Welcome to my humble website that I hope will inspire you're own personal visions and passions.  My story is ever changing as I continue to teach and practice; Yoga, Writing, Dance, and Performing. Growing up in an Italian/Irish family, storytelling, music, and food were daily staples.  

Although I came to yoga seeking healing from physical challenges, I soon discovered its ability to soothe the soul as well.  After receiving a 200 hour Yoga Certification from the Aura Center in Massachusetts, I began teaching and am currently finishing my 500 level. Regardless of certs and levels, the guidance I have received from my personal practice, which draws from dance movement and master teachers, has informed my belief that yoga has transformed every aspect of my life.   As a Registered Nurse and a type I diabetic alternative healing provided choices to my patients and myself.


See my Yoga page for more and info on the upcoming Italy Retreat!  

As far as writing and the arts, it's something I have been doing since I was a kid (performances were limited to my parent's living room).  No genre is left untouched.  After working as a nurse, my desire to run back into the arms of art haunted me.  While raising my two beautiful daughters I went back to college.  My daughters were in several plays with me during the undergrad years of theatre.  Years later, my dream of getting an M.F.A. in Creative Writing came true in 2009. 

My philosophy is, don't pigeon hole yourself into being a writing, yoga teacher, or chef--do it all with verve and watch your world blossom.  I hope you enjoy perusing the website--with is an amalgamation of my yoga retreats and writing.  Leave me a note and share your artistic trials and tribulations, stories galvanize me to keep the lamp of creativity lit that our world may be a softer, gentler, more forgiving place to live.  

On my writing pages are snippets of published and unpublished work as well as reflections and blogs.  Immediately below are reviews and a synopsis of the play I was privileged to write with my daughter, this was her original concept and has traveled through five revisions and countless industry readings--it's ready now for the big time! 





 








 

Artista by the Sea is a novel about  a woman's journey into the world of art, love, and the secrets of her heritage.   Juliana, the protagonist, is torn between two men, two worlds, and two decisions that will alter the course of her life.  This riveting narrative is packed with both humor and sorrow that have readers routing from all vistas of the story. 

Available  on Amazon @ https://www.amazon.com/Artista-Sea-Karen-Devaney/dp/1490483497

Reviews.


Linda Eells rated it 5 : Oh I loved this book. I've enjoyed many, mourned the end of many, regretted a few, but seldom do I LOVE a book. Artista By The Sea should be at the top of every readers list. As a female i devour books involving strong women and this sure is one of them, as is the author i believe. There is artistry in her words, they flow so easily and draw you in..there is history there is art there is love there is humor and there is mystery. I'd read anything Karen Devaney writes.... Taylor Troncin's review  Jan 01, 17 5 of 5 stars I won a free copy of this book through a goodreads giveaway.  I really enjoyed this book - the description caught my attention. The story-line did not disappoint!

Taylor Troncin's review  Jan 01, 17 5 of 5 stars bookshelves: first-reads, from-closed-contests  I won a free copy of  through a Goodreads giveaway.  I really enjoyed this book - the description caught my attention. The story-line did not disappoint!

f 5 starsA MUST READ!!! Unforeseeable, creative and enjoyable romance novel. BySando Kingon June 12, 2016 Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase This was a great book and highly recommended. It definitely contained the qualities of a romance novel that I enjoy. It was also unpredictable at times, which kept me on my toes throughout the entire novel. Karen has a way of using creative detail to give you a vision, as though you are in the scene, that she is describing. I was able to smell, feel and touch scenes depicted within each chapter. Please read this novel!!


         The Great Forgotten, was accepted into NYC's International Fringe Festival where it drew the attention of several Broadway producers.  After many revisions, industry readings, and more re-writes, TGF is currently being considered for an Off Broadway Production as well as a production in Paris France.  Stay posted! 


Reviews:


More Great Forgotten Please

Isabel Zamaroni NYC Freelance Journalist

 
Although New York’s famed International Fringe Festival is officially a memory; one indelible play in particular, left me riveted and yearning for more.  The Great Forgotten, was a compelling narrative, written by, Karen and Kacie Devaney, about two American sisters, Celia and Elizabeth, who give their services as nurses during WWI, in France. They experience the travesties of the trenches but also the camaraderie of laboring long hours with other women, who joined the Army in hopes of making a difference.

 
When Elizabeth and Celia return to their home town in New York City, the Roaring Twenties is ablaze and they become flappers dancing at a local Speak Easy.  Celia embraces the new found freedom for women, reveling in the gaiety of the twenties, where women’s self-expression was paramount. Elizabeth, on the other hand, remains tortured by the traumas she witnessed and the love she lost. She suffers from what today we diagnose as, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.


The veracity and stunning portrayal of the nursing scenes was striking.  When, I ask, has Broadway or Hollywood honored nurses of war, told their side of the stories? The nurses of WWI, were sent overseas before any man set foot on foreign soil.  After toiling in the trenches as Army nurses, when they returned to the states their rank and title was lowered to that of volunteer.


The Great Forgotten is a poignant play that captured the journey of women during the war and the ensuing lack of historic recognition for their efforts.  The verbiage and dialogue was authentic as was the acting and it was obvious the playwrights did their research. While the set was minimalized, the director, Paul Morris did a beautiful job of telling the story and creating a believable posse of soldiers, nurses, and flappers.  Francis Patrelle, a renowned New York choreographer, with fifty original ballets under his belt from his company, Dances Patrelle, choreographed the dance scenes in The Great Forgotten, which were; brilliant, bawdy, and thoroughly entertaining.  Kacie Devaney, Julie Voshell, and Morgan Doelp were mesmerizing to watch.


The scenes flip flop between a Speak Easy in New York City, where Elizabeth meets a veteran, Ben, and the actual war scenes that take place in France at a makeshift hospital known as Evac 5.  The interactions between the French and American soldiers and the nurses was imbued with genuine French accents and gave lilt and levity to the war scenes.   The language barrier, among the lead actors, Julie Voshell who played Elizabeth and Martin Balaguer as Leandre,  a French Lieutenant and Elizabeth’s lover, was endearing, romantic even.  The playwrights’ clever device of capturing the war stories through a conversation between two veterans, works beautifully.


Both Kacie Devaney, who played the role of Celia, and Julie Voshell (Elizabeth), were convincing. The touching scenes between the sisters brought tears to many in the audience.  The subject matter, spanned women’s right to vote, to birth control, to women getting equal pay as men in the workforce,  all done under the guise of conversation—and it struck a chord with the fact that women still today, are not on equal footing with their male counterparts.  Birth control, abortion, and women fettered by world=wide inequality remain relevant topics today.


We need more plays like The Great Forgotten to remember the infinite struggles that remain pertinent, not only for women, but for all those who have suffered and struggled to be heard. This is a fresh piece with all the elements that make theatre great—beauty, tragedy, and impeccable storytelling. In 2015, all facets of the theatre remain dominated by men, and women playwrights remain in the shadows.  This play is deserving of a larger production to bring its message and artistry to audiences yearning for more than fifty shades of rehashed shows.


Louise Gilkow (emmy award winning author) Review


Review/ “The Great Forgotten”

Louise A. Gikow

 

Can any individual heal him or herself when an entire society is suffering? 

In a sense, that’s the question at the center of “The Great Forgotten,” a promising new play written by the mother-and-daughter team of Kacie and Karen Devaney.

The play takes place in 1920, at the beginning of what would soon be dubbed the Roaring Twenties. Young women everywhere have chopped off their hair and cropped their skirts, put in their diaphragms and put out in the back seats of newly-available automobiles. The two lead characters—sisters Elizabeth (Lizzy) and Celia—are dancers in a jazz club, leading what initially seems to be a gay life. But we soon discover that they both served as nurses during World War I. And despite their desperate efforts, it’s clear that they have been unable to put the war behind them.

The Great War caused an enormous loss of life -- by 1918, 16 million young men had perished. The men who came home, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald as “The Lost Generation,” never really regained their footing. But what happened to the women of this era is less clear. The Devaney’s make the point that many young women were intimately involved in the struggle, and their pain was equal or sometimes greater than that of the men’s. Women didn’t start the war; they only cleaned up after it. As Lizzy says sardonically after she misses a cue, “It’s not like anyone’s gonna die because I missed a few steps, right?”

While her sister Celia comforts herself in the arms of a man who made it home, Lizzy strikes up a conversation with a veteran who stumbles into the bar. He begins by voicing all sorts of misconceptions about her involvement in the war.  When she bitterly tells him that she was probably at the front way longer than he was, he encourages her to tell her story, and she reluctantly agrees.

The play is constructed as a series of flashbacks, traveling from the jazz club where the two sisters entertain to the hospital where they worked during the war and the church where Elizabeth secretly married her lover, who of course later died. The juxtaposition is expertly handled even if the outcome is to be expected.

The play is both a lament to loves and lives lost and a passionate plea for, if not equal rights, at least respect for women’s roles. It tackles a huge span of subjects—war, love, death, feminism, even unwanted pregnancy.  

Perhaps this is a bit too much to address, but ultimately, the play rises above it. The writing is passionate, articulate and heart-felt. Will Lizzy eventually heal? A coda suggests she probably won’t. But she will do the next best thing—she’ll go on. Perhaps that’s all we can hope for...and at least for now, perhaps it will have to be good enough.   

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 




A Play in Two Acts

 

The reading and discussion of Artista by the Sea at Readers Books in Sonoma California was well attended with a fantastic question and answer session. 

To book a reading please use the contact page. 

  

 

My African Dance Class--Dance is an expression of our uncensored self.  I now combined African Dance, which I have studied for over twenty years and yoga together. It is a fun class with live drummers and musicians that make it impossible to stay still. 

Dance is a prayer in motion

Julie & Briget & The Mysterious W.C.


 Is a middle grade novel laced with Native American themes, adventure, and a story driven narrative. 

 Julie and Bridget, the main characters in this gripping tale, are modern adventurers seeking to find remnants of their past. They are on a mission to find the people who knew their parents before they perished in a head on collision. 

The deadly crash causes, Julie and Bridget, to be condemned to live in San Francisco with the two meanest people on the planet, Aunt Rosie and Uncle Sam. 
When the girls are old enough to plot their escape, they receive a mysterious letter from a W.C. who happens to be the last person to see their parents alive.

 The sisters encounter danger, new friends, and a crow they name Angel as they bike, bus, and train their way back to Wyoming to find W.C.. Along the way, Julie and Bridget meet a host of characters; an old man named Ernie, a migrant worker, and a Sioux Indian Tribe. These and others play a critical role in leading the girls to the knowledge they have longed for.  

Angel becomes just that-- a winged guardian that watches over the girls and leads them to W.C. and the person responsible for their parent’s death. 


Although this novel is intended for middle-grade readers, it will warm the hearts of all ages.  Julie& Bridget & The Mysterious W.C. whisks readers on a journey and explores the innate yearning for people of all generations to know their familial past. 

The travels of this tale end full circle and leaves readers with a startling conclusion.

Spring 2018

                 








  


 

  

    
 

 

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