Upcoming events

HOPE YOU ARE HAVING A NICE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!   I am excited to re-announce that I have two pans in the fire right now–or more.  First, this Thursday and Friday, I’ll be sitting at a table at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center .  I’ll be staying close to my table so I can hand out postcards to those attending annual United Methodist Conference, May 30-June 1 with information about Miss Mary MacNicholl, the first ordained woman Methodist minister in Minnesota.  This summer, if she were still alive, she would be celebrating her 60th year.  Unfortunately, Miss Mac died in 1979 from a rare form of leukemia.  I’ve researched her life and would love to come to any group, United Methodist, women’s, men’s, or combined to present her work, challenges, and  stewardship while she served the church.




Next Monday at the Big Lake Great River Library, I’ll be present Clearwater and how to incorporate history into any writing project.  A secret?  Research and research and research.  But that is not all so come out and see me at 5:30 in Big Lake, June 4.

I am also sending out a SAVE THE DATE for Clearwater’s Heritage Days, the first weekend in August.

Watch for the announcement of the next book launch for Pins & Needles, the second in the Main Street series set in Clearwater, Minnesota, in 1909-1910…

Hope to see you soon. and look at my webpage cynthiafrankstupnik.com for updates.

United Methodist Conference and Big Lake Library event

I’ll be sitting at a table at the St. Cloud Convention Center next Thursday and Friday, May 31-June 1 to promote my research, essay, and presentation for Reverend Mary MacNicholl, the first woman ordained in the Minnesota Methodist Church.  I can bring her story to any group interested in learning about this path forger who really had to break through the glass ceiling back in the 1950s to become a minister.

June 4, Monday, at 5:30 I’ll be presenting “Clearwater  and the Art of Historical Writing” at the Big Lake Library.


Hope to see some of you soon.


Just a reminder:

I’ll be joining in all the fun at the Clearwater Crafts & Vendors sale this Saturday, May 19, 10-3, at the Lions’ Pavilion in Clearwater, Minnesota….. I’ll be bringing books and my sister and I will bring many new Main Street SUNDRIES, formally, Jennie’s Corner’s products.


Hope to see you there.  Watch for more EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENTS coming SOON!


NEWS! "Pins & Needles" will be published late summer early fall. I am putting final touches on the paper about the…

Posted by Cynthia Frank-Stupnik on Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring fling and beyond

Word has it…spring is all around.  Except for an occasional outing and windows and doors opening, I’ve been going nose first into my computer, working to put the final stages on Pins & Needles and my essay about Mary MacNicholl, the first ordained woman in the Methodist church in Minnesota.

Some of you may remember that I thought my novel about Maude Porter, Clearwater’s pioneer who lived to be 103, would have been published last year.  Unfortunately, no.  I have a contract now with a new publisher. I am happy to have had extra time to rewrite and make the book better.  So the book launch will be late summer or early fall.

Also, Mary MacNicholl’s paper came to a stop when I received the contract for Pins & Needles. I am back working on the last section of this project while I wait for one more edit of the novel.

Winter was a rough one for all of us who aren’t really impressed with white stuff, especially the last few months.  I postponed a couple speaking events because they fell at the same time as the blizzards.  Fortunately, I was able to talk about everything Clearwater, Minnesota, at a wonderful book club in Vadnais Heights this past week without any weather-related issues.

Now, I am preparing for Image may contain: textClearwater’s Spring and Summer Craft and Vendor event May 19, 2018 from 10-3.  The last time my sister Becky Frank and I did this, we brought all my books and our Jennie’s Corner Pure & Simple Products–soaps, lotions, postcards, magnets–and oh, so much more.  We had a wonderful time and are preparing for another great time.  Contact me here or on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaFrankStupnikauthor/

if you have a special request.

Lots going on.  Another Clearwater talk was postponed in March because of a nasty little ice and snow storm at the Big Lake Great River Library.  I’ll be bringing everything Clearwater to talk about the village’s history and the Main Street Women’s series Monday,  June 4, 2018, at 5:30.

Lots more to be announced later.  Just an FYI:  I will be part of the Clearwater Heritage Days this year again–down at the river as part of the Rendezvous and up at the library where I will  talk about “HERITAGE” and everything Clearwater.  Looking forward to the first weekend in August.

I am promising myself I’ll get out and about very soon.  Right now, birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the skies are blue.  I am content.  Hope to see you all soon.


Spring forward–

GREAT RIVER speaking event in Big Lake is cancelled due to our snow storm.  I’ll keep you updated when we decide to reschedule.


One of the television channels announced what we are to expect to happen in the next five-six weeks–St. Patrick’s Day, Easter,  income tax day–and  in less than three weeks we turn the clocks ahead.  When I taught, I hated the time shift.   I liked longer daylight, but my mind was muddled for a few weeks until sleep habits shifted. Now, I sleep in!

This year, I am springing forward in different ways–some health, some writing and researching, some presenting my hometown, Clearwater, Minnesota,  topics.  I am looking forward to a few of special dates already on my calendar.

I am finishing up a paper about the first woman who was an ordained Methodist minister in Minnesota, Rev. Mary MacNicholl.  I thought this would be a small research and writing project.  This essay has been so full of surprises and learning opportunities for me.  It is 3/4 completed and  25, documented, pages so far.  The people I have met  that have helped with this project have been amazing. I can’t help think about Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go:

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places! (and meeting Great People)
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy (GAL) who’ll decide where to go.

Frank and I decided we would take a winter trip.  We drove to Florida.  A decision we have re-thought for future use.  We will fly from now on, especially if the trip is going to take us four days of driving.  We don’t race on trips anymore.  Our bodies can’t handle being cramped in a car.  So we stopped along the way for bathroom breaks, food and fuel fill ups, and good nights’ stays.  Once we reached our destination south of Venice, Florida, we had wonderful pre-spring vacation on the Gulf side, and the Atlantic side in Florida and Georgia.  My goodness, the capris and short sleeve shirts were so comfortable, yet now, a distant but happy reminder of what will come soon.  The “Blue Moon,” was bright and beautiful off the Atlantic Coast at Jekyll Island, Georgia.

We had to spring back, though,  to reality when we returned from sublime to Super Bowl Sunday and drove through snow storms from Illinois to Wisconsin.

I am deciding and re-deciding what I am doing and where I am going with my writing. I am  re-editing Pins & Needles.   I’d hoped that would be ready for publication long before now–that has been a story unto itself.

AND, I’ve already scheduled a few events to present historical Clearwater, Minnesota, my historic and fictional study of some of the impressionable women in the community.  My first is next Monday in Big Lake, Minnesota at the public library– https://griver.org/locations/big-lake.  I start speaking at 5:30.

I’ll keep you up-to-date on where you can find me as I spring forward.


GREAT RIVER speaking event in Big Lake is cancelled due to our snow storm.  I’ll keep you updated when we decide to reschedule.




Follow these easy steps . . (or how I made it through Christmas)

One new tree we up this year. We call him Whimsy.

Step 1: Putting up the tree. I am never prepared for Christmas. I don’t sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the holiday to arrive. October–early November…I think ugh! Christmas– the work, the presents to buy, and more so, the stress about the clean up. Then around Thanksgiving, I get into the mood. Somewhere around that time, when I have the time, I start decorating. I can’t stop. I’m like a mad-woman. Oh, I love this ornament, decoration, or whatever. I hang junk all around. AND because our anniversary is a week before Christmas, we buy at least one new ornament each year. In addition, we have ornaments from places we have travelled. As I open each little box to hang my special decoration, I remember that special place or that moment. I still have my children’s special Sunday School or elementary school ornament they so proudly gifted me. They may be near shreds, but if they haven’t fallen apart, they are hung somewhere–often in the back but they are there. Maude Porter also has special ornaments that she puts on her tree in 1909, the year/the setting of my future suspense novel, Needles & Pins. “‘Tis the season!”

Step 2: I love living it too. Twinkle, Twinkle, little stars. I turn off all the overhead lights and lamps and stare into the trees. Yes, trees. Like many others, I have more than one. I’ve made many upcoming and life-changing year’s decisions staring into my tree. I even decided to retire after staring into a tree. They really give me such peace. I play Christmas music, go to special events, make apple cider and cookies, and live it up. I have in the past made a “happy cake”–okay, the secret is out bosses alike–as fellow teachers called it. This tasty and extra moist fruit cake was so happy, it smelled like a Kentucky distillery. It got my fellow teachers through the grading part of the semester and me through many long days correcting essays before I, too, could have some time off to enjoy myself. Jennie Phillips shares her mother’s favorite cake recipe in Needles & Pins that she serves in her story Scruples & Drams. Looking forward to sharing the recipe with you too very soon! “Happy Holidays!”

Jennie Phillips about the time she became a pharmacist. Find out more about Jennie in my suspense novel, Scruples & Drams.

Step 3: I hate starting but the pulling down goes faster than the putting up. I hold each little treasure delicately and try to remember which special box it goes in. Today, I dropped and broke one that we bought in Slovenia….a little hand-painted egg. So sad. The rest get packed away for another year. The trees are still standing and lit. That’s the husband’s job. So I put away my village. This too is a treasure and looks like Concord and Lexington, Mass., an area that I love to go to…charming. The New England resembling Main Street, in All Around Clearwater still holds its charms. I can almost “hear those Sleigh Bells ringing . . .”

Step 4: Once everything is boxed up, it is time to clean up. I don’t mind this part because my house is nearly back to order or as much order as I usually live with. The vacuum comes out, the feather dusters start swirling, and Old English gold makes everything new looking. I make a New Year’s resolution to keep it this way and sing “Should all acquaintance be forgot”….hoping to see friends more often than having to clean my house.

Maude Porter makes new decisions as well in Needles & Pins.

Step 5: Carrying on…This is where I am now. It is winter with nice days and cold days. I have a few projects that I have to finish–all as tedious as the sand that comes in the house every time we come in from outdoors. My work has to get done but the boredom of cleaning makes me as lack-luster as cake without frosting. Not even cranking up the Oldies helps me kick it in the keister. I miss my twinkling lights…..

Then on the horizon–someone–a cousin… encourages my husband and I to come to the beach for a few days. My how the work gets done better and faster! We look forward to beating the cold for a few days. Beach sand is so much more friendly than snowy dirt. I am ready and raring. Maude makes a big move as well in Needles & Pins.

I make more promises: when I return to our frozen lot, I’ll get right back to life with more of a hop and twist in my life. Plus:
all of my Clearwater books can be yours for $10 (plus tax—sorry) for you book club. If you are in the area, I’ll even bring them to you, and I’ll come back to talk to you when you meet. I bring slides, pictures, era pieces etc. I have fun doing this….So send me an email and we can meet up books@cynthiafrankstupnik.com

I’ll be seeing you…in all the old familiar places…..in that small café….the park across the way…the children’s carousel…the chestnut trees, the wishing well.

Have a healthy and happy 2018!

Over the river and through the woods . . .

It is hard to believe that the song/poem was written in 1844 by an excited young New England boy who couldn’t wait to get to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.    It was a tradition.

I remember that excitement too, when as a child, my folks and siblings drove through snow, over roads and bridges, crossed Highway 10, and down a couple long dirt roads before pulling into Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house. Cousins from Waite Park and Iowa as well as aunts and uncles traveled their distances too to share this holiday with loved ones. Along with a huge dish that was replenished often before the actual feast began, we gathered around the fold away tables and talked, laughed, and giggled.  It was our tradition.

Join vendors, crafts people, and artists at the Long Prairie Arts and Crafts Show and Tell tomorrow from 9-4.  I’ll be selling and signing my books, and we will be selling Jennie’s Clearwater Apothecary Pure & Simple products–creams, lotions, soaps, and balms!  If you haven’t done so already, make it a tradition!  

“William Tell reputedly shoots apple off his son’s head”

November 18, 1307, is  a famous date for history lovers…This day in history it is alleged that the Swiss-born William Tell  shot the apple off his son’s head.   In a nutshell, apparently Bill refused to bow before the hat of a Habsburg ruler and was ordered to be killed unless he shot an apple off his son’s head.  An expert bows man, he did that and more–he split the apple in half, thus saving his life and his son’s.  Unfortunately, Tell was a rebel and big talker and swore that if he’d have killed his son, he would have turned the bow on the ruler.  After being taken prisoner, he escaped chains, killed a ruler, and eventually led a revolt against the Habsburg governance.

So what is this history lesson all about?  Lots of events linked to November 18–and one is in Clearwater, Minnesota, this Saturday at the Lions’ Bldg in Lions’ Park on Highway 75.   The 2nd annual arts and crafts sale will be held at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  There will be crafts, wood products, and direct sales items, arts and décor, and ME and my sister! Totally bad English-speak for a retired English teacher.  We will be there though–I’ll be selling Clearwater books, signing as well, and sis will be selling Jennie Phillips’ Pure & Simple products–lotions, creams, balms, soaps, and a host of Clearwater memorabilia. 

Check out the site–you may have to copy and past in the URL.


The following Saturday, two days after Thanksgiving, Sis nd I, along with a friend,  will be in Long Prairie, MN, for another a/c even


I’ve heard that this is also a fun and large event to attend.  I’m not sure if there will be any competition you can join in on with crossbows and apples, but you may hit the bull’s eye and bring home bargains galore and as you take  shot at your Christmas shopping list.

Hope to see you at either or both events.

“I Am Woman”

The other night I saw a recent, 2017 film about Helen Reddy. I remember her standing thin and tall singing, I am woman . . .hear me roar . . .I am invincible . . .I am strong!”  I was so surprised, though, to see how she had changed because I’d never kept up with her success. She is nine years older than I am. What did I expect?  I haven’t been thin for 35 years.  If I hadn’t been coloring my hair, it would be gray like hers.  She is probably still tall–I haven’t a clue–but she has “grown,” as the song goes, in a number of ways.   She states she is happy with how she has turned out, feeling as though she has turned into the woman she sang about in the 60/70’s.  “I am woman,” which she wrote, became a mantra for the women’s movement. 

She is still active in women’s empowerment, attending, singing, supporting, and speaking at conventions, conferences, and marches around the world.

Most of us have had an opportunity to see on television how some women are coming forward, finally, to indict those who have hurt them. It’s amazing what women can do when they stand together.  There’s power in numbers.  And, yes, it is time to whip the bullies, the woman bashers, the sexual perverts–anyone who hurts others.

Scruples & Drams and my upcoming novel, a sequel to Jennie’s story, Needles & Pins, Maude’s story, promotes strong women. These women stand up for other women who are caught in trouble–trouble they can’t handle by themselves.

This weekend, Sat.,November 4, I’ll be selling Scruples & Drams, Around Clearwater, and Postcards from the Old Man at the Monticello Women of Today Fall Craft show in the Monticello Community Center from 9-3.  The address is 505 Walnut St # 4, Monticello, MN 55362. 

My sister, her friend Pam, and I will be setting up Clearwater Apothecary with all sort of products Jennie Phillips would have made or sold in her shop–such as her famous Pure & Natural, wild rose facial cream, dry hand rub, skin lotions, soaps, cards, bags, and crocheted hats, gloves, and scarves.  


Come out and support the Women of Today!