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By Theresa Bakken
Desideratum is Latin for things that are desired as essential. Longing for stories to share and wishing for moments with gifted storytellers inspired this podcast. Celebrate the art of telling and the journey of listening to stories with narrator Theresa Bakken and her author, artist, and wordsmith friends.
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Episode 11, Mercy by Joseph S. Walker


Episode 14, The Library of Lost Souls by Meghan Holloday
Today's featured story was inspired by a teller of tall tales - a lover of stories. As we head into Father’s Day weekend, listen to Meghan Holloway talk about the ways her grandfather enriched her life and her writing. Meghan Holloway wrote a successful WWII Historical Fiction published by Polis Books called Once More Unto the Breach as well as a trilogy in the Thriller Crime genre with Hunting Ground released last year, and Hiding Place out this August.  But, we are talking about something very different - a book she wrote that is set in the future.  At its heart, it is a love story about what it means to be human and the ways we grapple with loneliness and loss. Today we are talking about The Library of Lost Souls.
June 18, 2021
Episode 13, Joan from The Eves by Grace Sammon
Today's featured story is from Grace Sammon's novel The Eves. Grace describes The Eves as a multi-generational novel portraying lives lived well and lives in transition. It captures the conversations we wish we had had with our parents, if we had taken the opportunity, and the lessons we would want to impart to our children, if they were ready to listen. Told through the voice of the psychologically complex Jessica Barnet, this is her story. Listen to: why Grace struggled with her main character being called a liar, how Grace uses a nerdy explanation of Mitochrondrial DNA, and what Grace sees in those simple handprint paintings from childhood. Connect with Grace on social media and find her book through her website  Find a picture of Grace with a special handprint quilt her beta readers created for her on the Desideratum Podcast website.  Thanks for listening. 
June 11, 2021
Episode 12, Gawk by Dianne Bilyak
This weeks featured story is from author Dianne Bilyak. It's a vignette from her memoir Nothing Special: The Mostly True, Sometimes Funny, Tales of Two Sisters.  The title tells you a lot. This book with a long descriptive title took an unusual and interesting path to publication.  I am excited for you to hear about it.  I loved Dianne's dedication in the book "To my inimitable sister, Chris Bilyak, thanks for making my life fun, for always singing with me in the car, for 'liking me a lot', and teaching me that dancing can solve most problems." You can find the book through Dianne's website, and get a glimpse of the sister's relationship today on the Nothing Special Book Facebook Page.  Thanks for listening!
June 4, 2021
Episode 11, Mercy by Joseph S. Walker
Today's featured story is from Edgar Award Nominee Joseph S. Walker. The Edgar Allan Poe Awards are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America. The short story Joe chose for the podcast is titled Mercy. It was inspired by the growled word 'mercy' in the the Roy Orbison song Pretty Woman. It's published in a clever anthology called Peace, Love and Crime where each story draws inspiration from a song of the '60s. Listen to why Joe enjoys contributing to anthologies and what essential thing he fights for everyday.  You can find all his published work through his website and find the anthology with Mercy in it at Untreed Reads Publishing.  Thanks for listening.  Joseph S. Walker Crime Writer : Peace, Love, and Crime (paperback) edited by Sandra Murphy : Untreed Reads Publishing
May 28, 2021
Episode 10, Border Song by Laura Kemp
Our featured story this week is from Laura Kemp. Border Song is set in Oklahoma, a long way from Laura's Michigan based Yellow Wood series. She explains how she feels about nature - especially the wild places. And, she talks about being a spooky storyteller at heart.  You can find her books on her website and check out the world she has created at 'Kemp Camp' on FB.  Thanks for listening.
May 21, 2021
Episode 9, Garden Crow by Robert Gwaltney
Todays featured story is from Robert Gwaltney. It's a special excerpt from his debut novel The Cicada Tree.  Before the story, we talk about how powerful early childhood experiences can be, what advice his granny Louise gave him about where to sit, and what music influenced him while he was writing The Cicada Tree.  After the story, hearing about his essential things will make you want to reach out and be friends!  You can find him on Facebook, and I highly recommend you check out his website and blog.  The Cicada Tree will be released in January 2022.  Thanks for listening.
May 14, 2021
Episode 8, Mommy Van Gogh by Melissa Face
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 that we will put on the Desideratum Facebook page.  Thanks for listening.
May 7, 2021
Episode 7, The Hedonist by Alison Ragsdale
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. I'll post a picture of Alison in Scotland on the Desideratum Podcast website.  Thanks for listening.
April 30, 2021
Episode 6, Voices by Marylee Macdonald
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. You can find out more about narrator Adam Barr and connect to his extensive library of audiobooks on his website.
April 23, 2021
Episode 5, Ignorance or Innocence by Johnnie Bernhard
Our featured story Ignorance or Innocence is from Johnnie Bernhard.  It will be included in an anthology of short stories about home, in September, 2021. Johnnie wrote this story awhile ago, before her successful novels. Unlike her novels, this story is autobiographical, set in a small Texas town where she moved in 8th grade. It's kind of a story about being an outsider, but Johnnie has this way of seeing the 'Gift' in things, even hard things like loneliness.  You will hear why she 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,  You can find links to purchase her novels and audiobook on her website.  You can find her mentoring writers through Gemini Ink  And, you can see a lovely picture she shared of her and her mom Loula Mae taken on Johnnie's wedding day. We will share it on the Desideratum FB page.   Thanks for listening. 
April 16, 2021
Episode 4, Unexplained Aerial Phenomena by Steve Wiegenstein
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. ,
April 9, 2021
Episode 3, Thirteen Seconds by Ann Parker
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 and on Amazon and Audible. We shared one of our favorite pictures of Ann on the Desideratum Facebook Page @desideratumpodcast.  Thanks for listening.
April 2, 2021
Episode 2, Aperture by Daniel Wade
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 ( . 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. 
March 26, 2021
Episode 1, Something More by Mandy Haynes
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  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, Thank you for listening. 15OUqZZqVWdKY3jyXXEg
March 20, 2021