Bedside Conversations

“Mom, I want you to know that I don’t harbour any ill will toward our past. If I seek to know what happened, it is only to understand myself so that I might heal.” Mom nods, considers my words. “There is so much I could have done differently.” “No. You did what you could with […]

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“Apprenticed to Venus”: a Review

Subtitled My Secret Life with Anaïs Nin, Apprenticed to Venus is the part memoir, part novel of Tristine Rainier, who mentored under the famous diarist. Although  I have been inspired by Nin’s words, I have known very little about her, so I was eager to read this book.  Rainier, on an errand from her artist aunt, encounters […]

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Another Piece Published

(The Story Circle Network published two of my pieces in their quarterly e-journal.  The category is “True Words” and the following article plus my poem “Retirement” were both accepted. ) Dead Ends and Surprise Beginnings The emails started arriving the morning after I presented at the regional conference—invites and accolades validating my life’s passion. Here I […]

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“Hillbilly Elegy” Worth a Read

J.D. Vance grew up in white working-class America, with roots in Kentucky.    His memoir is an examination of what happens when substance abuse, rampant unemployment, and lack of parental stability strips children of the perspective to strive for better in their lives. Although Vance did rise above his tumultuous beginnings and graduated from Yale Law, […]

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“Beautiful Affliction” Resonates

The riddle closes in.  I can hear its heavy footsteps, echoing in my ears.  The dark brings out that which the day hides. (Excerpt from Beautiful Affliction) Lene Fogelberg knows what it is like to live with an undiagnosed medical condition and to be turned away time and again from doctors.  In Beautiful Affliction she […]

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Disability’s Rage

I am not always in possession of my own faculties and the resulting anger lashes out, mostly at my husband, whom I hope recognizes it is seldom personal. I hate myself in these moments – not all of me – just the malfunctioning parts. It happens when I overexert myself.  Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease is the new […]

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No One Will Ever Love You

A secret:  I had to teach myself how to receive love.  Born fifth of my mother’s six children, I was unexpected – an ill-advised accident, given the difficulties my mother had in previous child births.  Conceived during a tumultuous time – after the father of her first children abandoned her, beaten and penniless – I […]

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