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

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). …

ID 173407265 Raman Maisei Dreamstime.com

It would be like sitting too long in a hard chair. Or trying to walk with a pebble in my shoe. A forgotten tag in a new blouse that scratched at my back. I thought that grief would be like that. A magpie funeral. Uncomfortable and painful — but temporary.

Death was still a stranger then.

It hung around the edges. Whisked away someone I knew in high school, but we hadn’t been friends. I don’t think I went to the memorial service.

I was 21 when my grandfather died. Cancer had reduced him, shriveled him up so he fit into a twin bed in the…

Illustration 21568302 © Ateliersommerland | Dreamstime.com

The tiny hand-painted doors and mushroom-shaped houses are nestled at the base of Ficus tree trunks, constructed inside pots or shyly peeking out under hedges. I search the small pathways and wee ladders for signs of footprints: proof of the fairies, gnomes and mythical creatures who’ve moved into our neighborhoods.

After a year when urban vegetable gardens have been both therapy and food source while we huddled in our homes, fairy gardens have again become a delightful trend as we emerge from our reclusive COVID-19 year and head back outside for Spring.

Recently I’ve spotted a growing number of miniature…

I’ve been happily married for 28 years. OK, truthfully, most of it has been happy. What long marriage hasn’t been dented a bit? Still, I wouldn’t trade it for the single life. This is why, as we approach yet another pandemic Hallmark holiday, I’m focusing outward to help others find love.

This is a heartfelt Valentine to all the women still searching for their person.

Meet Rob: he’s my FUSBAND — a wonderful man for someone else. Maybe someone out there!

It’s not a typo. FUSBAND.

The endearment started as a joke — FUSBAND and FIFE. As faux husband and faux wife, we’ve been an…

If we’d learned from BABY X perhaps society would be further along

Illustration 114005513 © M-sur | Dreamstime.com

I grew up in Texas, where football was at the top of the sports heap, and other athletes scuffled for attention. Players wore their tight-fitting jerseys for Friday pep rallies while our silky-haired cheerleaders twirled their short skirts on the sidelines. Everyone else ogled these high school and college celebrities.

I never imagined that one day, a talented female soccer player would be kicking off for her college football team as Sarah Fuller did for Vanderbilt. I certainly never thought I’d hear unreserved support for transgender athletes as I did today when U.S …

We’ll have memories instead of music in April

Photo by Author

If you know, you know.

First Time: That Festival in the Desert

I don’t know my way the first time. I don’t realize that the wind farm will become my guidepost. The ribbon of highway will lead me past it; I’ll stare at the white metal blades slicing the pale blue sky. So many of them, as far as the eyes can see. Later I’ll look it up and learn; these giant windmills power most of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. Hundreds of them are standing guard at the edge of the desert.

I’m a stranger here, one of many thousands at a weekend of revelry — — we’re powered by…

Lighting the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool isn’t enough

Illustration © Rachell Coe https://www.dreamstime.com

The first funeral I ever attended was for my Grandfather. Standing by his graveside on a steamy Miami morning, I paid attention to the despair surrounding me. Tears quietly streamed down my Grandmother’s face; my mother and her sisters bowed their heads. I cringed as the mounds of dirt thumped onto the coffin shoveled by each one of us. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I was 24 years old; fortunate to make it into my second decade before shaking hands with grief.

Driving home, I watched cars speed by and marveled that everyone was oblivious that we were trapped…

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?

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…

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

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…

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

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.



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

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