Was writing so much I got scared, so I stopped. Big mistake.

I can’t stop erasing this first sentence. My God, am I ever going to get out of this loop?

Few weeks ago I came back to my blog. I missed writing, or rather, I got tired of all the notebooks just sitting on my desk. When one filled, I’d reach for another and another, which was sort of fine, but eventually some part of me started wanting my writing to go further than my desk.  Some ephemeral, but essential, and equally fun part of being a writer was missing.  So I came back to the blog.

I started by doing some Blogging U exercises. God I’d forgotten home much fun it is to create a post, to be gently pulled. To lose track of hours. To be engaged in that way—I’ll just say it: it’s better than sex. And I’ve has some, you know, great. Um. Whatever.

All fine except I noticed I hadn’t left the house in three days, then four. I was forgetting to eat until late at night, and staying in my bathrobe later and later into the day until it was all day. I was forgetting to, you know, pee. I got scared. Go outside and play, for Christ’s sake.  Binge-watch a little Netflix.  So I did. And didn’t write for a few days.

And today I couldn’t.

                                                                          * * *

This is one of the most creatively difficult afternoons I’ve had in a long time (and I’ve had some difficult creative periods over the years. That were years). An hour ago I didn’t think I’d get over this hump. I felt mildly panicked. Thank God I remembered this: “Start writing, not matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Thank you, Louis L’Amour.

What a delicate thing a creative habit can be. The balancing involved. Over-engaged or under-engaged. I don’t think I could handle another not engaged.

There are some hair-pin turns on this path.





The children are scruffy here.

They play out past their bedtimes.

Their parents are working double shifts.


Here it is childless high-rises

and low-cost housing. I try to keep the yard up.

I make fun of the trailer park  up the street

when I am broke and the final notice

for the heating bill has come.

I put Post-it notes on the cars

that park in my driveway:

Please inconvenience yourself.



My Russian neighbor borrows heavily:

sugar, eggs, flour.

She walks in, uninvited,

when she needs me. Susan!

Come! I give her rides because her teenage son will not,

and roll my eyes to throw her off,

to make her smile.  She brings me Russian wine

and food-bank treats

she will not eat.


She lets me pick tomatoes from her garden

even though I cursed the stench

of fertilizer the summer before.

When I am weary of helping her

she gives me a look that cuts me down to size.



I silently accuse my Vietnamese neighbor

of pocketing the money

that fell out of a dress, from the dryer we share.

And hated the smells

that drifted into my apartment

from hers, the cacophony of her voice.

But when I asked to borrow the barbecue

that sat unused in her yard

she said yes.



There, they were all

kinder that I, loved

my hard heart gently,

softly, unknowingly

to new pink.

~SR, 2012


Save My Ass or Save Face But Not Both: Follow Button Undeleted

I don’t know who originally said this but I’ve hung around the program long enough to know this to be applicable in many instances where one needs help, or needs to be honest, or ask for a pardon: You can save your ass or you can save face but not both. Gulp. (In my head I hear people saying, Yeees?  Was there something you wanted to say?) They all have one arched eyebrow.

Okay:  I had growing pains and ranted about how much work it is to be Followed, and about how I needed to get my own work done and um, didn’t have to time to say thank you to new Follows, or respond to (ouch) Likes of my work. Or time to go in and read other people’s stuff.

Now: I’m slightly abhorred by my own arrogance. And I apologize. Like many, I have a time management problem. Not a you problem.  I hope you will pardon my growing pains. And yes, come back. I have the time, found the time, will make the time.  I can’t do without community. I somehow forgot that it’s the backbone of this place, especially for this fledgling poet-wants-to-try-short-story writer.

PS  To the new-to-me writers that responded to the afore-mentioned post, behind whom I now get to tag along, thank you.


Note: Comments of the “never apologize” persuasion will be cheerfully deleted.




Some of the Best Writing Advice I’ve Been Given

I was hanging out minding my own business one morning last week when I got a comment.  A long comment. It was sent to me from Colin, who blogs about life with his dog Ray.  I have to admit I wobbled a bit.  I thought, Do I know you? I’d like to share his advice:

Your introversion seems to be clouding your view of the world, at least from a literary perspective. You seem to believe that everybody, apart from you, has no problems churning at Posts on a regular basis – Wrong! You seem to believe that you are unique in having grammatical concerns – Wrong! You seem to believe that your writing is rather “young” – Irrelevant!
If you are writing for yourself ……….. who cares! If you are writing to generate interest from others, then the only thing that matters is that you get your message across. If you can do with a 500 word single sentence, or no punctuation ………. more power to you. Correct punctuation and grammatical structures are certainly a benefit for purposes of clarity, but don’t get hung up on them ………. as long as your message is getting understood. Keep writing!

Then I laughed and wrote him a thank you note.



For my mother, who never once

turned around, picked up the rock,

and threw it back




I understood my Mother today,

at least an aspect of her,

her happiness, her determination

which for many years I watched,

hot, gnawing my bones,

jackal-like and slit-eyed,

from a distance.

How could she?


This: she refused,

like each living thing,

was simply incapable

of walking towards sure

defeat, of perishing