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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

December and January in This Awful-Awesome Life

We hope you enjoyed our November issue of This Awful-Awesome life. Special thanks to all our contributors.

I broke my right wrist just before Thanksgiving and I’ve just had my cast removed. Interviewing, writing, typing and designing have been next to impossible. Everything I do takes me much longer with one hand. Things I took for granted like brushing my teeth, washing my hair, cutting up vegetables, washing dishes, taking out the trash or typing have become adventures unto themselves. 

This is an awful-awesome life we share, and skipping December seems like cheating. However, in addition to having a crosswise break and a lengthwise break in my radius, I managed to compress it into the bones of my hand, so use of my hand and range of motion in my wrist will be an issue while I rehab it. I'm happy to say that most days I can at least make a fist, so that's progress.

I’ve never been comfortable asking for help, so this has been a tough journey for me.

It’s also been a wake-up call to realize that I’m not the only person facing challenges. People live with permanent physical challenges every day. This is only a temporary setback for me. Along with the hustle and bustle of the season, some of our writers have been ill and Karen Moellenberg who was working on a feature for this month lost her uncle. Please join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to Karen and her family.

We planned to talk about the holidays, coffee and chocolate and the coming new year. I had to scale back, but never fear, we will be exploring coffee and chocolate in greater depth in 2018. Karen’s article about the Butterfly Project exhibit at the Holocaust Center will be added to this issue as soon as I receive it. That’s the beauty of being on-line. In the meantime, I have some information about The Butterfly Project for you.

I read a couple of great books since Thanksgiving and researched the holidays. Orlando Bartro contributed a wonderful article about everyone’s favorite Christmas curmudgeon and an article about new beginnings. We also have three health/lifestyle articles from Corey Flynn you don’t want to miss.

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Special announcement: Orlando Bartro will be speaking at the Upper St. Clair Township Library on Thursday January 25 from 7pm - 8:30pm in the Library Multi-purpose room. His topic will be " How to Read a Book Like a Writer, and Write a Book Like a Reader."

Please join local author Orlando Bartro for a discussion of the power of fiction, the experience of reading a novel, and a writer's perspective on the craft. This program will be particularly useful for high school and college students, but readers of any adult age are welcome!

The library is located at 1820 McLaughlin Run Road in Upper St. Clair ( you can register online at their website,

CONTACT: Walker Evans 412.835.5540 x283



Next Month in This Awful Awesome Life

The Happiness of Scrooge by Orlando Bartro