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Open Book.

Our Team

Margo McKenzie.jpeg

Margo McKenzie


In junior high school, Margo gravitated toward writing. But first, she pursued a career with the NYC Department of Education as a high school English teacher, assistant principal,  principal, and founder of two small schools. Retirement freed her to write. But she didn't stop growing. Margo extended her professional development in Bethany Theological Seminary's theopoetics program where the book Psalms to Write By: Reflections, Prompts, Strategies was birthed (coming out in May 2024).  She completed an MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University as a recipient of the Mitch and Lynn Baumeister Scholarship Award where she fine-tined a novel. In addition, she received certification as an editor from the University of Chicago to help others polish their writing because words are powerful. Written with clarity and precision, beauty and truth, she hopes the writings on this website–, these gifts of words–warm, enlighten, and brighten your day.

Margo McKenzie Bio

Writer and Editor


Tiffany Joyner

Advisory Team

Tiffany Joyner is a native from Brooklyn, New York but currently lives in Philadelphia. She has been an educator for the past 15 years and is currently serving as Dean of Students at a Christian School in the Pocono mountains


Her first book, Furry Mouse was published in 2020. She is also the Founder of Straight from his Plate, a Christian Writer’s group that started in 2007. Her second book, Nosy Josie will be released Summer 2023. Furry Mouse serves to offer young people an opportunity to address their fears along with strategic solutions in conquering them.

Tiffany Joyne Bio

Marilyn Dikkers

Advisory Team

My name is Marilyn Dikkers,  and I am pleased to be an advisor on The Gift of Words website.


Words are indeed a gift. They are a gift God has given each of us to express our thoughts, feelings and ideas, and to connect with others. Words are also a gift we give each other, words of caring, understanding, knowledge, wisdom and encouragement.


I am a writer of sorts…. I’m especially a linguist, fluent in French and Dutch, and a very good proofreader and copy editor. As the daughter of a lawyer, I’m a logical thinker, and I focus on the meaning of words and on correct grammar and sentence structure, so that an intended message is clearly communicated.My childhood was relatively uneventful and sheltered. I read widely and I yearned to learn and experience more than my young life encompassed.


Horizons opened for me in college through study and meeting diverse individuals. I met and married a Dutch foreign student. We went to live in France, and I ultimately lived abroad for nearly 50 years, including two years in Zambia. While in France, I raised three sons, was active in Bible study and American associations, taught English, and traveled throughout Europe, some of Africa, Brazil and the Far East. I became a French citizen. Life and relationship challenges made me grow, brought me to a solid faith in Christ, and taught me how to overcome hardship.In my late sixties I returned alone to the United States to forge a new life. As I trusted God, I got to powerfully experience His faithfulness and provision. He supplied a wonderful home, gratifying employment, caring friends, meaningful occupations, and a loving, new husband!


Along my life’s journey, I have dabbled in writing about my life experiences, and have especially collaborated with others. I look forward in this forum to continue working with others as we make use of our precious Gift of Words.

Marilyn Dikkers Bio

Minister Deanna L. Garlic, M.S.

Advisory Team

Minister Deanna L. Garlic, M.S. is the Executive Director and Founder of Stay Focused Magazine, Inc. a NJ Nonprofit Corporation. Through this coaching business, she provides administrative management, leadership skills, writing instruction, and Christian-focused support to various types of businesses, individuals, ministries, and churches. Mrs. Garlic has assisted clients in publishing their books and is now becoming an author herself. Her vision for Stay Focused Magazine, Inc. is to see small businesses prosper using principles of the Christian Faith. Minister Garlic firmly believes staying focused is key to walking in purpose and living a full and productive life.


Mrs. Garlic is enthusiastically married to Edwin Garlic, Jr. and together they have one dynamic daughter, Diana.

Deanna L. Garlic
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