ANN IMIG is the Founder and National Director of the live-reading series and video sharing company LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER. A Stay-At-Home Humorist, Ann’s writing has been featured all over the internet, on sites like CollegeHumor, Huffington Post, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She writes the blog Ann’s Rants, which has been named a Babble Top 100 Mom Blog, A BlogHer Voice of the Year, and a SheKnows Top 5 Funniest Mom Blog. Ann lives with her husband and children in Madison, Wisconsin.
LOVELYN PALM NWIndiana director/producer is a former registered nurse and the mother of nine children that range in age from 13 years old to 2 year old twins. She credits her helpful husband and a whole lot of coffee, community, prayer & grace as the secrets to being able to thrive as a family of 11. Their family will become a dozen this Fall. Much of her heart remains in the East African country of Uganda where her 3 sons began their lives. Love sometimes blogs at Moments With Love, but mostly broke up with that for a quicker way to record her little moments as @letlovegrow on Instagram. Lovelyn read her piece, The Motherless, in the 2011 cast and is honored to help others share their voice on motherhood.
REBECCA BAILEY is the proud mother of four children: Jake, 14; Joshua, 12; Max, 10; and Madeline, 10–all of who are bright, beautiful, and sweet. She lives in Schererville with the children and her cat, Piki, who is so suspiciously friendly, she worries he’s running a clandestine counterfeiting operation from the basement. She’s written The Mayhem: Roan’s Story, which was nominated for the global Goodreads Award for Best Fiction, and enjoys her telecommuting job as an editor for Scribendi, a Canadian company. Her most recent endeavor for Scribendi is developing a book studying five legendary leaders with an author who co-wrote a book on business with the Dalai Lama (not that the D.L. has asked her for advice or anything). In her spare time, she enjoys reading, museums, and walking.
TOMI BRZYCKI is a mother of two fabulous daughters (Abby a teacher and Cait a contributing editor) and the grandmother of an adorable three-year-old grandson, Hunter. Married to the love of her life, Jerry, they love spending time traveling and being with family. Tomi has been a freelance writer for over 25 years and has written for two different newspapers. She is currently finishing her first novel, based on her travels in Alaska. Tomi has been an avid snow skier and skied professionally as a 30-year member of the National Ski Patrol where she earned her National classification. A devout Christian, Tomi teaches woman’s bible studies at Kouts Christian Church, where she has been a member for over 15 years. Tomi studied social work at Valparaiso University and works in Social Services at Opportunity Enterprises.
MARY LU COWLEY is the “spare parent” –a phrase she is pretty sure she coined and thoroughly enjoys–to her four favorite children. She remembers writing before she could write any recognizable alphabet letters–memorizing her stories until she learned to print. She drafted her first novel about teenage spies at age 12 on an abandoned Royal typewriter when her mom made her take a “personal” day. She studied creative writing and philosophy under Professor Charles Tinkham at Purdue University, snagging a few Sigrid Starke awards and starting a very real love/hate relationship with the written word. While under Prof Tinkham’s guidance, she also grabbed a finalist spot in the Kennedy Center One Act Play contest. At Columbia she studied Screenwriting and then life interrupted her studies. Today she has a “real job” working all day with words in Information Management. She still owes Professor Tinkham a novel or “published something”—a debt she would love to pay and who knows, might just do some day.
JENIFER CRANE is a wife to one really strong and brave man and homeschooling mom to two kind, witty, beautiful girls ages 15 and 12. She is a transplanted Texan who is still trying to figure out how the heck she lives in the arctic tundra. She thoroughly enjoys free grace, college football, belly laughs, indie bands, proper grammar, and being a mom. Jen calls herself a fledgling writer at Shedding All Pretense.
Minister MONTIA D. GARDNER is a teacher, professor, spoken word artist and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, she has been writing poetry and spoken word since age seven. In 2007 she released her first spoken word album entitled “Poetique: Live, Breathe, and Write”. She has 13 years in education and has taught middle school, high school and college. She is the Founder and Director of the Math and Reading Summer Enrichment Program. As a minister at the Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, she was instrumental in forming “Joshua’s Troop”, a ministry to develop the spiritual belief of children in the Baptist faith, through creativity, performance, and intense study. She is the Vice-President of the Youth Department for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Baptist State Convention. Last year Minister Gardner had the honor of presenting the Keynote Address for the Women in Municipal Governments annual conference. A Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, she seeks to promote healthy learning in urban communities. Her recent performance at the Glen Theatre in Gary, Indiana showcased poetry from her up and coming book “Poetry Preaching.” She is the proud Godmother of four awesome children and enjoys reading, biking, traveling, and performing.
ALICE HARRINGTON hails from Bismarck, ND, but grew up in Logansport, IN. She has lived in Valparaiso for 33 years and recently retired her MD as a pediatrician so she could “do everything I did before but at a slower pace.” An avid art and craft person, she makes jewelry, paints in watercolor and acrylic, makes weird polymer clay lamps of nuns, and writes mostly to amuse her siblings, their families, and her friends. Alice and her husband, Tom, raised two sons (who were the subject of a prior LTYM offering), and they now find themselves with 3 granddaughters. The sweatshirts and blue-jeans are gone and out come the tutus and sparkles. Alice and Tom crafted a pink “tulle” belt complete with slots for hammers and measuring tape for the 3 yo granddaughter, Margot. The fifth of 6 children, Alice often wonders, “Why did Mom make me POA?!?” and laments the struggles of being the “mayonnaise” of the “sandwich generation” while her siblings are the side dishes.
TERRI LINDEN is a constantly-moving, Goodwill-shopping, chocolate-loving mother of 8 children. (Four thru the miracle of birth and four thru the miracle of adoption.) She also has six of the world’s most intelligent and photogenic grandkids. (She is armed with photos to prove it!) And because she doesn’t have enough kids surrounding her every movement already, she is also a Pre-Kindergarten teacher to fifteen of Valparaiso’s brightest 5-year-old students (at Victory Christian Academy). She is married to her ever-patient and long-suffering hubby, Philip. When she is not writing lesson plans, washing dirty dishes and climbing the Mt. Everest of laundry, you’ll find her playing with… yep, you guessed it…. kids (God’s greatest invention!).
KRISTIN MANTTA is a high school English teacher that dreams of being a famous author, and she is thrilled to share her writing publicly for the first time. She is raising identical twin boys with Mike, her former spouse, friend, and co-parent as she is rewriting the rules of divorce and the definition of family. Known for constantly crying, overthinking every decision, and preaching the positive, Kristin strives to capture the simple pleasures and hilarious moments of everyday life through her writing. Kristin would like to thank Debbie, Lynette, and Katherine for making her believe that she really can do anything and Rory for making her laugh when she really wants to cry, being brutally honest in critique, and believing in her author’s dream.
AMPARO DE LA PENA is a native of Uruguay who now calls Indianapolis home. She is a scientist during the day, a writer at night, and a mother at all times. Amparo was part of the cast of the 2014 Indy Listen To Your Mother Show, and loved the experience so much she couldn’t stay away. She is at her happiest on stage, fighting waves and making memories with her 3 little man cubs, who never cease to amaze and surprise her.
TINA PORTER is a California native who has been living in NWI for far too long. When she and her husband moved to Valparaiso in 1996, she agreed that she would give the climate 5 years. Y’all can do the math. She’s still here. Long-time residents of the Region might remember Tina from the “Fun with Family” column she wrote in the Gary Post-Tribune from 1999 through 2007. Her three daughters, who were often the unwitting stars of those columns, have grown into three young women with whom she does not ever get enough time. Emma (21) and Audrey (19) are students at Indiana University in Bloomington and Lydia (16) is finishing up her junior year at Valparaiso High School. Tina and her husband, Brian, will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary later this year. Tina’s career is currently in transition. She left full-time employment at a Unitarian Universalist seminary in December and has been spending her days writing, reading, knitting, and practicing her culinary skills for “Chopped: the (mostly) empty nest edition.” Read more of Tina’s current writing at Ugly Pies or earlier posts here.by