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My name is Frances DeMartino. I was born on Manhattan's East Side. Three days later my family and I cabbed over to the Upper West Side where I lived for 51 years. I'm half Italian & half Irish. Actually, according to I am 54% Irish & 46% Southern Italian.

I was brought up in the Catholic Church, but have been without "religion" for many years. Vine Deloria Jr. said it best: “Religion is for people who're afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who've already been there.”

Married 36 years. I've actually had people ask me, " the same person?" Uh, yeah - same person. We have one child. Josephine aka Josie aka my personal hero. She's married to Chris; son-in-law's don't come any better.

In 2013 my husband and I gave up our small Manhattan apartment to live with our daughter and son-in-law in Cape Cod, MA. Quite a change for someone who can't drive or even ride a bike. But the kids are so great about driving me just about anywhere, and I've got two feet - I'll be fine.

2018 was my year of new and amazing friendships. I love writing letters so I took a chance on an online penpal club. There were some crazies, I almost gave up, but then four people came along who are going to be friends for life. And one of those four got me blogging again. After 17 years of maintaining multiple blogs of every type (photo, personal, group, moblog, audio) I just stopped. Halted. Fizzled out. But "AB" helped me find my blog groove again. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you my forever friend.

Okay, so you would think that would be enough wouldn't you? But you know there's more right?

I'm a big fan of zines. Zines are non-commercial, often hand-made magazines, on every topic you can and cannot imagine. So just a few weeks back I get an email from an online zine group I belong to asking if I'd like to be pen pals with a zinester. Yes, please.

And who did I get? The beautiful and amazing Hadass whose zines I had read and admired. I couldn't believe it. What an experience it's been getting to know her.

Add to all this my joining an online closed creative cluster. A safe haven for folks who want to share their experiences during their Artist Way journeys.

I read "The Artist Way" by Julia Cameron back when it was first published in 1992. The practices of Morning Pages & Artist Dates immediately became and remain an important part of my life. I couldn't recommend the book and experience more.

Two other life-changing books that I must mention are: "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg & "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain.

Okay, so you all get that 2018 was a game changer - and 2019 is going to be even better.

Thank you for stopping in. I hope you'll leave a link to your own blog in the comments section. I will visit.

I'll close by thanking my supportive family, my wonderful pen/e-pals, my long-time blog buddy Lissa, and AB who I will know will be the first one to read this.
I love ya all.

Peace, Love & Chocolate,
Frances D