Marvel's Next Female Superhero

A Spectacular Fail

  I was raised to get married and have babies. Being female, that was to be the sum of my life accomplishments. They were the typical expectations of women for the time and place I was born, and it was tough going for me when I rebelled against them. I had to defy my parents in order to go to college, I became a pariah when I got my first divorce, I got worried looks when, married again, I held off having a child until I was over thirty, and the worry turned to judgement when I chose to have only one. My mother was annoyed, not proud, when I earned a teaching degree. My husband was annoyed, not proud when, after he relocated us to Greece, I quit a life-sucking job he wanted me to … [Read more...]

“a renaissance of wonder…”

  A thrilling moment for me in my writing career was to discover that my first published poem appeared in the same issue of New Press Literary magazine in which there a poem written by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I'd read about the Beat Generation of poets and rebels who founded a whole new way of producing literarture and who used their platform to promote many progressive ideas. I dreamed that one day, I'd visit City Lights bookshop in San Francisco, the bastion of their independent thought and creativity. City Lights was the inspiration of Peter D. Martin, who first used 'City Lights'—in homage to the Chaplin film—in 1952, as the title of a magazine, publishing early work by such … [Read more...]

Rise Up, Again

  "...[We learned] how to cook and bake and do all kinds of crafts. We cleaned our houses and fixed things we’d been meaning to take care of for years. We gardened. We learned how to use Zoom... We got creative with masks. We hid our smiles, but learned to smile with our eyes..." ~ Laurie McLean Though Laurie, who is the founder of Fuse Literary Agency and the Director of the San Writers Conference, wrote this for her writers, her words above will resonate with everyone. This was the year of change, all right. Much of it was not good, not good at all. But, we sure did learn. One of my newest colleagues is an actor who just turned twenty-five years old. His profession keeps him in … [Read more...]

Here’s a Thing to Tell a Daughter

  Today I want to talk about something I've never talked about before. It's important, but I should warn you, it's not sexual, per say, but it has to do with female body parts. So, now you know that, you might want to move on, but if you have a teenage daughter, you might want to keep reading. The internet can be a wonderful tool. There's oodles of misinformation at your fingertips--a false story travels six times faster than a true one on the world wide web--but with a little patience, a little digging, you can discover and learn all kinds of things you won't learn from sitting in your house, everything from what NASA discovered most recently, to how to make chocolate cake using … [Read more...]

Of Books and Cookies

    There was a bakery in Astoria, New York , called Ditmars Bakery. It looked a lot like the one in the photo. They had these chocolate chip cookies that were so big, my six-year old and I could share one and be content. Those cookies were the perfect texture, the perfect sweetness.   The bakery was right next to the library. Every Friday, we'd go to the library, get a ton of books, and then go next door and have that cookie together. My son loved the library part of the experience even more than he loved the cookie. In fact, sometimes, he'd stay in the library so long--I'm talking hours--I had to lure him out of there with the promise of a cookie "before the bakery … [Read more...]

Dear Young People

  Dear Young People, Here is my message to you: Up until last week, I believed that many who had voted for Trump, people I know and love, would never, under any circumstances, condone someone crossing state lines with an automatic weapon to go to a protest and kill two people. I would never have believed that this sort of indoctrinated hatred and lawlessness would be something they could defend. But two things happened in the past few days that have shown me that I'm naive, and that people are dishonest about their true intentions: The first is that over 200 thousand dollars has been raised by a so-called Christian group and a far-right party for Kyle Rittenhouse's defense. The … [Read more...]

12 Things I’ve Learned from Life and Facebook

  1.  Comparing oneself to others can make us envious, insecure, or smug. None of these makes a good fashion statement. 2.  If the goal you're striving for is one you truly care about it, you’ll lead a life of passion. If it’s to impress others, you’ll lead a life of emptiness. 3.  Most of us are not evil, but too many of us are wary of the unknown, afraid of change, or ill-informed. 4.  Acquaintances and colleagues: There are those who’ll try to help you, those who’ll try to sabotage you, and those who have issues that may cause them to be toxic. Be thankful for the first group, and pay it forward. Ignore the second two groups, but remember who they are. 5.  Share … [Read more...]

It Takes a Catalyst

  The tweet below by Dr. April C. Armstrong ignited one of the most thought-provoking conversations on Twitter today. It's easy to dismiss what someone says if you don't particularly like that person. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a polarizing character. However that speech she gave resounded with women across all aisles. And no one echoed my thoughts about what she said more than Dr. April C. Armstrong in this tweet. I didn't realize I'd been raised to accept abuse. Not only from men, but in general, and that did spill over into my earlier relationships with men, even into some of my earlier friendships, and too often in my early work environments with some toxic bosses and … [Read more...]

We’ll Meet Again, Vera

  Today, June 18, 2020, Vera Lynn passed on. She was 103.  This past May, Dame Vera became the oldest person to enter the U.K.’s top 40 music charts, with her greatest hits album coming in at number 30 ahead of VE Day, the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Vera was known as the Allied Forces Sweetheart, the iconic voice of WWII. During the war, she spent her time traveling to all corners of the earth to entertain the Allied soldiers.  The song she made famous, "We'll Meet Again" was a song that comforted many who were away from home, and those whose loved ones would never return.  In an address to the nation shortly after the U.K. government imposed a coronavirus … [Read more...]

Standing in Solidarity? Really?

  And here's the post that most likely will end Patricia's career in publishing. But, it has to be said, so here goes: The publishing powers that be have "embraced" the #BlackLivesMatter movement. All of us authors have received email after email about big publishing houses standing in solidarity, big, national writers groups standing in solidarity, etcetera. And that's great. But, have they, really? And if they have, why did it take nationwide outrage before they noticed how demeaning, demoralizing, and downright UNFAIR this industry is to writers of color?   Here's what I know about my industry's historic and systemic whiteness:   Nearly 80 percent who work in publishing … [Read more...]