It’s Here!

Becoming America’s Stories presents

Daily Bread

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It is 1911. Crammed into a three-room flat in a Mott Street tenement, the large Taglia family needs all the help they can muster. Spunky songbird Lily wants to help by baking Daily Bread at the bakery like big sister, Margaret. But Margaret says Lily is just a little kid, and there is more to baking Daily Bread than height and an artist’s heart. Lily learns to navigate in a grown-up world when facing bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and treacherous streets to cross by herself..

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Jubilant Reviews

Daily Bread is a humbling experience as you read through the chapters and gain a relationship with  the characters. It embraces child labor, the hardships immigrant families endured during a time spoken very little about. I couldn’t put the book down and am hoping for a sequel. Daily Bread is brilliant.

~Marie Yervasi  Youth Services Librarian/Programmer Westhampton Beach Free Library

* * *

Daily Bread is a page turning story about family ties, community and struggle on Mott Street in 1911. Antoniette Truglio Martin will captivate young readers wanting to know more about the immigration period as they travel through time with this heartfelt story about the way it was and how Daily Bread from the bakery wafts a ripple effect of meanings for the characters and their places in the world. 

~Adrienne Cirone  Associate Principal K-6, Reading Specialist


There’s More!

Attention Teachers and Librarians

Schedule your virtual and live Book Club Events and Creative Writing Workshops.

Download FREE Curriculum Connections

Daily Bread is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself.

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Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Grieving

Good morning, Everyone.
It has been an unbearably sad week.
My dad, the best daddy anyone could ever be blessed with, passed from this mortal life last Friday morning. Dad was superman to my sisters and brother, the fun-est grandpa to his grandchildren, and a proud Great Grandpa to his greats, a caring brother, a friend to all, and a loving husband to my mother (they have had a true life love story).
Although his heart struggled to keep the pace, his strength waned, Dad maintained he was fine, tired, but fine. He left us on his terms, looking out over the bay, in his bed, next to the woman he loved all of his life.
The loss leaves a deep void. Dad lived his life, surrounded in love and strived to include EVERYONE in his circle. Mom is devastated. Our hearts are broken. The only good outcome was that everyone gathered. My daughters got in cars and on planes and arrived within a day. My sisters’ and brother’s clans traveled as well. Cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends came to our aide, brought food, shared our aching grief.
We wanted to celebrate his beautiful life with EVERYONE, but #!%!ing COVID.
We fashioned a private memorial at The House with the immediate 50 or so family members. Social distancing and masking were observed. My nephew and nieces worked technology magic so that the wide circle could participate with us. A tent, tables, and propane heaters were set up in the yard, and, yes, a deluxe port-a-potty was ordered to save the strain on the cesspool. Buttera’s of Sayville delivered (my sisters and I were not up to cooking), cakes and cookies, and beautiful flowers added, and the many pictures we sorted through were displayed. Mom made the centerpieces. Tears shed, heartfelt sentiments spoken, and the stories flowed. And, though a bit chilly, a bunch of us jumped in the bay. Being our father’s daughters, my sisters and I wore bathing suits under our dresses, so we were prepared. It was a party he would have approved, what Mom knew was the right way to go.
After a week, our lives are slowly returning to a new normal. I miss him, his broad smile, his voice, his gentle presence.
Thank you, Everyone, for indulging me.

Cover Reveal! Coffee Share

Good morning, Everyone. I have been running on coffee and nervous energy most of the week. It has been a marathon of writing, cooking, and writing. The Becoming America’s Food Stories is ready for readers. I also have a few photos to to manage. But the GREAT BIG NEWS is that the cover is done.

TADA!

What do you think? I have to get the marketing “swag” ordered and do some leg work on getting a launch together. All good stuff.

I will announce information on ordering and upcoming events shortly. Stay tuned.

Sorry for the quick sip of coffee, but I got to get going.

Have a good week, Everyone. Make it great. 

Big thank yous go out to Ecelic Ali for keeping the Weekend Coffee Share up and running.

                     

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Harvest Moon Coffee CAtch-Up

Good morning, Everyone. The Harvest Moon moonrise was an awesome sight last night. Pour yourself a cup of coffee. Let’s catch up.

 If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that I drove my mom to Staten Island to visit her cousin, Jean, and family. Mom’s family is not as abundant or accessible as Dad’s, so we need to make efforts to keep in touch, like drive on the Belt Parkway and through Staten Island. It was worth the trip. Mom and Jean chatted on and on, frequently interrupting, filling in their versions of stories. Besides story collecting and visiting, I also wanted to get some clarity on Great Grandma’s origins in Sicily. Jean’s husband is from a suburb in Palermo, and the family had visited Great Grandma’s village, Castellammare del Golfo, years ago. Jean’s daughter, Cynthia, and I decided we needed to plan a trip. Uhh, I miss planning trips!

If we were having coffee together, I would ask if you noticed a few changes on my website. I cleaned up the right side widgets, reorganized the menu bar, and replaced my headshot. What do you think? 

If we were having coffee together, I would report that I am busy writing. Daily Bread’s line editing is done. The artwork needs some tweaking. I tackled the new block editor version on WordPress, which is not as seamless as the classic version, but the block features are great for laying out the visual appeal for blog and web pages. I created a Daily Bread Curriculum Connections page. It includes a glossary, book discussion topics and writing prompts, a crossword puzzle, and vocabulary flashcards to download and print FREE. Check them out. I am also set up to present virtual author and creative writing workshops in schools. You can view my options and contact me here

If we were having coffee together, I would announce that the $40 Amazon Gift Card Raffle closed on Thursday. I used a wheel app (very fun) to select the winner. Congratulations to Terry Mozer. Thank you and virtual hugs to all who signed up. As a promotional bonus, Hug Everyone You Know will be on sale for $10 during October—Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

If we were having coffee together, I would mention that I cooked up a cozy split pea soup this week. Thick soups are a cold-weather favorite in my home. A few hearty soups will be featured in Becoming America’s Food Stories cookbook I am furiously writing. 

If we were having coffee together, I would add that October arrived, and although the schools are holding infection rates at workable levels, the COVID-19 virus remains a looming menace. It is dangerous! Please, wear a clean mask and keep your distance. Stay safe, Everyone. Be smart. Be patient and kind, especially to those who find it hard to be patient and kind. Make sure you have a plan to vote.

Big thank yous go out to Ecelic Ali for keeping the Weekend Coffee Share up and running.

Have a good week, Everyone. Make it great. 

                     

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

An Autumn Coffee Catch Up

Good morning, Everyone.

It’s a beautiful Sunday autumn morning. I missed the coffee share last week and discovered I felt that something was missing. I tried to comment on everyone’s post, but you know how slippery time can be. Anyway, it is a new week. Grab your coffee. Let’s catch up. 

If we were having coffee together, I would report that I have been immersed in Daily Bread publication details and preparations for the launch.  There are several developments. The series is called Becoming America’s StoriesDaily Bread is the first book. The text layout is done, but the artwork is still pending. Patience. Pen in your calendars for an October 14th book launch!

If we were having coffee together, I would say that I am also working at top speed to complete the companion cookbook. There are 23 to 25 recipes with accompanying food stories.  The cookbook is titled Becoming America’s Food Stories: a collection of reminiscences and recipes.  I love writing about family favorite dishes and how they evoke memories and evolve from generation to generation.  I am interviewing my parents, aunts, and uncles to gather information about the recipes and getting lost in the conversations. My sisters and cousins are also excellent resources. 

 If we were having coffee together, I would admit that photographing the food is a tremendous challenge.  I have been using a phone camera for a long time because my good camera gave out years ago. I splurged on a handy PowerShot camera with a fantastic selection of bells and whistles. But, just because the camera is better than a phone, it is still tough to consider backgrounds, lighting, F-stops, and stage cooked foods to look appetizing in a picture.  My artist daughter, Sara, came to my rescue. She fashioned a food styling 101 crash course for me. We were staging and snapping photographs of caponata and meatballs at a friend’s beach house (a glorious five-day escape). My girl is a patient teacher( although she won’t admit to it). Last week I went to the Dollar Store and rummaged through the dining room cabinets for props. Here a few samples.

Seamless Sandwich

Caponata

Uncle Tom’s Heartburn

Nelly Bly Skipper & Crew

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that the sailing race season ended on Tuesday night. Like everything else this year, it was a different season with COVID restrictions, crazy winds and personal challenges with crew members. But all in all, the all-gal Nellie Bly skipper and crew enjoyed the camaraderie and Tuesday night sailing on the Great South Bay. Matt and I are trying to get in some sailing on the Bella Vela before we have to haul it for the winter. There are a few more weeks.

If we were having coffee together, I would ask you to check out the menu bar on my website. I renamed, rearranged, and added the Creative Writing Workshops, Daily Bread, and Becoming America’s Stories pages. I have been avoiding WordPress’ new editing tools, but I think I may have to invest in a day of dedicating my time to learn the new options. Where to squeeze that into my schedule is the question. 

If we were having coffee together, I would announce that I met with fellow artists, via Zoom, who are also offering programs in the schools sponsored by Eastern Suffolk BOCES. It is a dynamic group of creatives all working towards supplementing curriculum activities and inspiring students and teachers. Teachers, you can explore my programs here or go to the Eastern Suffolk BOCES Arts in Education catalog. Type Martin in the keyword field. I am available for virtual and in-school workshops.

If we were having coffee together, I would remind you that the $40 Amazon Gift Card Raffle celebrating Hug Everyone You Know third year of publication is coming to an end. There are only five more days to sign up. Click here. 

So, how are things with you? Yes, COVID continues to frighten and restrict us. National news adds to frustrations and depression. The loss of RBG continues to weigh heavily.  Like most of you, I worry. I am doing small tasks to help, which helps me feel hopeful.  

I will close with reminders to be kind, wear masks, and plan how you will exercise your voice to vote. 

Have a good week, Everyone. Make it great. 

Big thank yous go out to Ecelic Ali for keeping the Weekend Coffee Share up and running.

Be well. Be safe. 

                     

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

 

 

Weekend Coffee Catch Up

Good morning, Everyone.

 Autumn arrived early with cooler temperatures, less humidity, and notably shorter days. Also, the tomatoes are about done, and the peppers and eggplants are not far behind another.

Get your coffee. Let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that my calendar and the to-do list are filling up with deadlines and tasks to get Daily Bread out into the world. We aim for a mid-October launch date—this October. When the artwork is settled, I will share firmer dates. I finished composing the Introduction and Acknowledgment pages and completed curriculum connections in the form of a glossary, vocabulary flashcards, and crossword puzzles ( both intermediate and primary levels). Book discussion topics are in the works as well. Dates for virtual author visits in the schools are coming in, too. I am getting busy (in a good way).

If we were having coffee together, I would report that I am cooking and taking pictures with a new camera. The companion cookbook for Daily Bread is taking shape. It will be about food and family stories with the family favorite recipes— right up my happy alley. I have been talking to my parents, aunts, and uncles about their favorite childhood food memories. It is amazing how much life, love, and joy were crammed into those tight kitchens and fondly remembered.

If we were having coffee together, I would say that the Saturday after Labor Day is usually the Catboat Rendezvous, the one race Matt and I sail together on the Bella Vela. This year COVID-19 squashed the event. Instead, we sailed across the bay with friends on a blustery East Wind to Watch Hill, a Fire Island National Seashore Park. We docked the boat next to more sailor friends. Keeping socially distant, we had a great day picnicking and getting to the beach. The ocean was a bit too wild for me to swim. The wind did not let up, so we reefed the sails to go home. Our guest, Charlie, an accomplished sailor and Catboat extraordinaire, convinced us we could set the sails in the boat basin and sail out of the channel rather than putt the little engine through it. The thing to know is that the Bela Vela is about the prettiest boat I’ve ever owned, thanks to Matt’s craftsmanship. We made a very impressive and pretty exit. 

If we were having coffee together, I would recommend an excellent virtual workshop on October 20th called 5 Generations: Collecting Memories. It will be hosted by the talented Melinda Ferguson Sherman and sponsored by  Charlotte Lit.

Also, there is still time to enter the $40 Amazon card to celebrate Hug Everyone You Know 3-Year Publication Anniversary. Loyal fans also sign up with new friends. You know the saying—you got to be in it to win it.

If we were having coffee together, I would have to hurry this up. We are heading to the beach for five days to spend quality time with ocean views and sand at Davis Park on Fire Island—the best place on Earth. Matt hopes to catch a striped bass in the surf, and I will walk the shore and write. We were gifted this retreat by our good friend, Dr. Pam. Logistics to juggle wagons filled with provisions and the ferry is always nerve-wracking, but the reward is well worth the effort.

Have a good week, Everyone. Make it great.

Big thank yous go out to Ecelic Ali for keeping the Weekend Coffee Share up and running.

Be well. Be safe. Be smart

Register to vote.

                     

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

BIG Announcement

Hi Everyone,

 BIG news. EXCITING news! OMG, this is happening news!!

Red Penguin Books offered me a contract to traditionally publish my middle-grade historical novel, Daily Bread! They will manage the editing, layout, design, and artwork, and have it out in the world by (gulp) October, complete with generous promotional, distribution, and multimedia programs. 

Take a breath. There is more.

 Stephanie Larkin of Red Penguin Books believes the best way to sell a book is to write and put out the next one and offer a companion to pique readers’ interests. She wants a series, which is great since the sequels have been playing in my head for quite some time now. We discussed the companion and concluded a collection of recipes from my Italian-American grandparents with accompanying short background stories would be amazing.

The timeline is a bit aggressive, but I work best under a tight deadline. Here’s the rundown: 

 October 2020: Daily Bread launches

 November 2020: The cookbook comes out (do you see the opportunity to offer a gift set for the holidays?)

 May 2021: Book 2

 November 2021: Book 3

As bonus features, I will have book club questions and curriculum connections available for all three novels and recipe previews for the cookbook. I have to suspend my other writing projects until I can breathe, but will continue to post the weekly coffee shares and be available for in-person and virtual  author school visits in the schools (email me at storiesserved@gmail.com for details and schedules).

I feel very good about Stephanie Larkin and Red Penguin Books. They have been accessible, transparent, and willing to share a bevy of publishing business expertise. Putting quality books in the hands of readers is the mission. It’s my desire, as well. We are on the same page. 

Join me on this incredible ride. Stay tuned.

Clinking Glasses on Google Android 8.0 Saluti Everyone!

 

 


A quick reminder to enter the $40 Amazon Gift Card Raffle. Even if you are a loyal follower, you can sign up to be in it to win it! Click HERE. 

 

 

 

 

 


Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Why Write?

I aim to write in my notebook each morning. Coffee freshly dripped from a K-Cup, cools beside me. My cat, Hershey, has learned to sit on my left side so I can scratch his ears while I scribble. The sun porch overlooking my tidy backyard is my favorite writing place. If the room is too hot or cold, I’ll settle into the big comfy chair with a pillow

A beach in the living room

behind my back and the view of a fourteen-foot mural of the Fire Island Pines shore. If I can’t be at the beach, I can at least have a life-size beach view in my living room, even if there is a lamp in the foreground. It is a cozy scene. I am grateful for my quiet muses and comforts.

What do I write? Small sensory observations, gratitude for all the blessings, and gripes born from disappointments and general WTF moments fill my pages. Sometimes I simply list must-do tasks and scheme want-to-do plans.

Why am I writing? I’ve always written. I think of myself as a creative person. I don’t draw or paint, sing well enough beyond an octave range, nor have grace or athletic talent. Writing is the one outlet that expresses me. Essays, stories, poems (terrible ones) tell who I am, where I come from, what is going on in my head. Most of my writing never goes beyond my journal pages. Through writing, I can play with word choice and sentence structures, rehearse what I need to say, and decide what is not worth saying. Daily writing gives me my voice.

Why do you write?

Be well. Be Safe. Be Smart.
Register to vote

 

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

 

 

In Praise of Tomatoes

Good morning, Everyone. A clear summer day is ahead with cooler temperatures and sort-of lesser humidity. Let’s chat over a cup of coffee.
I am sitting in an ancient Adirondack chair that has been part of our homes’ patio decor for, what… decades? It is wooden with some patches of lichen, comfortable, and amazingly sturdy. I am facing the perennial garden that unfortunately took a beating from the almost hurricane (but it was really a tropical storm) Isaias. The vegetable garden took a hit as well. All but the peppers look weary. The okra stands spindly, the eggplants are dwarfed, and the tomatoes hang from wounded vines. I am mostly sad over the tomatoes. Thankfully, my sister-in-law, whose yard is behind ours, has an abundant crop.
A treasured gift of August is the tomatoes. Garden tomatoes taste like a tomato and lend their flavor to just about any dish. Store-bought tomatoes, even those with organic labels on healthy-looking vines, lack the delicate texture and always disappoint with its cardboard aftertaste finish.
Tomatoes have taken center stage in the farm stand displays. Just about each vegetable stand at the Sayville Farmers Market at the Islip Grange has glorious orbs of tomatoes. You can’t miss them. Now that tomatoes are in its zenith, I can eat them all day.
I have been sauteing tomato slices to fold into breakfast omelets. Thick tomato slices are alternated with mozzarella cheese and drizzled with a rendered fig balsamic glaze. With a dollop of fresh basil pesto added, my mid-morning or afternoon snack is satisfied.
A garden tomato sandwich with a smear of mayo or honey-mustard completes lunch. A grilled tomato and cheese sandwich is Matt’s favorites. When I cut tomatoes into wedges, add sliced red onion and chopped basil and parsley, and mix with oil and vinegar, a salad is born.
Sliced tomatoes in a fried eggplant stack (I’ll have to post an ode to eggplant soon) or topping a grill portobello mushroom completes dinner.

photo by ATM

I have exalted the praises of tomato pie in previous posts. The beauty of this pie is that it can be eaten cold or hot. There are many recipes, but I will humbly state, with conviction, that my tomato pie is THE best.

photo by Matt Martin

For my birthday in October, Matt picks the largest tomatoes to stuff with lobster, celery, and mayonnaise—his version of a carb-free lobster roll, and yes, it is THE best.
In between snacks and meals are the tomatoes dried in the dehydrator then frozen in a reusable snack baggie. I call it Tomato Candy. It is great on top of a salad, too.
Now that I need a coffee refill, I wonder if there is such a thing as tomato as a tomato infused brew. Hmm.
Have a good week, Everyone. Make it great.
Big thank yous go out to Ecelic Ali for keeping the Weekend Coffee Share up and running.

Be well. Be safe. Be smart

Register to VOTE!

A quick reminder to enter the $40 Amazon Gift Card Raffle. Even if you are a loyal follower, you can sign up to be in it to win it! Click HERE.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Coffee in the Rain

Good morning, Everyone.

The rain is falling in a gentle patter this morning. We need the rain, and I’m thankful the wind has finally laid down from yesterday’s northeast bluster.  Dangling tree limbs threatened landfall from last week’s almost hurricane.  The tree guy is coming soon. The temperature dropped from sweltering to reasonable yesterday afternoon allowing us to relinquished the air-conditioned atmosphere and open the windows. 

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you my husband, Matt, and I were on our Beach Week vacation last week reconnecting with friends at the best place on Earth, Davis Park Fire Island. However, it was a different Beach Week. Only my eldest daughter, Sara, was able to join us for a day trip. My parents, recovering from cardiac episodes and keeping socially distance missed out, and our usual posse also practiced social distancing on the boardwalks and sandy shorelines.Tropical storm Isaias blew in, howled through the sassafras and chokecherry trees and whipped the ocean and bay into a whitecap frenzy spraying saltwater beyond the dune lines and bulkheads. Beautiful drama. Our little community fared with minimal damage, and the electricity quickly rebounded. It took two days for the ocean to calm down so that we could swim safely and resume sun-worshipping rituals.

If we were having coffee together, I would report that the mainland was not so lucky. Salt spray and high winds damaged lawns and browned summer colors. Many were without power for a week or more. When we returned home last Sunday, the electricity was on, but our tomatoes were severely wind-blown, and branches and heavy tree limbs littered the yard—ergo the need for the tree guy. Although, no significant home damage, it took me the better part of two days to clear the lawn. 

If we were having coffee together, I would announce that I have re-dug into writing projects since returning from the beach. I completed the BOCES Arts in Education application for virtual and in-person school author visits and am halfway through the online course on learning how to teach online.  My Journal On! A Teacher’s Journaling Practice Workshop will be offered remotely through the Western Hamptons Teacher Center.  Once it is all up, I will share the links.

School is opening in a variety of fashions on Long Island and New York City, but it is all dependent upon balancing and implementing safety precautions and minimizing infection rates. Everyone is rightly nervous and concerned for our children, teachers, and communities. 

If we were having coffee together, I would announce that I have two book events this week. I will be at the Smithtown Rotary Club on August 19th and on a virtual author panel sponsored by the Sayville Library on August 20th at 7 pm. 

I also set up a $40 Amazon gift certificate raffle to commemorate Hug Everyone You Know’s 3-year Publication Anniversary.  This will hopefully boost book sales and Stories Served email listings.  Click here to sign up! Everyone is welcomed.

I am exploring cover design options for Daily Bread. Although I did a fair job on Canva designing Journal On! covers, Daily Bread needs a professional illustrator. Suggestions?

If we were having coffee together, I would offer one more bit of news. I joined my cousin’s letter-writing campaign to get out the vote for the 2020 election. I feel some involvement is better than passively fretting and complaining. No matter how your politics steer your conscious, voting is every American’s right and civic duty.  

Well, the rain has stepped up to a steady shower now. I should close some windows a little bit and refill my coffee. Thanks for reading and listening.

Have a good week, Everyone. Make it great.

Big thank yous go out to Ecelic Ali for keeping the Weekend Coffee Share up and running.

Be well. Be safe. Be smart

Register to vote.

                     

 

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

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