Area Agency on Aging in Vermont. She moved from Case Worker, to Public Relations Director, to Director of Community Development. Barbara was the Interim Executive Director when she retired after thirty years with the agency.

During this time, she wrote over 4500 weekly columns centering on aging issues, resources and opportunities for two daily newspapers in Vermont and taught Gerontology classes at Vermont Community College.  Barbara and a colleague owned a company, Elder Concepts, which provided seminars and consultation to businesses and community groups.

Additionally, Barbara co-authored a book about the very early history of the state of Vermont titled Vermont, Wilderness to Statehood, 1748 -1791. It was published by Academy Books in 1989. 

Since retiring, she has been writing poetry and creating watercolor and oil paintings. Her poetry has been published in the Pen Woman Magazine, and on the blog, and in several Brevard County anthologies including Driftwood, Perseverance, Friends, Change and Florida. She has a poem in the 2020 Mountain Troubadour, a publication of the Poetry Society of Vermont and won first prize for her poem, After, in the 2019 Brevard Poetry Contest.

Barbara resides in Melbourne with her husband, and is a member of Space Coast Writers’ Guild, Scribblers of Brevard, Florida Writers Association, National League of American Pen Women and the Poetry Society of Vermont.

She enjoys writing, painting, reading and travel.      

The art of Joan Tozer Herrick (Art) can be seen throughout the country in corporate and private collections. She is a skilled portrait artist, designer, and muralist. Her work has been seen on national TV and in newspapers.  Joan's creativity has been shown in museum exhibit design, theater set design, murals, and in stunning large abstract artwork.

As an inspiring art teacher in public school and community college, she led students to award status and scholarships. She was awarded Teacher of the Year. She has worked in radio, as a professional model, airline hostess, and drama instructor.  Joan was Art Director at the Brevard Museum of History in Cocoa where she interfaced with the Smithsonian for the Seeds of Change Exhibit in Cocoa. Additionally, as Project Director for the Windover Exhibit at the Museum, Joan had extensive consultation with the archaeologists and scientists involved in the discovery of the 7,000+ year-old burial site where the discovery of DNA in the remains of the ancient people was intact due to exclusion of oxygen in the burial peat bog. This became a world-wide wonder. She was in her element as a muralist, and researcher of information, finding experts in reproduction for the exhibit to reveal the unbelievable intelligence, remarkable varied weaving techniques, tool-making abilities, and persevering character of the ancient community in their loving care of their physically compromised people.   

Joan enjoys classical music, jazz, reading history of church fathers, and biographies. She explores genealogy, creative writing and loves to learn. 

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Elmira Hooge (Friend) I was born in Persia; today its name is Iran. I started painting in my teenage years. After a couple of years, my parents hired a private tutor who had studied painting in Germany and from him I learned the Old Masters style of classical painting, so that became my style too. I learned how to use oil painting for my portraits and flowers and that has continued with me from Iran to Britain to the  US and Canada.

In Canada I learned how to paint classical portraits and flowers using watercolor, and when we moved back to the USA, I started using acrylic, and acrylic was added to my collection of media. 

Elmira table

Since my retirement I thoroughly enjoy myself by doing more arts and crafts, like painting on rocks, greeting cards, and bird houses, but I am still painting on canvas quite a bit. I also make delightful earrings. 

Deby Johnson (Friend)


Patricia Gesford Lane (Friend)  A farm girl from Northeastern Pennsylvania, Patricia received her BS in education from Mansfield State College, Mansfield, Pennsylvania and her MA in education from Hunter College of the City University of New York. She then continued advanced studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, Patricia spent thirty plus years in the field of education. As an elementary teacher, she taught kindergarten through fourth grade in the Ridgewood Public Schools, Ridgewood, New Jersey. She became a staff developer and led many workshops on reading and writing for teachers.

Creating and developing new programs for students and teachers were her passions as well as writing. She initiated “Lunchtime Reading,” a program where students were treated to stories while eating lunch read by voluntary parents and teachers.

Her interest in writing resulted in being co-founder and editor of a literary magazine for kids called KidsWrite. Kids submitted their stories and poems and Patricia edited them for publication.

Near the end of her teaching career, she became Project Manager for Ridgewood Public School Publications, Ridgewood, NJ. These publications may be found on the Educator’s Publishing Service website, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

After moving to Florida, she has devoted more time to her passion, writing non-fiction and in particular, memoir. Her first book was published last fall. It is titled Teacher and Student Solve the Puzzle, Dyslexia. She is currently working on her next book about loss.

Her goals are: to continue writing, to get into the public schools and offer writing workshops for kids, and to improve the national narrative about police officers.

You may contact Patricia at her email or her cell (845 300-3391).


Jeanette (Jenny) Lisbeth (Friend)I grew up in a small town in South Dakota where my mother made sure we were exposed to great literature, art and music. I took piano lessons and played the organ in church. I was awarded a music scholarship in college, but ended up getting degrees in Elementary and Special Education. I played flute, organ, and piano while in college, minoring in music, art and history.  Some of my favorite memories are playing in the symphony and concert band. 

I taught Special Education for most of my career, but also ran a high school computer lab. My favorite experience was teaching physically impaired academic students, making individual accommodations to allow such students to participate in all classes including art and music.My husband and I have always supported the arts. Our daughter was a ballet dancer (my husband and I sat through so many rehearsals of The Nutcracker that Tchaikovsky makes our eyes water). We have always been willing to support her dance studios in any way we could. 

Since moving to this area, my husband has become a member of various orchestral groups, bands and smaller ensembles.  For many years, I have enjoyed volunteering for these organizations. Since we retired, my husband, a retired military officer, and I have been fortunate enough to travel around Europe.  We enjoy learning the history of different cultures and attempting to learn various languages.  We have visited Venice (our favorite city) numerous times and plan on going again. 


Anne Parks Mitchell (Friend) I was born in Syracuse New York and moved to Fort Lauderdale when I was 10 years old. At age 13, I moved to Satellite Beach to live with my aunt and uncle. I attended Eau Gallie Junior High for 9th grade. Courtney and Elaine Stone were family friends, so I got to know Cathy [nee Stone, now Rayburn] in ninth grade. What a small world now that I am living in Viera and we meet again so many years later.

After graduating from Fort Lauderdale high school, I received a bachelor’s in education from Temple University and then a master’s in early childhood education from Westfield State  

I taught kindergarten and gifted education for several years both in Massachusetts and Florida.
I earned an Ed. D from Nova University in 1983 and later received a M. Ed in Counseling/Psychology. My final years in education were spent as a guidance counselor at a performing arts elementary school in Fort Lauderdale. I retired in 1999 to travel extensively and enjoy all the performing arts venues that South Florida has to offer. Some of my favorite trips were to Israel, Australia, and Germany. I’ve enjoyed visiting other cultures and meeting new people.  

Last August I moved to Viera to be close to my daughter and her family. I’m really enjoying my life here.  I joined a book club, attend many activities at One Senior Place, and enjoy taking water aerobics classes. I found you ladies through One Senior Place and I’m very happy to become a Friend!  

JoAnna O'Keefe in red

JoAnna O’Keefe (Letters) A graduate of Syracuse University in New York, JoAnna brings to herpoems the accumulated experience of studies at the Pecos Benedictine Monastery School for Spiritual Directors, near Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Northern Arizona Hospice Program; the Dale Carnegie Course; studies in contemplative prayer at the Benedictine Monastery in Snowmass, Coloradoand the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She studied Christian spirituality and the psychology of C. G. Jung at the Einsiedein Conference in Switzerland.

JoAnna O’Keefe’s spiritual journey to writing her beautiful poetry beganwith two profound losses. Her father’s death left her in the depths of sorrow and brought her to Florida to seek solace. She lived in a cottage by the sea with her husband, who’d been her high school sweetheart, and their son and daughter. Then the murder of a lifelong friend left her bereft and paralyzed with grief. She spent days sitting on the beach, adrift with the pain of suddenly losing two people she loved dearly.

That pain brought a new birth—JoAnna’s emergence as a poet. Then in 1988, she went on a pilgrimage in Yugoslavia with her husband. It was shortly before war came to the Balkans. There, in a crowded church in a tiny village where miracles happened, she prayed to write a poem about peace. Back in the sanctuary of her home in Florida, she poured out her heart and feelings in poetry that later became her now-classic poem, “Come to the Garden” which was read at the 51st National Prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C.

“Writing, I found, was a bridge to wholeness—a way to get in touch with my feelings, hopes and dreams, a way to listen to Spirit’s voice within.”

JoAnna has gone on to write compelling poems that have been published and read by officials in Washington, DC, incorporated into the commissioning of a U.S. Naval Ship, and achieved many other blue ribbon accolades and honors. She is the author of five books of poetry. One of her most recent accomplishments is her patriotic poem turned into song, “America at the Crossroads,” released in December 2014. She dedicated the song to the American people. The Brevard Symphony Orchestra performed the World Premier of “America at the Crossroads” at their annual July 4th Concert in Cocoa, Florida.

JOANNA O’KEEFE POEMS to SONGS by TONY SMITH (featuring “America at the Crossroads”)was released in December 2015. JoAnna and Tony recorded a single, “A Christmas Message,” released in December 2015. Their music is available on iTunes, and Amazon.

JoAnna was a 2016 recipient of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge National Award: GeorgeWashington Honor Medal. Her work was read into the Congressional Record on May 4, 2017. In April 2018, JoAnna received the President’s Prestigious Pen Woman Award, for Distinguished Achievement in Poetry. The award reads: “Her exceptional creation of “America at the Crossroads” to inspire national unity has brought great credit to herself, and the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. A popular speaker, JoAnna has been offering presentations integrating her poetry with spirituality since 1991. To learn more about JoAnna O’Keefe visit her website at www.joannaokeefe.comContact: (c) 407-579-8366

Betty Prisendorf (Letters), a resident of Merritt Island, is a retired registered nurse who has been writing since being inspired by a high school English teacher who said "never stop writing." She writes poetry, plays and short stories.  In 2008, with a prize-winning poem, she was named Senior Poet Laureate of Florida.  With her poem Last Letters, she won second place and publication in Women's Voices of the 21st Century, sponsored by Greenwich Pen Women. Her poem Third Planet From the Sun won first place and is online with Great Spirit  Publishing Company.

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Donna Puglisi (Letters)  Donna was born in San Diego, California and raised in Wisconsin. Her mother, also an artist, poet, composer and pianist, was a tremendous influence.  It was because of her that Donna began writing poetry and also became a dancer/ choreographer.

She attended Stevens Point State University in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, majoring in drama and dance.  She choreographed many talent shows, operas and high school musicals. Donna was also a lead dancer with a theater company in Long Island, NY.

As a flight attendant for United Airlines in the early ‘70’s, she was based in New York.  After years of flying, Donna worked in Manhattan for CBS-TV, CBS Radio, WNEW Radio and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations (the world’s number one entertainment public relations firm).  This gave her a broad scope of experience in the entertainment business representing major movie stars and involvement in the broadcast industry.  While living in Virginia, Donna worked as a press agent for the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.


Donna has three poetry books published:  "Diamonds In The Rough", "Roses and Onions, One Layer at a Timeand "The Power of Passion, Dancing Barefoot”.  She is currently working on another poetry book, “I’m No Angel In Stilettos”.

She was one of eight finalists in the recent 2017 Brevard County Poetry Contest for her poem, Wading Through The Waters.  She recently won third place in the 2019 NLAPW Florida State Association Conference for her poem, “Wail."  Her poem, “Morning” is featured in the 2020 Spring Edition of “The Pen Woman” magazine.

Donna lives in Viera FL, with her husband, Fred. Donna is currently Co-President of the Cape Canaveral Branch.


Barbara Rios (Friend) Capturing the fleeting beauty of life with a camera or a paintbrush has been a lifelong need for Barbara.  She has learned that it may not be there tomorrow…   

Barbara is self-taught from constantly reading, observing other artists, making notes on scraps of paper, and experimenting. The result is a wide variety of subjects, styles and materials, but she is best known for her use of vivid and, sometimes, unnatural colors, such as a green and blue zebra!  Many of her “failed” paintings have been dumped in the tub, soaked, squeezed, torn, and recreated into something new. Artist Sterling Edwards’ phrase “creative restlessness” best describes Barbara. Her recent “Whimsey” series is created by making a story out of marbleized webbing randomly sprayed onto paper. Not only has this challenge expanded her imagination, it has given her many hours of pure joy.    

As part of the National Art in Public Places Program, her paintings are actively displayed throughout Brevard County, Florida, in city halls, libraries, hospitals, and many other public locations.  She is most proud and honored that her painting, “Your Brothers Salute You” is a permanent part of the All Veterans of Brevard’s Traveling Wall which continuously exhibits across the United States.  Her painting depicts a solemn, military ceremony with a horse-drawn caisson which bears the body of a veteran in a flag-draped casket.

Since retirement from a career in real estate, Barbara has been very involved with the Brevard Watercolor Society (BWS), but is currently affiliated with numerous, professional art groups. She actively enters juried shows and has won a number of awards, including 1st Place in the BWS Splash 2014 annual show. She enjoys sharing her artistic knowledge with others and has given countless demonstrations for BWS, on local cable shows, senior groups, and schools.

Her website is


Holly Schwartztol (Friend) Holly W. Schwartztol is a poet, novelist, a retired psychologist and a spiritual intuitive. She grew up in New York City. Her father, James A. Wechsler, was a renowned journalist. Holly attended the Dalton School in Manhattan, after which she graduated from Finch College. She holds a Masters in Psychology from C.W Post College and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami. 

Holly was a school psychologist in Dade County for eleven years. She was in private practice for nearly forty years. In the mid-nineties she and a colleague opened a holistic center in Miami called MIEL. She was president of many professional organizations, including the Dade County Psychological Association (1988) and the  Florida Society of Clinical Hypnosis (2001).

 When Holly was in her fifties, her creative writing began to emerge more fully. She has published three novels since 2005 (Sherry and the Unseen World; What We Tell (2012); and Coming Around Again (2019). She writes poetry, many of which have placed in the Faulkner writing competition and finally published a volume of poetry called Along My Garden Path: Poems on the Rhythms of Life in 2020.

Holly’s fictional characters take the lead and guide her to write the story. Her poems nearly fall out of her; rarely does she sit down to “write a poem”. She’s tapped by her muse and must write no matter where she is at any time of day or night.

Holly is a past president of the South Florida Writers Association (SWFA). She left South Florida eight years ago but continues to be involved with South Florida writers as one of the editors of The Authors Voice. Holly likes to encourage aspiring writers and teaches memoir writing.  This began as a course at the Cape Canaveral Library. When the pandemic hit, her class went to zoom and now she teaches two such classes online.

Holly’s psychology background and spiritual studies inform her writing about the intricacies of human relationships and the continuation of consciousness.

She lives in Cape Canaveral with her husband. They have three children and five grandchildren. Holly spends leisure time doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles, walking on the beach, swimming, reading and, of course, writing.

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Pam E. Webb (Art) grew up on the shores of the Indian River in Melbourne, Florida, and since childhood has had a love for the sea.  She and her late husband, Don, built their own 40' sailboat and sailed off on a 28-year adventure.  During those years Pam discovered her natural talent for painting with watercolors.  She has continued to expand her work to include other mediums like watercolor batik, acrylic paintings, and paintings on silk fabric.

Pam's formal watercolor training included classes at Brevard Community College and Brevard Art Center and Museum in Melbourne, Florida.  She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Brevard Community College in 1990 for her watercolors of the Bahama Islands.  Pam's work has been shown at the Sail Fish Marina in Singer Island, Florida, the Barrier Island Center, Strawbridge Art League Gallery, the Watercolors of Olde Brevard Art Show exhibit at Florida Tech, the King Center, Kennedy Space Center, and the Art Gallery of Viera.

Pam was the illustrator for the book Christopher Columbus, a biography written by Elaine Murray Stone.  Recently, Pam illustrated the book Letters from Calvin, a Bahamian Potcake Dog, by Joe Kern.  She is a member of the Brevard Watercolor Society, the Colonial Dames of America, and the Strawbridge Art League.  Pam specializes in portraits of yachts, private homes, sailing boats, island scenes, lighthouses, and underwater scenes.  Visit her website at Pam is current Treasurer of the Cape Canaveral Branch.

Karen Whiting (Letters) is an international speaker, former television host of Puppets on Parade, and award-winning author of thirty books for women, children, and families. She has a heart to help families thrive and build strong, wholesome bonds. She has written more than seven hundred articles for more than sixty publications and loves to let creativity splash over the pages of what she writes. Currently, Karen writes for Leading Hearts, The Kid’s Ark, and Molly Green Magazines.

Her writing awards include the Christian Retailing Best Award, children’s nonfiction (The One Year My Princess Devotions) and the Military Writer’s Society of America Gold Medal (Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front). Karen serves on the board of directors of Christian Authors Network where she helps other published authors promote books to book lovers everywhere.

She likes adventure and has ridden a camel in the Canary Islands; white water rafted in Australia; ridden horseback in the ocean in Jamaica; and enjoyed scuba diving off the coast of Bermuda. She’s spoken in such far away places as China, Russia, and Malaysia. Her travels and moves helped her appreciate many varieties of breads and foods. She loves to bake and gift others with homemade bread, muffins, and other baked goodies s well as crafts.

Visit Karen’s website at Connect with her on FB at

Kay Williamson (Art, Letters, Music) is a former elementary teacher who turned to writing murder mystery novels with a touch of romantic suspense. They include Ghostly Whispers, Bridge to Nowhere, Listen to the Heart, Time After Time, Murder at the Starlight Pavilion, The Mysterious Woman on the Train, Incident at the Pink Beach House, Murder on Star Route 1,Murder in the Mountains and Murder at the Regional Hospital. Kay is an award-winning artist as is her husband Don, who illustrated the covers of all her books.

Kay is also a musician, composer, and playwright who has produced three CDs: Dreamflight, Magical Moments, and Gonna Love All Those Hurts.  Her romantic musical comedy, What’s Going on at the Mansion, was produced in Iron Mountain, MI.

Kay’s books are available at and Barnes & Noble online. Visit her website at

Debby Wyche (Friend) Lived in Altoona, Pa, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Upstate NY, Las Cruces, NM and presently Merritt Island, FL, since 2013, when she retired. 

She is an active member of the Wednesday Morning Writers Group, a current friend of the Cape Canaveral Pen Women and a former member of the Space Coast Writer’s Guild.  She enjoys writing fiction and poetry.  She is also an artist whose favorite genre is mixed media.

She is happily married to her soulmate of 40+ yrs. and has a little old dog.

Joy Yanni (Letters) writes books under the pen name, JB Yanni.  Her first book, published in 2018, began a series of time traveling mysteries for young adults.  Each of the first three have won awards from organizations such as the Independent Press, NYC Big Book and Bookfest.  With three of the series published, Joy took a short break in 2021 to publish a memoir for her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s nearly 10 years ago.  Now, back at the Time Benders series, the fourth and final book in the series will be out in 2023.

Joy was raised in a family of four siblings by parents who were high school sweethearts and a large extended relative.  With sports, laughter and family fun at its center, Joy was still a bit of the oddball, generally preferring the library to the athletic field.  Graduating from Illinois State University, her career began as a school social worker, but migrated to financial services for over twenty years, before settling into a life of writing.  Finally moving to Florida in 2021, Joy enjoys the beach and the paradise she now calls home. 

Joy’s published works include: Time Benders and the Machine, Time Benders and the Two Promises, Time Benders and the Long Road Home, and An Ordinary, But a Little Extraordinary Life: Lee’s Story