About Angela Cybulski

Photo by Robert Doisneau

Welcome to Persephone Writes! My name is Angela Cybulski. I’m a composition and literature teacher, editor, writer, home schooling mom, happily married wife, and unabashedly Catholic woman who loves the color purple. I’m a recovering academic (said only half-jokingly) who has never truly given herself permission to live her life’s dream of writing. On some level, this blog is the stand-in for the dog-eared moleskin I would have left lying around on the bare wooden chair of the antiquated, moody, one-room studio I rented out in Paris — if I’d ever done such a thing.

After some damaging early experiences involving my fiction writing, I abandoned it and took up non-fiction writing exclusively. I have had some success in this area, but the need to delve into fiction has never left me. Its what I had always aspired to and that aspiration was still alive and well, no matter how I tried to squelch it. After a long time thinking and reading, I jumped in with both feet and started a novel, the first draft of which is nearly finished. It has been a long, slow, and painful process, but one I am truly enjoying because I’ve let go of my preconceived notions about how to go about it and my fears about failure and what others will think, etc. etc. (those can truly go on ad nauseum — best to acknowledge them,  stare ’em down and move on).  Of course, as a full-time wife and home schooling mom, part-time literature and composition teacher, and part-time editor, my free time is on the shy side of non-existant. But I keep plugging along, forcing myself to be content with my snail’s pace because even that is better than standing still. As Yoda says, “There is no try, only do.” I’m doing, and by my standard that’s amazing.

If you’re going to be spending any time here, you should probably know that I love wine, chocolate, anything and everything French or Italian, cooking, old movies, gardening, travel, poetry and pre-Raphaelite art. I tend to think in pictures, which then compose themselves into words. I love art and beauty and believe in nurturing God’s gift of the will to create. And, appropos of nothing, I think The Philadelphia Story and Mad Men are two of the most exquisite examples of “writing and characterization on the big/small screen” ever conceived.

My other blog, one tiny violet, has more to say about “who I am” and “what I’ve done” so feel free to pop on over there for a quick peek if this isn’t enough of an introduction for you. Or email me at persephonewrites (at) gmail (dot) com. Cheers!

40 thoughts on “About Angela Cybulski”

  1. Love this Angela!

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    • Thanks, Christina! Its been a long time coming –like giving birth, hah! But I imagine the artist in you will find much to ponder here and I hope you will share your creative experience! Miss you!

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  2. Angela,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I just finished my first Christian fiction novel and I’m working on the second. My hope, prayer, and plan is that this become a seven-book series on different Christian disciplines.

    Your story has inspired me to rewrite my “About the Author” page. I look forward to staying in touch with you from time to time.

    ~ Charles
    http://www.ihvs.wordpress.com

    Author “In His Very Steps: What Does the Bible Say?” (2011)

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    • Congratulations on finishing your novel! I hope to finish mine some day, but it seems such a long way off. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have completed a novel….the nearest I have come is a 200 page Master’s Thesis, but I know that there is no comparison, except the drive to stick with it and get it done! I’m happy to hear you are inspired by anything written here and I wish you all the best. Thank you for visiting and I do hope you will visit again.

      Cheers!

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  3. Thank you, malady. I hesitate to tell you this but it took me over 10 years to to get to this point. That is after trying to get it published via a traditional route, becoming discouraged and letting it gather dust, and finally picking it back up earlier this year. It’s still surreal.

    If you have an e-reader (Nook, Kindle, Sony, or Apple device) I would be happy to give you a copy.

    Cheers!

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    • Well, it took Katherine Anne Porter 20 years to write Ship of Fools, and Victor Hugo about that long to write Les Miserables, as well. I figure I’ll be in good company anywhere between 10 and 20 years, right?

      Did you end up self-publishing or did you get signed with a house? I have a friend who is working on his third novel and he has self-published then all. It seems to be something many writers are considering. I’m a long way from thinking about anything like that.

      So kind of you to offer a copy of your book! But I’m a brick and mortar reader — no electronics, just good old paper and ink. Even the blog is stretching it for me in terms of writing/reading comfort zone. Thank you, though, very much!

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  4. Angela, it was a pleasure to find your blog today. I, too, am a “recovering academic,” with many of the same writing interests as you, including a passion for the great Catholic writers of the 20th c. I was glad to see a blog post of mine linked to on this site. Thank you! You can find out about my children’s writing at http://kingdomofpatria.com. All the best, Daniel McInerny

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    • Daniel, I’m so happy you stopped by. I love your blog and have also cited some of your articles on beauty on my sister blog, http://onetinyviolet.wordpress.com. Thank you for the gift of your thought-provoking and insightful writing. It means a lot to find like-minded souls along the journey. I didn’t know you wrote for children! There is such a need for quality children’s literature — that is another area of interest and experience for me. I look forward to finding out more — thank you for the link to your site!
      Cheers!

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  5. Thanks so much, Angela, for the kind words about my blog and for the links on onetinyviolet. I failed to mention earlier that my wife and I are also homeschoolers, though my roles are restricted to those of Headmaster of McInerny Academy and Latin instructor to my son, Francis. And yes, I too am a staunch defender of quality literature for children. My Patria series of humorous eBook adventures for middle grade readers is up and going. The first book in the series, Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits, is now available (for only $2.99) at Amazon and other venues: http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Whizzing-Biscuits-Patria-ebook/dp/B0060O7RQU.
    The audiobook is also available (for only $4.99) at Worldwide Audiobooks. There are links to all the venue sites on the homepage of the Kingdom of Patria website, which is fun interactive website with free content, clubs to join, etc. I gave the link for that site earlier, but here it is again: http://kingdomofpatria.com. I think you and your family might enjoy the world of Patria! All the best, Daniel

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    • Love hearing that you home school as well, Daniel! My husband is listed as our Headmaster, but I have the thrill and joy of teaching Latin! Trying to write and live a creative life has to coexist with home schooling and our family vocation — this is a tough balance for me, and others I know. It’s great to see that you are finding ways to make all of these things happen. I did spend some time on the Patria series website and the books look like a lot of fun. Hopefully other readers visiting here will discover your work as well. Wishing you all the best — and do stay in touch!
      Cheers!

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  6. Hi Angela! I’m glad you discovered “Homeward Bound,” and yep, the title does come from the Simon and Garfunkel song. Best of luck to you and your writing. I’m excited to read about your literary life. ~Nora

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  7. Hi Angela!

    I know you are taking a break but I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger award. You can find more information about it at:

    http://robincoyle.wordpress.com/category/in-search/

    Have a great weekend!

    Robin

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  8. Angela,

    I know you are taking a break, and I hope that you don’t mind me passing a few blogger awards your way, for you to have when you return! The Beautiful Blogger Award and Very Inspiring Blogger Award came my way today, and I’d like to pass them to you…

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  9. I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. It seems to be the equivalent of a chain letter for blogging, but it seemed fun. You can see details here: http://emilyjanuary.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-versatile-blogger-award/

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  10. kzackuslheureux said:

    I like your style, Sweetheart. I know it is painfully difficult to write with kids all about. But sometimes slow-going is just the way it needs to go, and illumination can weave its way right into your words, slow enough, you only see it glowing after you look back. God Bless and Enjoy the Journey 🙂 Best Regards, KL

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    • Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words, KL. I see from poking around your blog a bit that you do “get it”. I’m good with the baby steps and am getting used to not pressuring myself and doing what I can with what I’ve got. It’s all in the journey, for sure. You take care and come back by again. I’d like to chat with you more.

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  11. Hi Angela, I have just found your blog and will be spending time here. I think that the more you follow your passion the less it matters what others say and the doubts they, or even you, have. If you value what you do and love and believe in it then that is what really matters – that is the warmest feeling. Lovely to see someone following their passion, even though this has a cost, it is minuscule compared with not trying. I was attracted to your blog by your avatar – Waterhouse is such a favourite of mine, as are all of the painters in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Lovely to meet you! Ruth

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    • And I’m happy to meet you, too! Thank you for taking the time to look around and thank you, too, for the follow. 🙂

      It’s true, isn’t it, that we need to follow and do what we are passionate about. Things are so busy and hectic and clamoring, many people don’t take the time to do what they love, even if it’s one small thing. I only have 15 minutes in the morning to write, but it makes all the difference. Squeezing in time to write posts is another story, which is why I don’t post often.

      So happy to meet another Pre-Raph lover! And I will look forward very much to chatting with you now and again. Cheers!

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  12. This is so awesome, Angela! I can’t wait to dig around some more in here and to read your book one day. Here’s to many more comments to come! -Heidi

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  13. Angela this is fantastic! You’re so humble in person–this site deserves your reverence! Just wonderful. Hope to stay in touch~!

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  14. Thanks for sharing your story, Angela! Never, ever give up – always work on the principle of “No surrender” 😉 Your novel will be complete one day. Life has a neat little thing – kids fly the nest LOL! When that happens – don’t fill your time with more, so you end up still struggling to find time to write 😉 There is, after all, only one thing a writer can and should do with ‘spare time’: write 😀

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    • Thank you for your encouragement, Steve. It is true — everything has a time and a season. While it may be a struggle now to find the time and energy to create intensely, I know it will not always be this way. I am OK with being slow. 🙂 You are an inspiration and your attitude is contagious!

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      • It is the least I can do, Angela 🙂 I spent years dipping into writing when I needed to, but the edge stayed sharp, as it were 😉 I’m glad you’re not under the illusion that there’s some ‘timetable’ to writing – time is meaningless 🙂

        You’re too kind! But I thank you, and I take heart from the possibility that I may have helped to some degree 🙂

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  15. Dear Angela,

    Purple is indeed a terrific color! Good luck with your novel.

    Thank you for visiting and following my blog.

    Best,
    Ana
    http://www.thedrugstorenotebook.com

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  16. I love your blog. Pierre from Radiosatellite ( Paris ).

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  17. Hi Angela, thanks for following my blog, and like the others here in the comments, I look forward to looking around your blog, it’s clear there’s lots of great material here, and clear too that you are generous with sharing your learning. Happy writing day from another slow composter.

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    • As an avid gardener with a penchant for composting, I LOVE the idea of linking that process to my writing practice — thank you for that! 🙂 And thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. I really enjoy my blog and interacting with the people I’ve met here. I only wish I could write more regularly. Looking forward to chatting with you now and again. Thanks, Jenny! Take care. 🙂

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  18. So many common threads here – I’m happy to have found you!

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