Pulitzer Prize nominee Marian Rizzo has written four contemporary novels and two biblical era novels. She’s been a journalist for twenty-five years with the Ocala Star-Banner Newspaper, part of the Gatehouse Media Group. Now retired, Marian has continued to work with the Star-Banner as a correspondent. She’s won numerous awards in journalism, including the New York Times Chairman’s Award and first place in the annual Amy Foundation Writing Awards.
Marian lives in Ocala, Florida, with her daughter Vicki who has Down Syndrome. Her other daughter, Joanna, is the mother of three children. Grandparenting has added another element of joy to Marian’s busy schedule, which includes workouts five times a week, lots of reading, and lunches with the girls.
Visit her online at Marianscorner.com
The Liquid Heart of Florida
Silver Springs, located in central Florida, is perhaps the best known natural artesian spring in the world. A grand natural wonder of the world on par with Niagara Falls or the mighty Mississippi River. Easily the largest spring in the world Silver Springs boasts long-term average measured flows of more than 500 million gallons per day—enough to meet the water consumption needs of 5 million Floridians. Silver Springs is the most visited spring system in the U.S. drawing more than one million tourists each year, and that’s before the days of Disney. Silver Springs has been called the “Fountain of Knowledge” about how all aquatic ecosystems function, based on a landmark, holistic, ecosystem study conducted more than 70 years ago.
Yet Silver Springs is fading due to the careless apathy of the public and the clever manipulations of truth by unscrupulous proponents of poorly regulated growth and development. Despite that, this is an exciting time in the long history of Silver Springs. the Liquid Heart of Florida has the chance to turn the corner from more than 50 years of regulatory neglect and decline, to a future of recovery and protection. Silver Springs can serve as an allegory for all of Florida’s natural wonders. Either it can go the way of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker and Carolina Parakeet, or it can be returned from near extinction like the Brown Pelican and the Bald Eagle. The future of Silver Springs is a choice that will be made by the actions or inactions of our generation.
Marian Rizzo is a gifted storyteller, whether it be for news reporting or fiction. She has a keen eye and ear from the intricacies of a story, which translates into very powerful narratives. Marian can turn the mundane into the magnificent through the masterful weaving of character, context, and scene-setting.
– Susan Smiley-Height, Long-time News editor
Also by Marian Rizzo
Dorothy glides past me with an armload of my stuff. She doesn’t pause to ask my opinion, just tosses my personal things into whatever box fits her whim. Or she feeds my precious treasures into the trashcan. Then she moves on as if I’m not even here. As each item leaves my daughter’s hand, I travel back to another time and place.
In Search of
“It’s a simple assignment, really, with some long distance travel involved. You’ll fly to Ephesus and spend a couple of days doing on-site research, then you’ll head to the Isle of Patmos.”
Julie bit her lower lip. “The island where the Apostle John was supposed to have been exiled? Why?”
“There have been reports from credible witnesses that John might still be there waiting for Jesus to return. I want you to find him.”
The first patients arrived: Numbers One and Number Two – the impersonal numbering system designed to keep the staff from getting emotionally involved. If the project continued longer than planned, there would be no hope for Numbers One and Two, or for any of the other unsuspecting test subjects who might stumble into Muldovah.
Julie Peters could barely contain the heady euphoria that enveloped her. She was newly engaged to Mark, the love of her life. Her human interest news story had been picked up by Great Destinations Magazine, and an incredible job offer followed. Now, she found herself on assignment in Cross Creek, Florida, walking in the footstep of her literary heroine, American novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
O Holy Night
We sing the lyrics. We love the music. But are we merely mouthing empty words and vain repetitions? Are we just humming the tune? Or do we honestly think about the underlying message?