Toni Leland's News for October

Yes, October. Once the summer season finished, the weeks flew by, filled with interesting assignments and fabulous weather for taking photographs. As a freelance writer, my work is always due about 45 days ahead of publication, so sometimes it's hard to write about cool weather events when the temperatures are in the 90s!

During September, I made several visits to historic Olde Mistick Village for the opportunity to describe and share this popular Connecticut destination. Interviews with local family businesses included Valenti Motors and Mallove's Jewelers were featured in both The Day newspaper and Aspire magazine.  Connecticut Horse published my story about Tessa Malloy, a 16-year-old Branford teen who won a championship at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association national show.

Cheese Bar at the Newport Festival. Yum!
Fun personal events included a trip to the Tantaquidgeon Indian Museum, the New London Maritime Festival, and an unforgettable first visit to Block Island. Back at work, I covered the Newport Wine & Food Festival for Connecticut Lifestyles.

October brought warm temperatures to New England, so much so that all the summer clothes stayed The Day's feature magazines.
put in the closet! More story assignments included Ocean House in Westerly, Rhode Island, and a New London restaurant, 2 Wives Brick Oven Pizza, published in

The great weather was perfect for some outdoor events, as well. Wearing my UConn Master Gardener hat, I worked the information booth at the Eight Mile Riverfest at Devil's Hopyard in Haddam. I continue to study and learn about all the subjects that are important to us and our environment. I attended a UConn-sponsored invasives symposium to learn about the non-native plants and animals that could threaten our ecological balance. As a follow-on, I presented some of this information to the Hillcrest Garden Club, focusing on the invasive plants in our own backyards.
Another interesting class in October was a presentation at the Middlesex Extension Office about Meditation or Peace Gardens. Most inspiring!

Finally, on a personal writing note, I spent a full day immersed in the craft of writing mysteries. Wesleyan University hosted the first Mysterium Conference and I hope there'll be many more!