Episode 8, Mommy Van Gogh

Today’s featured story is from Melissa Face and her collection of parenting essays called I Love You More Than Coffee.  Her book celebrates early motherhood, but it’s not just for new moms reaching for their coffee.  It’s also for moms looking back and remembering. Melissa is quick to smile and laugh, a joy to talk to.  Listen to why she’s glad she wrote these essays, how her daughter’s confidence makes her say wow,  and when she felt the cosmic shift of motherhood – that moment of no longer feeling like the center of her own universe.  You can find her book and her schedule of coffee and library talks on her website. She also shared a great picture of her and her kids.  Thanks for listening. https://melissaface.com/

Episode 7, The Hedonist

Our featured story comes from Alison Ragsdale, a proud Scot lass, who writes emotionally charged novels that often require tissues.  I want you to listen to how her own personal resets – adapting to her life’s unexpected events – shapes her characters and her storytelling. I love what she says about supporting characters grounding her stories and the gift her father gave her that shows up in her characters lives. She has lived a global life and walked a winding path… 

Alison’s latest novel Her Last Chance launched this month. You can find it and all her novels on her website. http://www.alisonragsdale.com/

Episode 6 Voices

The featured story this week is from Marylee Macdonald’s collection of short stories Body Language: Twelve unforgettable portraits of heartbreak and desire.  The story is brought to life by her talented audiobook narrator Adam Barr.  Marylee’s work in this collection is about the solace of touch and it’s connection to well being.  She also talks about place and how she uses it to put her characters in uncomfortable situations. Why she does this, turns out to be very personal for her. Her ideas about nature and nurture and love are rooted in her experiences with adoption. Listen for what she has to say about identity, motherhood and the physicality of creativity. 

You can find her novels, her short story collections and the ways she helps other authors with their writing, publishing and marketing on her website.  She also shared a photo with us of her with the son she surrendered, all grown up, reunited and creating common history.


You can find out more about narrator Adam Barr and connect to his extensive library of audiobooks on his website.  


Thanks for listening.

Episode 5 Ignorance or Innocence

Our featured story Ignorance or Innocence is from Johnnie Bernhard. Johnnie wrote this story awhile ago, before her successful novels. This story is autobiographical, set in a small Texas town where she moved in 8th grade. It’s a story about being an outsider, but Johnnie has this way of seeing the ‘Gift’ in things, even hard things like loneliness. She wrote this story to honor her mother Loula Mae. I love how Johnnie paints her with strength and kindness. You will hear why Johnnie starts every story with character and family, and what part of writing she equates to a runner’s high – it’s fantastic. She’s fantastic and she’s clearly doing what she was meant to do.
After you listen… you can listen to her TEDTalk here, https://www.ted.com/talks/johnnie_bernhard_the_human_story
You can find links to purchase her novels and audiobook on her website. http://www.johnniebernhardauthor.com/
You can find her mentoring writers through Gemini Ink https://geminiink.org/

Thanks for listening.

Episode 4 Unexplained Aerial Phenomena

Our featured story comes from Steve Wiegenstein’s twelve story collection Scattered Lights.  Like Steve, the characters in these stories are deeply rooted in the Ozarks. Yet through his storytelling, he unearths something more universal than regional in each human motivation and interaction.  In Unexplained Aerial Phenomena the character Janine says, “Every story fills a need.” I hope after you listen, you feel the need to read all of Steve’s stories from this collection and from his series of historical novels. You can find them on his website where you can also read ‘whatever he feels like writing about’ on his blog.   Congratulations to Steve on Scattered Lights being named a Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction 2021.


Thanks for listening.

Episode 3 Thirteen Seconds

In this season of rebirth and renewal, when new beginnings are announced by every budding leaf and celebrated by every spectacular bloom; it is the perfect time to meet Ann Parker and hear her perspective on seasons, bravery, truth and essential things. Her featured story is called Thirteen Seconds. It’s about a plane crash. It is just one of many stories in Ann’s practical and deeply personal book Follow Me to Alaska.   Look for Ann on social media @annparkerfollowmetoalaska, and @realalaska2day. You can see some of her breathtaking videos on her YouTube channel (Follow Me to Alaska Ann Parker). Her book and audio book are on sale on her website https://followmetoalaska.com/ and on Amazon and Audible. We shared one of our favorite pictures of Ann on the Desideratum Facebook Page @desideratumpodcast.  Thanks for listening.

Episode 2 Aperture

A talk with Daniel Wade is a walk on a wandering path. Come along as he talks about the sea, about Ireland’s long history of storytelling and about how we should all be looking for a lighthouse. The featured story is from Embers and Earth, Daniel’s spoken word album.  Aperture is about Daniel’s grandmother and darkness.  I am grateful to hear it in his own voice. Daniel is a poet, a playwright, a debut novelist and like all of us, he’s hard to put in one category.  As he says, he’s something in between. 

You can hear more and read more of Daniel’s storytelling on his website (www.danielwade.ie) . Follow him @danielwadeauthor or @wadeinthewate11 on FB, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud.  You can find the Baudelaire 200 Years Literary Festival on FB @Baudelaire200Years. And, on the Desideratum FB page @DesideratumPodcast, you can find a picture of Daniel’s grandmother Phyllis on vacation a long time ago – on a boat in the NY harbor – surrounded by light. Thank you for listening. 

Episode 1 Something More


Today you will get to know author Mandy Haynes and hear her story Something More about a little girl named Jewell who sees beauty in small things and who is truly more precious than diamonds and rubies.  Mandy Haynes is an author of literary fiction with a southern drawl.  Her official tag line is “Hell, we cain’t all be saints.” You can find her books Walking the Wrong Way Home and Sharp as a Serpent’s Tooth: Eva and Other Stories wherever you buy your books and on her website https://mandyhaynes.com/  You can keep up with Mandy’s latest projects on social media @mandywrites. And after you listen to the podcast, you might want to hear Miss Twiggley’s Tree,  https://www.pbs.org/video/georgia-read-more-miss-twiggleys-tree/. Thank you for listening.