Essay Archives2021-04-06T18:27:46+00:00


If I have learned anything over the past eighteen months, it is the simple fact that life can change in unexpected ways in the space of a hiccup. Making plans to travel, sending deposits for tickets, and planning to attend conferences, may or may not work out. Yet I persist, penciling in dates and researching airplane flights, trusting in the belief that things will work out as they should. In other words, I’m an optimistic pantser! Is this any way to go through life?

Let’s take a look at the options…in life as well as in writing.

Working under the assumption (obviously a questionable word choice 🙂 ), that outlining, or planning ahead, will bring positive results, it is possible to craft […]

July 31st, 2021|Essays, Uncategorized|

Are We Really Back To ‘Normal’?

As I sit to write this post, Independence Day beckons. News stories about picnics, gatherings, and fireworks abound. How comfortable do we feel moving among a crowd when we know so little about the health and vaccination history of the people crowding around us? I confess to a bit of trepidation, yet I have already stepped out, joining other writers for an event in Columbus June 24. Almost everyone removed their masks, and the atmosphere was one of celebration and thanksgiving. We the people were back together, filled with hope and the promise of that return to normalcy everyone continues to mention.

But what is normal? As a writer, I have spent the past eighteen months in my definition of  ‘normal,’ […]

June 30th, 2021|Essays|

Slinking Into Summer

OMG, it’s June…summer sun, sweat, sandy beaches, sweet tea, and Slurpees…this year a languid slide replacing the frenzy of the regular routine…remember bursting from the schoolroom doors, cheering the arrival of the long vacation? With all things virtual that have filled our days, how, I wonder,  will it go this year?

Now, I do live in Ohio, so counting on normal on any given day is a little like playing craps. You shoot for a temperature point and hold your breath. This Memorial Day Weekend has been a bust…overcast, cold, dreary, not the celebratory opening to summer we Buckeyes dream about. Summer in my younger days meant the opening of the Struthers swimming pool, our town’s gathering spot for all ages […]

May 31st, 2021|Essays, Uncategorized|

Don’t Stop Believing

As I write this note, the two-inch snowfall melts outside the window, and the weatherman predicts temps in the twenties tonight. I have covered all my tender peas, lettuce, and spinach, but my heart quails at the prospect of losing blossoms on the tulip pear or on the pansies in the window box. Still, beneath the coverlet of white, spring trembles, preparing to begin again the rites of renewal and growth. And then that song plays in my head…”Don’t stop believin…”

I step away for a few days, and the world changes again. Near-80-degree temperatures yesterday and today make all the spring phlox pop. The clematis climbs the trellis and shoots forth pods that will become pink starflowers soon. Peonies spring […]

May 1st, 2021|Essays, Uncategorized|

Between You And Me: How to Dialogue Effectively

How are you? That much-maligned conversational opening has evaporated this past year, along with all the pleasantries that human interaction used to bring. I may not be typical, but the most contact I’ve had with others revolves solely around the virtual arena of Zoom and like platforms. I’ve missed the give and take of personal interaction during the past year of isolation. Face to face in the real world allows me to interpret facial reactions, gestures, body posture, tone, wording. An emoji is not fluid or personal. A computer screen is limited in who is seen and how they are truly reacting. The loss of that uniquely human sharing leads me, inevitably, to consider the importance of dialogue in my […]

March 31st, 2021|Essays|

Riffing On February

Oh, February, guardian of the gate between ice and thaw,

you scamper in with promises and leave before your time.

February may be the shortest month, but it carries weight. It is a time to celebrate love and presidents, hearts and history. Red is the color of the hour. Campaigns are waged for women’s cardiac health, a reminder that women’s heart problems have not always been treated with the same concern as men’s. Often, our complaints were dismissed, our insistence that something was wrong ignored. Finally, this month, there is overt recognition of the need for awareness and a different approach to women’s health issues.

February is also the month to celebrate Presidents, to recall the honorable service of […]

January 31st, 2021|Essays, Featured, motivational|
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