Writing and reading–or more to the point, reading my own writing. Out loud. Recorded for public consumption. Oh my! How did that happen?

My short, somewhat tongue-in-cheek essay, “Real Real Red, or, Goodbye to All That,” was recently published in the Australian print journal, Skive, its farewell issue after ten years of publication. More than 100 authors are represented in this send-off anthology, a tribute to publisher Matt Ward.

To promote the issue, Matt asked several of us to record our work. “Real Real Red” is linked here, and other audio readings are linked on Skive’s website.

How’s that for ending the year on a high note? In fact, it’s been a fantastic year for me, and I consider myself fortunate beyond belief. Thanks to friends and readers for your support and encouragement. Here’s wishing one and all a happy and healthy and creative new year.

Three generations of girl meets boy – everything changes and everything stays the same. After writing about on-line dating last year in “Kissing Frogs,” I thought it would be fun to make some comparisons and observations, keeping it in the family. The double entendre helped. “Got a Match?” has been published in the just-released fall issue of Prairie Wolf Press Review, linked here.

Has it really come to this – writing about root vegetables?

I’m quite tickled (rhymes with pickled, which is one of the things you do with them) that “The Last Turnip” was accepted for publication in the journal Souvenir. It’s linked here. Be sure to scroll all the way down, beneath my photo, to see the “souvenir” referred to in the story. Thanks to Ava for sharing the experience with me and for the photo.

Virginia Woolf isn’t in this essay, but she wrote a lot about food, knowing, as I’ve discovered, how it captures so much of life. In a letter to a friend, she said: “Why is there nothing written about food—only so much thought? I think a new school might arise, with new adjectives and new epithets, and a strange beautiful sensation, all new to print.”

You’re probably wondering – can this be beet? And what will turnip next? Stop me if you carrot all…

My friend and neighbor, San Diego and Santa Fe artist Kirby Kendrick, created her blog to inform and educate her readers about art and artists–the big picture. She posts about art history, art’s role in society, and the interplay of all the creative arts, including music and literature.

Knowing about my Woolfomania and about Virginia Woolf’s connections to the arts, Kirby asked me to write a couple of guest posts about Woolf and her milieu. The first one, “Virginia Woolf: Who’s Afraid of Art?,” is linked here.

While you’re there, you may want to look over Kirby’s site–check out KA-POW!, her graffiti-inspired installation–and subscribe to her bi-weekly blog posts. You never know what you might find–she’s written about ballet and basketball, the art of the telephone, understanding cubism, and more.

Shopping in thrift stores has, over the years, been a hobby, a challenge and a budget-stretching activity – “now more than ever” (to cite a well-worn line of hype) in retirement. As much fun as the shopping itself was writing about it and watching Barbra’s renditions of “Second Hand Rose” on YouTube for inspiration.

My essay, “Second Hand Pearls … Second Hand Curls” was published this summer in the annual print journal upstreet. And here it is!

Writers often are embarrassed by their early work; they cringe at their rough edges, their lack of polish, & wish they could take it back and rewrite it, or disown it, bury it. But of everything I’ve written, I think I’m fondest of my first published piece, “Seventh Inning Stretch,” flaws and all. Maybe because it encompasses much of what I hold dear. And checking early memories with my brother brought us closer than we’ve ever been–that alone makes it special.

So I was delighted when Stymie, an online journal that focuses on sports in literature, asked to republish it. Here it is, “Seventh Inning Stretch” in its second incarnation, not really a double header, but I had to come up with a baseball analogy.

In May I had the honor of being named the National Award Winner by City Works, the annual literary anthology published  by  San Diego City College. At a launch party and awards ceremony, I joined student winners and authors from both the college and the community in reading from our work.

My winning piece, a personal essay called “In the Balcony,” (linked here), is proof that everything in our lives is potential material, but past relationships can be a goldmine, allowing you to laugh at yourself and exact a bit of revenge if appropriate. Remember to take notes!

The journal itself is beautifully designed and produced by SDCC students. The artwork on this year’s cover includes an excerpt, in Spanish and English, from Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to Peace and Quiet”:

Nothing on earth lacks a voice:
when we close
our eyes
we hear
things that slither,
creatures that are growing,
the creaking
of unseen wood,
and then
the world,
earth, heavenly waters,
air:

I’ll drink to that…

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