Greetings -- As a writer, ritualist, wedding officiant, podcaster, YouTube host and producer, I wear several hats. Before I donned my most recent hat, that of a Connecticut podcaster, I wrote fiction, nonfiction, and brought romance novels to life as a wedding officiant under Moon River Rituals. That's also where you'll find Ritual Recipes, a podcast
And now, please step into my way-back machine.
In the mid-90s, HarperCollins, under their Monogram imprint, published my three historical romance novels. In 2013, those novels were reissued as ebooks by Samhain Publishing, a company that no longer exists.
Set during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, Band of Gold shows that not all who risked their lives in the Klondike were searching for "the yellow."
First and Forever is set during 1887-88. It's about a German immigrant who never dared to dream big until she fell in love and found herself homesteading on the Dakota Territory. That story was inspired by an incident in my grandmother's life.
In the summer of 1890, in a small Montana village, science and magic collide when a snake oil salesman seeks the help of a lady pharmacist to heal his dying friend. Long buried secrets come to light under the blue moon in Just a Miracle.
In 2002, Berkley published Words of the Witches, an anthology featuring novellas by eleven writers. I wrote Tambourine Moon under the pseudonym Zelena Winters. My novella was one of three optioned by Sony for their early e-reader.
Most writers I know have what they call their "book of the heart." Though my own is still a work in progress, I'll be eternally grateful to have contributed to someone else's opus. Here's what happened... One night in July of 2008, I walked out of the ICU where my friend Liz Aleshire was clinging to life after a series of heart attacks that began on Mother's Day. At her request, I emailed five other writers and asked if they would help me complete her manuscript. Liz was under contract with Sourcebooks. Her deadline was weeks away. She had completed only a third of the book. Before midnight, all five women said yes. Liz called us "the writing sisters." She was a multipublished author. This new book was to be a tribute to her teenage son who had died twelve years earlier of bone cancer. Sourcebooks rushed the book cover. The nurses taped it to the wall of her room so she could see it every day. Liz died in October. Her book, 101 Ways You Can Help: How to Offer Comfort and Support to Those Who Are Grieving, was published the following spring. I was honored to write the Foreword.
In 2011, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT, produced Warriors Don't Cry, a one-woman play I co-authored with Scott Galbraith. Warriors is based on the memoir of the same title by Dr. Melba Pattillo Beals, one of the Little Rock Nine who integrated Central High School in 1957. Scott and I wrote the play for a student audience, though it was well received by adults, too, especially those who had experienced segretation in the South. The play enjoyed many local performances and several national tours. Now, in 2019, thanks to a collaboration with The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, The University of Connecticut's Department of Digital Media and Design, and TheaterWorksUSA, Warriors has been enhanced with multimedia and will enjoy another national tour. I'm honored to have been trusted by Dr. Beals to tell her story and proud to have co-written a play with such an important message about civil rights and the value of education. I wish the play's themes of racism, bullying, and violence were relegated to the history books. Sadly, that's not the case. I'm encouraged that the play's enduring themes of community, courage, civil rights, the value of education, and the indomitable power of youth to change the world.
In 2001, I created the television show "Full Bloom - the show that celebrates life." It covers a variety of subjects. With over 100 interviews, guests have included Tammy Richardson, an actor who recreates Bessie Coleman, the first Black aviatrix; award-winning Guatemalan artist and shaman Balam Soto; metal sculptor Karen Rossi; fine artist Carol Chaput; and Karen Goodrow of the Connecticut Innocence Project (now a Connecticut Superior Court judge) and James Calvin Tillman, a man imprisoned for 17 years until exonerated by DNA evidence.
In 2004, I launched "Page 1 - the show for writers with the reader in mind." Page 1 features interviews with writers and others in the world of publishing. Among the 100+ guests were the late Sandy Taylor, founder of Curbstone Press, Mary-Anne Tyrone Smith, Chris Lemmon, Helena Estes, Cormac O'Malley, speculative fiction writer Kit Reed, Ed Patterson producer of Connecticut's first Irish Film Festival, Pulitzer Prize finalist and Vietnam veteran Ron Winter, and forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee. Both Full Bloom and Page 1 have won multiple national awards for amateur video production.
In 2014, I added "Weddings with Zita." On that show, I interview wedding professionals willing to share advice about their specialty -- wedding planning, engagement rings, photography, DJs, live music, flowers, wedding gown alterations, stationery, and of course, officiating the ceremony. That's also when I formed the Zita TV Network on YouTube.
That's also when I reached my capacity and let Full Bloom rest for a while.
A friend once said to me, "Destiny is a wide road." It's true. The experiences I shared above all inform the content of my podcast, Ritual Recipes. You'll find safe and simple rituals for the everyday moments of life, the big milestones, and the cycles of nature. Curious? Well, if you've ever made a wish and blown out the candles on a birthday cake, you've performed a ritual.
For more, find me online: