February 6, 2020: StarTribune.com
The uncivil things politicians do and say
After hearing the uproar regarding the less than courteous words recently spoken by U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib about Hillary Clinton, words given in response to Clinton's less than kind description of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (with Tlaib's words drawing laughter from two other members of Congress, including Minnesota's Ilhan Omar), I immediately thought of the colorful way Tlaib described President Donald Trump and her desire to impeach him just about a year ago.
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December 12, 2019: TwinCities.com
Mary Stanik: Taking a chance on an old song and an old friend
Around this time last year, I was in my Milwaukee hometown tending to difficult family business. As I was driving around sights both painfully and happily familiar, 1967's "Reach Out of the Darkness" came through on the radio. I know many who were young adults in the late 1960s thought the song to be somewhat emblematic of the hope they had for ending the Vietnam War, but I have never liked it.
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August 30, 2019: TwinCities.com
Mary Stanik: What seems kind, or not, from inside the shadow of grief
If you spend much time on social media, you may have noticed a trend within the last few years imploring people to “choose kindness.” These admonitions to pick Kindness are often accompanied by pictures of helpful children, rainbow-lit flowers, or cute dogs, all intended to make the reader think the account holder is a (kind and) gentle soul.
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April 11, 2019: TwinCities.com
Mary Stanik: In a new era, drawing lines between criminal and creepy and uncomfortable
When I learned about the accusations Lucy Flores made about former Vice President Joe Biden’s alleged “creepy” touching and invasion of her space, my first thought was well, the vice president has long been known for being physically affectionate with friends and strangers alike.
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February 14, 2019: StarTribune.com
Nancy Pelosi: No matter what you think of her, she's powerful
Looking through the coverage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's State of the Union "clap heard around the world," I thought of something British actress Dame Kristin Scott Thomas once said: "We older women in Europe are lucky not to be shoved away in a drawer."
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December 9, 2018: TwinCities.com
Mary Stanik: Every blessed one
It’s that time of year again when lots of us are watching some televised iteration of "A Christmas Carol." I'm partial to the 1984 telling, with George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. To me, the actor who portrayed Tiny Tim in that version seems more believable in the role than most Hollywood Tiny Tims. Especially when he made the expected exclamation of "God bless us, every one!"
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May 11, 2018: TwinCities.com
Mary Stanik: Looking for home in all the wrong places
Starting in the late 1990s, I moved around the country more than some friends thought reasonable to seek career advancement and an elusive quality of “excitement” that I thought was sorely missing in Minnesota. But after returning to the Twin Cities in 2008 after a second Washington, D.C., tour, I thought I had at very long last accepted Minneapolis-St. Paul as my home. Of course, once one makes such a decision, life often will have something contrary to say.
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September 27, 2017: MinnPost
Just what is it that Americans expect of their first ladies?
Lots of people were puzzled and/or amused recently by a video showing President Donald Trump shaking the hand of First Lady Melania Trump after she introduced him to a gathering. Just about as many people were puzzled and/or amused when the president, post-handshake, told his wife to sit down and pointed her to her seat, much as a high school principal might do to a nervous student who just received a good conduct medal.
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September 3, 2017: TwinCities.com
Mary Stanik: On defense and the anniversary of Diana's death
So, even if you are consumed by the fight club known as the White House, you may have noticed the hordes of television specials marking the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death. In light of the anniversary, I read an opinion I published shortly after the princess died. In the piece, I wrote about the tremendous courage her brother, Earl Spencer, displayed at her funeral by sharply defending his sister before the world against demons, regal and commonly vulgar alike, that relentlessly chased her during her short life.
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April 6, 2017: TwinCities.com
The children in my nightmares
Now that the attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare has failed, one can only wonder how long it will be before another really great, really beautiful repeal and/or replace package is cobbled together. And before we again hear people telling devastating stories about how they or their family members would be without insurance or even dead if not for the Affordable Care Act.
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October 20, 2016: MinnPost
'Down a Future Looking Glass': The day the USA became two nations
A land thought for centuries to be a magnet for those seeking liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The most powerful empire ever. Yet, so many people of this land became so divided, even so hateful against those with whom they did not agree, that the fate that touched many of Earth’s nations became plain. Tonight’s episode of “Down a Future Looking Glass” concerns the fictitious story of a country you all know, a country now spliced into at least two parts. But beware. Take care with your bricks in the wall.
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July 22, 2016: TwinCities.com
The state of the splintering union
Recently, I was talking to a Canadian friend about the madness called the U.S. presidential election. After boasting (politely) about Canada’s comparatively courteous 2015 election, he said it was incredible that so many Americans harbor tremendous dislike and disrespect of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We spoke about how Americans have elected presidents they wouldn’t want to have a beer or cigarette with, but were presidents still respected by most. We also discussed the most recent police, civilian and terrorist shootings and bombings. We asked whether either candidate can alone stop such horrific violence.
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January 29, 2016: MinnPost
Heading west, after a year of Minnesota goodbyes
As one who has come and gone from Minnesota at least four times in the past 17 years, it might be thought I never believed in the idea that “you can’t go home again." Of course, it took quite a while to fully realize that for most of those years, I did not think of Minnesota as home. It was a place of many friends, a measure of career success and a reasonable cost of living. It also was a place I always wanted to get away from in order to be somewhere containing more of that elusive quality known as excitement. Somewhere populated with more single people my age who would not ask if I went to high school in the area (I did not). Somewhere promising even more career success.
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September 1, 2015: TwinCities.com
Mary Stanik: Coarseness at the speed of light
If you're among those who for all the money remaining in Trump casinos cannot understand why Donald Trump and his bowie knife-like tongue remain so popular with so many, you may not find answers in most of the stories that have been done about Trump.
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February 24, 2015: MinnPost
Thinking of Aristotle upon seeing 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
I may be one of the only people around thinking about Aristotle with regard to "Fifty Shades of Grey," that wildly successful book and movie tying up the time and wallets of so many people. But, thanks to a Marquette University professor who told me a certain quote would serve me well if I heeded it well, I’ve indeed had Aristotle on the mind.
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January 8, 2015: MinnPost
Six months in The Land of Seniors baked brutal retirement truths into this visiting daughter
A few months ago I told MinnPost readers about my mother’s stroke, which required me to get to Arizona and its justifiably infamous summer swelter faster right away so I could oversee her recovery. Six months on, I’m moving my mostly recuperated, reasonably cooperative mum and myself back to the Land of Frozen Sky Blue Waters and the cold everyone in Arizona speaks of with a dread better reserved for the possibility of Justin Bieber becoming president than for something like weather.
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August 20, 2014: Iceland Review
Why Iceland's Volcanoes Are So Fascinating
Mary Stanik reveals her views on the general interest in Iceland's volcanoes and why they're so unique.
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August 1, 2014: MinnPost
Life's disturbances arrive whether you're ready or not
In this piece, Mary Stanik discusses the significance of Life Erupted and the inevitable life twists we all share.
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Mary Stanik on the March 2014 Democratic Visions
Mary was the featured guest on Minnesota's Democratic Visions.  The program has a diverse and growing following, and prides itself on talking to sources not usually covered by the mainstream media. With host Jeff Strate (a former producer with PBS in New York), Mary discussed Hillary Clinton, sex scandals and, of course, Life Erupted.
Watch the video.

Judge, 21st Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards:
I really enjoyed reading Life Erupted. The main character, Jenn, is immediately likable and very vividly drawn; I was able to discern her character very quickly, and I enjoyed the interactions she has with the various other characters--especially her father, Bianca, Tony, and Erik. The other characters are drawn well and everyone seems to grow throughout the narrative.

One of the strongest parts of this book is the authorial tone. The descriptions of various people and settings, told through the lens of the POV character, are masterful and set the tone for the book. I never felt like this description was heavy handed. You also do a beautiful job, for the most part, of balancing exposition with action. While there are parts where you do "tell," the information you're conveying is important, and it's told through the lens of the POV character, so it still works and engaged me.

In terms of design and packaging, I found the illustrations to be cute and fitting for the tone of the book. The overall package is professional.

Overall, this is an excellent book. Thank you for the chance to read!

August 26, 2013: Publishers Weekly
"Stanik evidently draws on her own life experience in creating the well developed Jenn."

University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts alumni magazine: Summer 2013
Story

March 31, 2013: On the Danforth Online
Life Eruptions: Full Interview
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February 25, 2013:  KYMN Radio
15 Minutes With the Author, hosted by Teri Knight of KYMN radio
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January 17, 2013:  Biblio Connection
Life Erupted named a featured book on Biblio Connection
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January 16, 2013:  Biblio Connection
Mary Stanik named a featured author on Biblio Connection
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