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Native Chicagoan Charlene Wexler is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She has worked as a teacher and dental office bookkeeper and as “a wife, mom, and grandmother,” she said. In recent years, Wexler’s lifelong passion for writing has led her to create numerous essays as well as fiction. Her work has appeared in several publications, including North Shore Magazine, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry’s Vision magazine, Alpha Omegan magazine, and the Gazette newspaper of Chicago. Her first novel, Murder on Skid Row, received an Apex Award of Excellence from Communications Concepts in 2010. Charlene’s short story "Abracadabra Magic" received a "Very Highly Commended" rating in the AuthorsDen.com Tom Howard Prose Contest, 2009. Published as an e-book on Smashwords by Dailey Swan Publishing in November 2012, Milk and Oranges, Wexler's latest book, is a collection of short fiction and essays that examines life, love, and the tragedy and comedy of the human condition. Whether she is tackling fiction or essays, Wexler writes from the heart. With a keen eye for detail and a way of looking at the world a bit sideways, Wexler’s writings in Milk and Oranges entertain while they make you think. Click here. For Milk and Oranges, Wexler won a Grand Award in the 2012 Apex Awards competition sponsored by the writing and journalism think tank Communications Concepts of Springfield, VA, and a Bronze Award in the Women’s Issues Category in the eLit Book Awards competition sponsored by the publishing services firm Jenkins Group Inc. of Traverse City, MI. “I have always used writing as therapy,” Wexler said. “Now I have the time and opportunity to pursue it as a career.” Charlene is active with the Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity, the Authors Marketing Group, the Chicago Writers Association, Children’s Memorial Hospital philanthropy, Lungevity (an organization that fights lung cancer), the McHenry Bicycle Club, the Museum of Science and Industry, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Richmond IL Book Club, the Jewish United Fund, and the University of Illinois Alumni Association. She and her husband, dentist Dr. Sam Wexler, live in Richmond, IL. Her son, dentist Dr. Mike Wexler, daughter-in-law, and three granddaughters, live in Arizona. Her advice for other aspiring writers—even grandmothers like herself—is to “follow your dream. You can do it, and it’s never too late.”