Along with picturebooks about the alphabet, sleep-monsters, Goodnight, Moon, and Love You Forever, there are many books about seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter. Though they tell the same story over and over, still they sell, and still we buy, drawn to them. Why?
You know the books! With the sweetest illustrations ever — playing in snow and leaves and spring rain puddle boots.
For my three sons, there was one with ink and color drawing — cheering — and a watercolor, end-of-day, softening one. There was also the revolving door of library offerings. We chose, more often than not, a…
More often than not, when one brings up the topic of equality and equity between women and men, the wage gap is cited. Then the talk is of the need for more women leaders.
People who grasp that numbers and statistics don’t always tell actual stories — rarely, in fact — numbers are not words, not even when spelled out — might be able to discuss the nature of this, and discuss myths and truths and all that’s in between.
So… what about more women leaders in all work and political sectors? Gone are the days when we think of…
I am not a niche writer. I publish with some regularity for The Writing Cooperative, and for Middle-Pause. Also for P.S. I Love You, The Faculty, and others. Many pieces are about caregiving and ALS, about family relationships, teaching... I’ll set up themes below, and collected titles — not all — but ones you may have missed. Browse and enjoy. I appreciate your readership. You might even want to check out my books.
In sickness and in health
What does that mean? It wasn’t something I was thinking about, that hot August day in our backyard under the pear tree. I wore a green wedding dress that I’d discovered in an antique store, a week after telling my mother that green was the original color of wedding dresses before the advent of Queen Victoria. Fertility as opposed to purity.
The original wearer of the gown I bought was married in 1917, and my history-major-heart beat a little faster at that; I thought one had to be very brave to get married in the…
This past summer, this was the one way I heard live music: in the park, and on the beach, with a jazz standards group. Bring a blanket and bottle, enjoy the setting sun, the warmth on my back. Listening to tunes that have sustained for decades.
The idea of tithing is even older: take 10% of whatever we earn, and give it to something or someone we believe in. It used to be about the church. But let’s focus on the What you believe in piece. Or What sustains you.
I know I cannot live without music and literature, dance…
Empty pages and pencil shavings. Bad day. Yet to take a day off can become two days off, can become a week… and suddenly you are no longer writing.
So a few pieces to keep your head in those pages.
Bad writing days are good days to pluck out those pointless words.
Use the “find” feature on your computer — truly the writer’s friend. I can spend a day — easily — looking for the “And”s and “But”s that begin too many sentences.
The words “just,” “really,” “then”… Keep a list of your personal “tic” words. If you are not…
We are drowning in publishing choices. Actively arguing about them.
Self-publish: hard-copy or e-publishing. Traditional: the Big Four… or Three or whatever they are shrinking to as they gobble up each other; regional or small or literary publishers. So many options: this site; Substack; Patreon… drowning indeed.
My own published works are with a range of traditional. No Big Two yet, but recognized and long-established as well as small and literary. I’ve worked hard (understatement) for anything I have achieved as a writer.
I consider self-publishing for books I have written, that have garnered feedback and rejection from publishers, feedback…
Oh, this photo makes me yearn for not so long ago!
What to do with them, and what to do without them.
In my own family, it’s one of my three brothers who has decided he knows too much to be vaccinated. But whether a brother, aunt, or next door neighbor, our lives are now being divided by Vaccinated and Un-vaccinated.
A sister-in-law’s family is completely divided: her father is, mother isn’t, she is, and brother isn’t. (It sounds like song lyrics if you read it aloud…)
The holiday season looms. Maybe by then, some of us will be in…
This marks the first September in many years — too many years — that I will not be making my way to the University of British Columbia campus, and walking into my office in the creative writing school.
Has become a life of tedium. My passion for teaching and working with students has been shoved aside by unnecessary paperwork (oh the re-writing of syllabi), and ever deepening levels of paranoia (leave doors open to talk with students; bring in a third party; constant mini-courses to read and be tested on…resulting in a grade-school-mentality level “certificate” from those bored people in…
We are afloat in anger and rage and divisive ways of thinking. What life-saving rings can we grab hold of, and share with others to create what it is that we do want to see in our world?
When I’m teaching a writing class and talking about “conflict” and “tension” in story-telling, I use an exercise.
I tell the students to turn to the person nearest them, and give them the most horrible scowl and angry face they can come up with. “Give it to ’em,” I say, and they turn and do, and after a moment, they have to…