I’m winning the lady lottery when you clap for my stories

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration Valeriy Kachaev — Dreamstime.com

I feel like I’ve won the LADY LOTTERY — cha-ching as claps reveal that anyone is interested in what I have to say. Seriously, thank you so much for reading, responding and for sharing.💋

There’s a short list of female authors who’ve hit the big time later in life and it’s possible (but not likely) that I’ll join Isak Dineson, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Annie Proulx, Harriet Doerr, Anna Sewell, Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Strout, Sue Monk Kidd, Helen DeWitt, and a few others. Even building this small group of notables was challenging (but thanks @jennybhatt). …

I’m one of the 12 million unemployed people in live events, one tiny cog among so many whose lives braked to a full stop in March. People across the industry are working to breathe life into it, but will it come soon enough for us?

Image for post
Image for post
Coachella 2017: My Festival Transport — photo of the author

When the SXSW festival was canceled, I was just weeks away from working at my 14th Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, among the country's largest music experiences. My colleagues and I watched in horror as, one by one, events were canceled. But the shuttering of both festivals, which draws more than 800,000+ revelers over three weekends in April, was the giant that shook the music industry. …

Taking care of everyone in the family requires better planning during COVID-19.

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration 58342869 © Olha Primovich Hrabar | Dreamstime.com

Her green eyes followed me as I paced the hospital room with the phone against my ear, talking to the doctor. She was quiet and frightened: a fragile child wearing a scratchy blue gown. Her tousled blonde hair and pale face peeked out above the sheets; the large bed swallowed her tiny frame.

“I’m cold,” she said in a thin voice, afraid to admit this because I’d begged her to bring a sweater from home.

“When will you learn to listen to your mother,” I chided her, mimicking the sing-song voice I’d heard for years and was now repeating back to her. …

How ‘Saudade’ describes what I’m feeling right now

Image for post
Image for post

Every day I roll words around in my head like glass marbles. I examine them, I flick them across a room, aiming to hit on one that feels right. I’m trying to express the feeling I’m having, the one many of us are having at this moment.

We’re seven months into living with COVID-19, we’re worried about the election and our future, and we’re missing friends and family. We feel an emptiness, a longing, and maybe even a physical ache.

We’re reflecting on the past but desperately trying to be hopeful for a better tomorrow. Because we need one.

Last year, my daughter’s Portuguese friend came to live with us. She taught us the word SAUDADE. There’s no perfect translation in English and yet it’s the perfect word for now. …

Don’t believe the idioms, let’s look deeper in 2021

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration Yuliya Bruy https://www.dreamstime.com/"

It’s Mercury Retrograde right now and, since it’s influence may continue through election day, I’m going to be more careful when communicating here on Medium. For this post, specifically, I’m choosing my words carefully using the tried and true statements of others.

Here’s what I want to share:

I’ve been worrying about taking off my rose-colored spectacles and setting down my half-full glass. I’m afraid that if I keep putting on a happy face, I won’t be ready if the clouds don’t have a silver lining. Even worse, it may get darker before the dawn.

Please don’t think I’ve buried my head in the sand. I just don’t want to believe we’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop. …

How the platform’s new design lets us strut our stuff

Image for post
Image for post

Joining Medium last month has been like opening a book in the middle, walking into a movie late, or even worse, striding into the high school cafeteria as the new girl. So much had already happened over here; I realized it would be hard to ever catch up. It also takes a while to figure out who the cool, popular writer kids are and I’m just finding my way around this new town.

I signed up to take Tom Kuegler Medium Mastery class because who doesn’t need more money right now? …

What taking off my clothes revealed —and it wasn’t my skin

Image for post
Image for post
Loganban http://www.dreamstime.com

It’s true. I was a Mad Hussy.

From my sky-high heels and lacy fishnet stockings to my silky black elbow-length gloves and red satin, black-feathered bustier — I was all Hussy. With a capital H. Photos of me, snapped by men and women, are probably immortalized all over Austin.

M.H. was bold, outrageous, and so damn sexy. She taught me many things — from the smallest skills of stripping while singing to bigger life-lessons that I still follow. She was everything I wasn’t. …

Dispatches from A Life: Here’s How It Began

Image for post
Image for post

Here’s how it begins:

Cocoa-colored hands. Helping hands, bathing hands, cleaning and cooking hands, working hands. These are Georgia, peanut-picking hands. These are Mary’s hands.

I’m two. Mary holds me on her hip while she cleans the house, while she makes everything smell lemon-scented. Mary makes the best fried chicken and sweet potato pie, she makes the whole house smell like spice and marshmallows. Mary tells everyone I’m her baby, she smooths me over with almond oil and pats me down with powder. …

I Slammed Into A Good Intentions Ditch

Image for post
Image for post
PHOTO: © Daliu80 | Dreamstime.com

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

Who hasn’t used that phrase at least once? Please tell me that I’m not the only do-gooder, want-to-help-others person who’s stepped out too far and sailed into an abyss of self-made destruction. It wasn’t the cinematic Thelma and Louise Grand Canyon either — Ridley Scott smartly cut to the credits so we didn’t have to watch them crash and burn.

I was Flamed by a Woman I Knew

Before my estrogen-rich body was left smoldering by the side of the road, I thought I was a Mom like everyone else. I struggled with parenting issues, doubted my decisions, and questioned my rules. Then a friend started a monthly support group — like Mommy & Me — but without the teens. What a great idea! I decided to start one for Moms in the lower grades! …

At the Worst of Times, Our Family Found Light in the Darkness

Image for post
Image for post
Image: Nataliia Bielous www.dreamstime.com

The shadowy figure of divorce had been skulking around the corners for months while everyone ignored its presence, pretending to greet each day like the one before. It left a trail of darkness but light fought hard to find me.

We called him Dr. Whatsit, Dr. Watchamacallit, Dr. Wet Your Pants. We called him names to escape the reality of who he really was. The new boyfriend, the interloper, the replacement father.

Although we had known him as our mother’s business partner, the cantor in our congregation, the psychiatrist whose home we’d dined at for Passover— this new definition was undefined in our own lives. …



Former movie popcorn server, singing telegram, celebrity publicist, marketing maven and event producer. Finally adding writer to the list. @muddygirlmedia.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store