I should post a photo here of myself blushing, my eyes cast down demurely. So many of us go through life believing it’s bad form to toot our own horns, but hey, if we don’t, who will? I had two honors this month and learned about them on consecutive days, putting me on a cloud of cushioned cashmere. I want everyone to know & share my joy, so humility be damned.

First–and this one’s been my dream and goal since I started writing–my essay “My Quarrel with Grieving” was named one of the Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction in the Best American Essays of 2015. Permafrost, the journal in which it was published, has posted an announcement on their website. And here’s a link to the essay.

Then I was notified by The Tishman Review that they had nominated my essay “Solo in Seattle” for the Best of the Net Anthology. Here’s the good news from the horse’s mouth, and a link to the essay .

Now picture me taking a bow….




After having an essay published last year in Spry Literary Journal, I was invited to contribute to Spry’s ABC series. Writing for Beginners and Fiction Writing would be followed by the ABCs of Creative Nonfiction, and I could write on the letter of my choice.

I quickly claimed the letter “M” with its myriad manifestations–memoir, memory, motivation, and metaphor, to name just a few. And what about mentors and muses? I’d written a chapter, “A Muse of One’s Own,” for the 2014 book Writing after Retirement (yes, of course I spotlight Virginia Woolf!)–so I adapted it for this project.

My link is to the entire list–I’m reading through them, & you may want to do the same. My favorite so far is “A is for Accoutrements” by Spry’s editor, Erin Ollila. But before you get distracted, click here and scroll down to “M is for Mentors and Muses and Models, Oh My!”

What a brilliant concept, tailor-made for me–an exhibition that displays creative writing works about eating with original photographs to accompany each piece. Drawing from among my many food-related personal essays, I chose “Love at First Bite”–an homage to sushi nested in a recap of my love life, originally published in City Works Journal in 2012– as my submission, and it was one of thirteen works chosen, three of them prose and the rest poetry.

The installation is on exhibit at The Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky through the end of the year, though I’m not likely to find myself in Kentucky to see it. Happily it’s online, and you can see the whole exhibition here. Scroll down to find my piece and have a look at some of the other scrumptious works too. Unfortunately only thumbnail-size reprints of the photographs are shown on the site; the originals are gorgeous. Mine–I have a print–is a glistening jewel-like piece of salmon roe nigiri surrounded by delicate lace.


I’ve known a number of drunks & a lot of fools (most of us qualify at one time or another). I’ve always thought there was wisdom in the pairing of the two, although I don’t believe they’re under divine protection.

When I decided to write about booze in my life, the title was a given.

Here’s “Drunks and Fools,” freshly published in bioStories.

I supported myself and my family for many years thanks to my typing skill; now it’s the means to another end–my writing.

The two come together in my essay, “But can she type?”, published in April in the Seattle print journal, Crab Creek Review. Read it here.

I acknowledge in my essay that the topic has been done to death, & I ask what I could possibly add to it. My own take, that’s what, which draws not just from personal experience but from my reading: Virginia Woolf, of course, and others I admire–like Doris Grumbach and Rebecca Solnit–who’ve pondered and pontificated on the subject.

“Solo in Seattle” is the result, a meditation and homage, published in the latest issue of The Tishman Review. You’ll find it linked here, on pages 109-113.

With thanks to my friend and mentor, Priscilla Long, who not only makes my solitary retreat possible but whose encouragement and own writing are constant sources of inspiration. See you in July, Priscilla…!

My discovery of the obscure mid-20th-century novelist Isabel Bolton led to extensive research and an exploratory essay. I wasn’t surprised when early in my search I discovered critics’ comparisons of Bolton to Virginia Woolf, and when I read the first of Bolton’s modernist novels I could indeed see similarities in style and theme.

“In Search of Isabel Bolton” was jointly published this month by Bloom (linked here), one of my favorite sites for obvious reasons: a focus on late bloomers, qualified by the question “‘Late’ according to whom?”, and in the esteemed online magazine The Millions (linked here).

This project, on the heels of an earlier piece about Lillie Coit, is leading me into new territory in my writing, more research-based essays. I can hardly wait to see what happens next!