STUDY HALL: Write with us, beginning each Monday at 10 a.m.!

IMG_0259We check In each Monday here to give each other support and encouragement to work in those writing projects we might otherwise put off. Everyone is invited to join us by including below a brief comment about what you’re working on today. Afterward, please let us know how it went. If you can’t make it at 10 a.m., leave your comments when you can, before you start, by the Study Hall post dated today. Better late than never, better now than not at all!

Simone the Yorkie says, “We’re here for you!

China Apocalypse

The world probably knows by now that I am disabled and a bit elderly. That is, I’m a walking disaster about to happen. My family treats me as fragile and that’s fine with me, as long as they also love me and fear my wrath at the same time. I have spent a lot of years becoming formidable, and I don’t intend to lose that attribute now.

Which makes it particularly annoying to have to spend a good part of every morning figuring out what I can and cannot do that day.

Is this a minor China breakage or a Lenox Apocalypse kind of day? How many things will I drop and can I bend to pick them up? And if someone else has to pick them up for me, will I accept graciously? Gracious is also what I aspire to be, but it can be a struggle when I feel like a doddering old lady—my, my, what an awful thing to be in our society.

To be old is to be irrelevant. Most cashiers in most big box stores know this. Their eyes are busy roaming the oncoming lines for someone they might like to talk to instead of the Grey Panther in front of them. I make an effort to be gracious, nonetheless.

One of my younger female doctors recently completed a checklist audibly. “Sexually active, no.“ You can imagine how much I enjoyed startling her with a robust affirmative. With a large smile, of course, because one must be gracious.

Today is a possible China apocalypse day, so I am lying in my armchair with the heat and massage built in and working up to slowly, oh, so slowly, unpacking my husband’s grandmother’s China. It will happen one plate at a time, with both hands.

Sometimes I dream of twirling, and running, bouncing on trampolines, riding horses—anything that would send my family into hysterics if I actually attempted to do them.

Then I handle the China carefully and am, oh, so gracious while I serve whatever I have managed to concoct for dinner. A simple affair these days. But what leads up to it is always full of drama.

Return of the Loon

I’m baaacck! I’ve decided to revive this blog as best I can, disabled and addled and old as I am. Always be yourself, my grandmother told me. You have very little choice to be anything else, my peers say. Tune in for my matutinal thoughts, my continued efforts to educate the world about Roma and Native culture, my writing tips, and yes! Study Hall will be back! Listen to podcasts of some posts at


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Some great tips here to make camping needs by recycling everyday objects. I love ingenuity!

Source: Camping Hacks For Families |

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Write With Me Study Hall, Monday, November 28, 2016: Stay Tuned

Hello, Everyone. I think it’s wise to shake things up now and then. So I’ve decided to take a break through the holidays and think about whether and how I might want to continue these study halls. It seems I’m not reaching many people and if that’s so I’m failing at my goal of encouraging writers to feel less alone. Failing is a good opportunity to learn. So while I think, I’m open to your comments and suggestions. 

Also, I’ll be taking on a new/old responsibility in 2017 as a leader in Jane’s Stories Press Foundation, which I helped to found many years ago. I’m excited about our new plans to streamline the foundation’s activities, so I’ll surely be telling you more about that in the coming year. 

In the meantime, I’ll be doing all those fun holiday things with my children and grandchildren. I hope your holidays will be spectacular and that I’ll see you here in the New Year, in whatever form that might take.

Photo by Tim Schneider, used by permission

I just made this fantastic design with Canva for iPad!

Write With Me Study Hall, Monday, November 14, 2016: Love Letters & Apocalypse

Like. many of you out there, I’m still a bit stunned, but it’s time to pick ourselves up off the mat and get to work. Even though the landscape has changed around us, we must remember that this is real life, not the world in our head. 

We have options. As writers, we have the privilege of showing our readers a world that could be, whether for better or worse, or the world as we see it. We could hole ourselves up and write a diversion, much as J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan to exorcise the death of his brother, David.  Our response could be to write a fantasy in which all becomes right with the world. Or we could write the unvarnished, naked truth. 

I’m feeling more like the unvarnished, naked truth these days. I have a feeling that for the next few years, my favorite people will be satirists, or comedians. Wanda Sykes on Trump  

We’ll see what comes out.
Today, I will lay hands on my new novel, The Man Who Loved Chocolate

I will also write a little love letter to Hillary Clinton, who I’m sure isn’t getting enough love, and never enough appreciation, these days. If you’d care to join me in that venture, the address is:
Hillary Clinton, Post Office Box 5256, New York, NY 10185-5256

In Praise of Career Politicians

Smart thinking, Susanna! Just what I’ve come to expect from you. Thanks.

From the Seasonally Occupied Territories . . .

mocha chipComing home from grocery shopping yesterday, I pulled in to down-island Cronig’s to see if I could find a few things that Reliable either was out of (stew beef and no-beans chili) or doesn’t carry (Brigham’s mocha chip ice cream — the best).

Tobias Glidden, independent candidate for state representative, was outside talking with voters and passing out copies of his position paper. I stepped up and said that although I was actively supporting Dylan Fernandes, the Democratic nominee (which had to be obvious because I was wearing Dylan’s sticker on my shirt), I’d liked what Tobias had to say at the candidates’ forum this past August. It was good, I said, to have two qualified candidates running. The district would be well served no matter who won.

As I headed into the store, he said, “You know, I’m not planning to run for higher office.” I laughed and said…

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Monday at the Movies: No One Ever Gave Women the Right to Vote Edition

My friend, Sharon Gilligan, pointed out this incredible blog post to me, which says so eloquently why we must all vote, and vote for Hillary. For the ones who fought to give us this privilege, and those who could not join them. Vote. And vote for the woman. Think if we all had all done that for Shirley Chisholm, what our lives might have been.


Women weren’t “given” the right to vote.

Our great-grandmothers and grandmothers clawed it for us from the Patriarchy, one beating after another, one force feeding after another, one terrified night in a jail cell after another.  One wife threatening to tell what she knew, to never sleep with him again, to leave.  One mother guilt tripping her son, one sister calling in the childhood favor, one mistress swearing she’d go to the papers, one farmwife writing off the debt she couldn’t afford to write off and crediting it all to her great-great-granddaughters.

Here, at Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is thin, if you stop for just a moment, you can hear the women of your own blood calling out to you.  The women of your own line will talk to you:

I was too afraid to join them, but in my heart, I knew we deserved the vote…

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