A published author who has enjoyed the craft of writing for many years recently published a book with 34 short stories that are both funny and true.
Jeannette Batko, a retired Wisconsin Realtor of 32 years, rented a home on Pine Island for five years before moving into Cape Coral. Although she no longer lives on the island, she remains an active member of the Pine Island Writers, a group that meets every Monday night at St. John's Episcopal Church.
When Batko finally retired three or four years ago, she said it gave her an opportunity to pursue creative activities that had grabbed her attention in years past.
Jeannette Batko, a member of the Pine Island Writers, published a book that recently came out called “Cow Path to Heaven.”
One of the activities included writing, which she said she has done for many years. After joining the Pine Island Writers five years ago, her love for writing blossomed even more as she received friendly critiques of her work.
"I have to credit Pine Island Writers," Batko said. "Their gentle critiques and help have really encouraged me."
Her book, "Cow Path to Heaven," was inspired by ideas she accumulated from "talk-stories" she had with other individuals.
"I like hearing stories," she said.
Her daughter, Laurie Mosher, a watercolor artist, designed her front and back cover of the book. She said she is excited how it turned out.
It took Batko about a year to coordinate her stories because it was an accumulation of short stories she had written throughout the years. Some of the stories in the book, she explained took place at different locations on the island - the Tarpon Lodge being one of them.
The title of the book was named after the first short story in the book "Cow Path to Heaven," which is about a youngster who learns about paths in Sunday school.
In addition to the Pine Island Writers, Batko meets with two professors and published authors, Marsha Perlman and J.D. Daniels, once a week to further critique her work.
Batko said her next adventure is meeting with a storytelling group in Fort Myers, which she is excited about because it's great fun to read stories out loud. She said she will read her own stories out loud during the group.
Her creative side also spans to acrylic painting and quilting. Batko said she painted the pole that is across from the Moose Lodge, which has a picture of a girl painting the pole.
The book, which is currently available at amazon.com, will be available at the library in a couple of weeks. Individuals can also purchase the book by calling Batko at 239-242-6606 or by sending her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.