For the past ten years, I have written over 300 travel and lifestyle articles for Cleveland-area magazines. My writing focuses on people who make a difference, events that make a splash, places that inspire, and the history behind who we are today. As a contributor, I try to find unique individuals who are involved in creating something that will surprise people, whether it’s opening a vintage clothing store, creating sculptures out of metal, creating space for retreating, or writing a book about Ireland. I’ve written about the historic Lorain lighthouse, the Amherst Cinema, a church winery called South River, the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, shops at Gordon Square, Beck Center art shows, bookstores–Mac’s Backs, Loganberry, and Visible Books, and festivals as far flung as the Asian Festival in the Flats and Boston Mills Arts Festival. People on the North Coast are amazing, and we explore new ideas every day.
A sampling of my recent stories can be found on-line, including “Winery Heritage” in The Wine Buzz, “Markko Vineyards” on Yahoo!, “Romantic Getaways” for Long Weekends, and “Festive Occasions” for Ohio Magazine. My first published articles appeared in NewsCAPsule, the newsletter of the Cleveland Association of Paralegals, which I edited for a number of years. Later, I was the corporate columnist for Legal Assistant Today and Paralegal Today, and I also wrote for The Legal Description, a trade magazine for title companies. My article “Party On!,” which appeared in The Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine and introduced readers to our dinner group and grilling pizzas, was my first non-legal published article. I continue to write for a number of Great Lakes Publishing’s publications, including Sip, and just completed an article for Midwest Wine Press.
I blog at Claudia’s Musings. I try to post every week, but life gets in the way. I might review a book, muse about a quote that resonates with me, share struggles with writing, or talk about my spiritual journey. I like to hear that people read it. Blogging can be lonely–the words are put out there to a worldwide audience, but the blogger doesn’t know who’s reading the words or whether she’s making a connection. I’m always pleased when someone tells me how much they enjoy what I write.
My family and I are passionate about traveling. My husband Paul, youngest daughter Claire, and I made a trip to Charleston and Savannah a few years ago. Last year Paul and I went to New Orleans, and in the same year, daughters Claire and Melissa joined us for a tour of the Pacific Northwest. This year we’re planning a trip to New Orleans. We took all three daughters (Allison, Melissa, and Claire) on a tour of US National Parks in 2000. We toured Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, Yosemite, Monterey, Point Reyes, and John Muir Woods in California a few years back. We can honestly say we’ve seen most of the United States with our trips to the Eastern Seaboard, many places in the Midwest, and into the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. Paul and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in Europe and our 30th anniversary in Alaska. Over and over again we return to the Outer Banks, where we’ve been vacationing as a family since 1987. I write about our trips in my journals and in magazines.
Despite all the articles I’ve written, I deeply love longer writing projects. I’ve written three novels and two spiritual self-help books, and am working on two memoirs–one of my life as a preacher’s kid and the other about being married for 30 years. If I could change one thing about the world of writing, it would be that I wouldn’t have to sell myself or my work. I wish I could finish something and the elves would descend from elf land to scoop up my manuscript and place it with the right publishing company. So my current project is getting my books published.
Writing Links Library:
What People Say:
“I loved Daffodils and Fireflies for many reasons. First, the characters are interesting, complex and smart. As you get to know them all, in spite of their secrets and flaws, you find yourself wanting them to find peace and happiness. I especially liked the main character, Betsy, who shares my name and also so many of my interests, including nature, travel, long walks and being by the water. She’s a mature and complicated woman who is haunted by a decision of the past, mourning the loss of her mother and in search of a lost father as well as fulfillment beyond her work. Even if you don’t relate to all that Betsy is, you will find a piece of her in you.” (Betsy Muller)
“Betsy’s story was one of heartache and resilience, a character that I was easily able to identify with. Her ability to see the good in her life and make the changes necessary, made her a stronger character than she thought she was. Claudia Taller painted a vivid picture of everyday life in northeast Ohio and its surrounding areas. She was able to capture what it was like for Betsy to live two separate lives, each totally different, but necessary for her to complete her journey. This book will inspire you to look beyond your everyday life for something you are missing and to let go of those things in your past that you cannot change.” (Beth G.)
“I loved this book. I couldn’t wait for Betsy to put together the pieces in her life. Her love and pride of her hometown was clear and being a fellow Clevelander, there are now new places I want to explore.” (Christina Evans)
“DAFFODILS AND FIREFLIES engaged me from the start. Taller’s excellent eye for detail, from the color of a baby’s shoes to enjoyable walks down memory lane for anyone who has lived in Northeast Ohio, creates an enjoyable kaleidoscope of persons, places, events and family entanglements, misunderstandings, love and heartbreak into a plausible and unexpected modern intrigue. Her storytelling never stopped turning unexpected corners all the way up to the heartening, but not “fairy tale,” ending. For me it was a very good read, a lovely and thought- provoking time well-spent with a quality story-teller’s most recent book.” (Lea Henderson-Neider)
“Daffodils and Fireflies is a story that reaches the depth of the spirit, the pain and solace in relationships, and the rebuilding of one’s life. It will pull you in and not release you until the finale. A great read. (Craig Andrews)
“A well-written novel that reads like memoir. The death of her mother ignites changes as Elizabeth shares her personal story–the tragedies as well as the triumphs. In her own words, Elizabeth takes us on her life journey that is both touching and relatable.” (Deanna Adams)
“Be careful not to let the title mislead you. This is a book for anyone, especially those who are challenged to find peace and meaning from the stress in their lives. Claudia is a mentor and a friend who helps you discover that perfection can be messy, uncomfortable, exhausting and unexpected . . . Claudia made a commitment to notice and write about the perfection in her life for 30 days straight during a time filled with the challenges of family, marriage, work, organizing a writers retreat, caring for her terminally ill father and a hurricane-related power outage! Claudia is a superb writer with an authentic voice for a woman who has a very full life. She remains bravely honest throughout the events of those 30 days. (Betsy Muller) “A gifted writer, Claudia J. Taller draws the reader into a very personal look at her inner life–her joys and struggles with managing the challenges of her life in a way that holds meaning to her soul. As she sets out to have 30 perfect days and write about each one, life itself intruded with its plans! Taller deals with these obstacles by going deeper than their face value to gain insight into the patterns behind the problems and to find the places in her own heart that needed to shift into greater acceptance and forgiveness of self and others . . . My favorite part was where Taller asked her writing class, “If you could have four other lives, what would they be?” Unabashedly honest, reading this book helps a person be more accepting of life as it is, while simultaneously seeing how shifting our own attitudes can make it better.” (Barbara Stone)
“Taller’s honesty on the page and meditative voice make for compelling reading. She allows us into her life in an intimate way, yet her writing touches on universal themes.” (Marsha McGregor)
“Often when life feels mundane, boring, not enough, nothing but checking off items from to-do lists, and a robotic series of events between getting up and going to bed, Taller’s words gently reveal to us the joys and the simple “perfections” in our ordinary lives. It’s like she’s holding a piece of beautiful beach glass in her hand, opens her palm, and shares its splendor with you. “Ah, yes, I see. That IS in my life. You’re right. Thank you for showing it to me.” The quotes at the beginning of each chapter set the tone for the theme. Through her life stories, she raises questions we’ve all asked ourselves, gently nudging the reader to find their own answers. An accomplished author, each brief chapter is written in a comfortable and conversational tone and can be read as a daily reflection or in one sitting. I recommend both. I read it completely through and now it sits on my desk where I often pick it up, read a chapter, write down my thoughts, and am reminded: I do live perfect days. Taller’s “30 Perfect Days: Finding Abundance in Ordinary Life” will help you appreciate that while our ordinary lives may be simple, there is abundance and perfection, after all. (Trudy Brandenburg)
“As the title suggests, this book explores the idea of capturing a month of perfect days. But life often trumps our plans, so it is the book’s subtitle that is the true theme. Author Claudia Taller reminds us that while jobs, marriage, children, and the needs of older parents can challenge our mind, it’s up to us to nurture our souls. To find abundance and joy in the perfect moments that are indeed there everyday – if only we can let go of ego, worry, insecurities, and those complex emotions that plague us all. Not an easy task and not always accomplished. But Claudia lets the reader into her personal world to show how it can be done. If not for an entire day, at least in those cherished perfect moments that ultimately define our lives.” (Deanna Adams)