Story Time Teaser

(Help a writer out here) I’ve written before about how much I like writing contests. They can provide challenge, inspiration, and, if you win or get a mention, a big whacking shot of confidence — something every writer except possibly James Patterson could use more of. Some contests have themes. Some have words or first sentences you have to use. Some have a prompt, like the one I recently entered on Vocal.media: Write a story about someone who wakes up on a train. They have no ticket and no memory of how they got there. Oh, and one more thing:…

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An Invitation to the Middle Class

Bill Gates, come on down Bill Gates is giving away his money On a recent Twitter thread, he announced that he’s giving another $20 billion —yes, that’s billion with a “b” — to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill and Melinda are no longer a thing, marriage-wise, but they continue to co-chair their foundation. With their new gift, and Warren Buffett’s recently announced annual $3.1billion kick-in, the foundation is now worth about $70 billion. As Tristan Bove reports in Fortune magazine, this new injection of capital allows for a healthy increase in the foundation’s charitable payouts, as well as…

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Tooting My Horn

I’m interviewed on a podcast! I’ve hyped Crow’s Feet previously One, because I think its positive, honest, anti-ageism theme is important — and two, because I’m one of its producers. And in this episode, I’m the guest interviewee! Warren Turner, another member of the Crows Feet team who is both a skilled writer and a lovely gentleman, is the host. Full confession: since this episode is about me, promoting it makes me feel shy. But am I going to let that stop me? Nope. I’m really proud of the Crow’s Feet team and the production values of the podcast they’ve…

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Aging in Style

3 lessons from my denim jacket I’ve had this jacket for over 35 years In clothing years, that makes my denim jacket a bona fide elder. But it would be wrong to call it a vintage jacket. It’s not some quaint item from a bygone era that gets trotted out and worn for nostalgia or as a period piece. My denim jacket has been in continual service for as long as I’ve had it, and it remains as much a staple of my wardrobe as it ever was. When I bought that jacket I was out-to-here pregnant. I wore it…

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Life In Escrow

Life In Escrow

Existential adventures in standby I’m the person who boards your flight last Or, close to last. Not because I overslept or missed a connection from another airline or I couldn’t find the right gate. I’m what the airlines refer to as “non-rev” or “space available” or, in civilian parlance, a standby passenger. It’s a perk of being the parent of an airline pilot. I can book my husband and myself on a flight going anywhere the airline flies, for next to nothing. This is exactly as awesome as it sounds. Fly down to the high school reunion instead of drive?…

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What’s Wrong With Me?

What’s Wrong With Me?

I’m grieving — for my country I’ve felt this, on and off, since 2016 There were intimations of it even long before that; waves of disquiet and dread during the second Bush administration as it used the national tragedy of 9/11 as an excuse to plunge us into a baseless war for oil in Iraq. Indeed,ripples of my civic angst ripple back through time to my sense of foreboding the day Ronald Reagan was elected. In each instance, I’ve had the chilling recognition that the ground beneath me was shifting. That my understanding of the country I live in, and…

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Now Hear This!

Now Hear This!

I’m proud to be part of a new podcast I thought I had enough on my plate, but then . . . Crow’s Feet: Life As We Age is a publication on the Medium.com platform, and it’s one I began contributing to last year. I was drawn to it because of its focus — aging, after all, is something we’re all doing, and if we’re lucky we’ll be doing it for many years. Once I’d discovered it, I kept coming back to it due to the caliber of its articles and the writers who create them. Nancy Peckenham is the…

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I’m Living in a Simulation!

I’m Living in a Simulation!

It’s lovely, but can I trust it? I know better than to believe what I see I write this as I’m sitting on the patio of our corner lot, gazing out at the linden trees and honey locusts that reach from opposite edges of the street to touch their leafy tips, shading the sidewalks. Neighbors wave greetings as they walk their dogs or ride their bikes past our house. Front porches sport inviting chairs among pots spilling with early summer blooms. Flags flutter from brackets and balconies — some Stars and Stripes, some rainbows, some declaring the household’s embrace of…

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The Newest Culture War: Horse vs. Cow

The Newest Culture War: Horse vs. Cow

Seriously, this is happening Lots of schools have switched mascots Since the early 1970s, as American institutions of higher learning have recognized the insensitive and downright racist nature of their mascots — which so often denigrated Native Americans — they have ditched those symbols in favor of more benign ones. Marquett University commendably abandoned its odious “Willie Wampum” mascot in 1971 to become the “Warriors” —and in 1994 retired that moniker in favor of “Golden Eagles”. Stanford switched from “Indians” to “Cardinals” in 1972. The U of Massachusetts changed from “Redmen” to “Minutemen” the same year. Dartmouth went from “Indians”…

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