Author, Editor, and Florida Master Naturalist


Tribute to my Writer Friend

Charlene came into my life during the Covid pandemic after I saw a blog by her in the Florida Writers Association email, which I had just begun receiving. I emailed her and we talked on the phone and met, masked and distanced, two or three times, since we live only about a 20-minute drive apart. And now we have a regular phone-time with an email or two in-between.

I admire Charlene. She had to have had a great deal of courage to write the amazing book she produced, sharing her inner fears and struggles with the strangers who read her book. I admire the courage it took for her to break herself free of the friendships and the marriage that held her fast for so long. I admire the fact that she kept such notes and journals and records that she was able to reconstruct her entire experience with accuracy.

I admire the excellence of her writing, with choice of words and turns of phrase that call my attention to them. I admire the work she did to learn the processes necessary to produce the book on her own. She searched for and found the people who copy-edited and proof-read it and who designed the pages and the cover.I admire her for presenting her story in person to groups, even though she fears facing them.

Her book is called Undertow: My Escape from the Fundamentalism and Cult Control of The Way International. She won awards for it and many amazing reviews.

She’s still writing – short stories, poems, essays -- that she sometimes sends to me. Each piece is a delight for me to read. And soon they will be published together in a new book with the most wonderful title of Work Done.

Thank you, Charlene, for being my Writer Friend.

Peggy Sias Lantz

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