In 2012 there was an announcement by the South Florida Writers Association about a national competition for a collection of stories themed Beyond Coincidence. Lois W. Stern, the creator and editor has since then developed her idea into an annual event with different themes each time.

Little did I know, when I submitted my first story, I was going to be a three-time winner of this annual contest (the Emerald, the Ruby, and the Crystal Collections of inspiring and humorous stories), with such varied themes as angels; to pray or not with a dying man; to leftover feminism! And it all started on a whim by me, because of my never-ending love for writing.

About the Collection: Dr. Bernie Siegel (Author, A Book of Miracles) has this to say about the collection of inspiring stories (Lois W. Stern, Ed.): …”[stories] about compassionate people and animals can help us all to learn more about life and make our existence more meaningful.”

2015 WinnerLeft-over Feminism: My Lunch with Betty Friedan (The Crystal Collection). This collection is specifically targeted to make readers laugh. Although my story has a serious side to it – as most humor pieces do – the outcome of my real-live interview with the iconic feminist tickles the funny bone with its observations of the inconsistency between our actions and beliefs.

Here’s an excerpt of the piece itself:

“When the diplomatic wives at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland, invited me to a book club I accepted only because I was too shy to give them anything else but a nodding “yes.”

Betty Friedan and me 96 or 97 croppedThe topic of that day was Betty Friedan and her Feminine Mystique but it might as well have been about the sighting of an unidentified alien in Helsinki because her name and the book meant nothing to me.

Thirty years after my Helsinki introduction to Betty Friedan I arranged an in-person interview with her in Miami.” …. The result was my story above.

2014 Winner: A Leap of Words (The Ruby Collection).  When your beloved is dying you want to do everything in your power to maintain the same routines that have comforted him throughout his years as an obsessive-compulsive. But when you and he come from two different religious traditions – one secularly Jewish and the other Protestant – a new ritual involving bedtime prayers creates a moral dilemma. This is a story about how it’s possible for someone who never liked change to find solace in the soothing rhythm of words he can’t understand.

2013 Winner: Maintenance for my Soul: The Man from Nowhere. (The Emerald Collection). The man appeared from nowhere to bring me a message of comfort and hope when I thought my 6-week old baby was going to die. Maybe this wasn’t just about coincidences, but about angels in human form. Whether you believe in angels in human form or simply the theory of synchronocity, this story shows what happens when we leave ourselves open to the mysteries of life.

This story was the inspiring story of the week, 6-6, 2018, in the Tales2Inspire Newsletter. Check it out at

For more on my contribution, check this out: