Author Archives: Mary A. Osborne

About Mary A. Osborne

Mary A. Osborne is the author of Alchemy's Daughter and Nonna's Book of Mysteries.

Remembering Mrs. Timmer, lessons learned at Blythe Park School, and going indie

Mrs. Timmer, who taught fourth grade at Blythe Park Elementary School in Riverside back in the seventies, had a way of speaking to nine and ten year-olds in a way that was never condescending, unlike some teachers, whose names will … Continue reading

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Goodbye house next door, hello new novel

The walls of my Wrigleyville office are shaking because the building next door is being torn down.  Another vintage home giving way to the bulldozer and making way for a new, luxury, single-family home. Before it was bought by a … Continue reading

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Now that was unexpected: Kirkus reviews Alchemy’s Daughter

It’s more or less compulsory for publishers to send review copies of forthcoming books to the major reviewers like Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus.  Indie presses like Lake Street Press, publisher of Alchemy’s Daughter, realize it’s quite unlikely that their … Continue reading

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Snowbound

February 2, 2015, the day after the fifth-largest blizzard to ever hit Chicago, I am hunkered down in my third-floor office looking out to the courtyard below.  Chicago Public Schools cancelled classes, the alleys and side streets are not easily … Continue reading

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Ghost of Christmas Past: Riverside 1972

One Christmas, when I was in grade school at Blythe Park Elementary and when soldiers—including one of my cousins—were fighting in Vietnam, my father erupted when another cousin criticized our country’s involvement in the war.  I only had a vague … Continue reading

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Alchemy’s Daughter isn’t here quite yet, but some awards are

When I started working on Alchemy’s Daughter when my son was still in pre-school, I never imagined it would take fourteen years before I would hold a printed copy of the book in my hand.  But as I’ve said before, … Continue reading

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Why can’t I be more like Louisa May Alcott?

During her 55 years, Louisa May Alcott wrote more than 30 books.   The first one, Flower Fables, was written when she was just 22 years old.  Little Women, one of my girlhood favorites, of course followed, as did Little Men, … Continue reading

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Don’t forget the National Museum of Mexican Art

Last Sunday, instead of working on my novel,  I visited the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen.  I love this museum, and I’m always surprised that more Chicagoans don’t know about this treasure in the Pilsen neighborhood. Years  back … Continue reading

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Jason Brammer’s Sea Fever

Like the English poet John Masefield, Jason Brammer has heeded the call of sea.  The Chicago artist’s new solo exhibition, “Into the Deep,” explores the hidden mysteries down below in works inspired by nautical maps, navigational instruments, and medieval bestiaries.  … Continue reading

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Off the grid with chainmaille artist Sky Cubacub

Sky Cubacub wears leather holsters that hold her Lindstrom pliers. Essential tools at hand, she is ready to chainmaille at any time. “It also makes me feel like a cowboy with his guns, ready for the quick draw,” says the … Continue reading

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