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A Different Kind of Memoir

New Mexico author Jean Stouffer has written a moving memoir of healing from the effects of growing up with an alcoholic mother. But Sometimes I Cry is not just another recounting of a child caring for an absent parent and the self-esteem and abandonment issues that...

Making Space for Happiness

By now, we thought our lives would have settled into whatever the “new normal” turned out to be. That doesn’t ring quite true. Not with a new virus strain, economic and political challenges, and warm weather that is both pleasant and a harbinger of an uncertain...

The Book I Feared to Write

When the pandemic of 2020 crashed down like a tidal wave, I retreated into my home to wait it out. A writer and teacher who works at home, it wasn’t a stretch to teach classes online and restrict communications to telephone and Zoom sessions. Enforced isolation seemed...

Valentine for a Beloved Dog

I thought my dog Buddy would enjoy a companion because he loved playing with other dogs at the dog park. But when I brought Zena home one scorching August day in 2010, I learned I was wrong. Buddy was jealous, annoyed, and intimidated by this big Shepherd/heeler...

Dancing With the Creative Self

Many of my students sign up for a writing course because they have an urge to bring forth their experiences. They want to write stories, poems, memoirs. Many have never written before. They don’t know where to start. What to write about. How to choose fiction or...

Is the Story of Your Life Changing?

The stories of our daily lives have changed. We had no choice. We’re working at home. Not working. Home schooling the kids. Can’t travel. No baseball games, concerts, movies, or parties. We learned to operate on Zoom and discovered you can order anything, literally...

Why We Need Visionary Fiction

I have always written visionary fiction. It wasn’t as much a choice as how I perceived the world. Dreams, visions, alternate realities that peek from behind the veil, reincarnation, ghosts, messengers from other worlds—all the stories that dropped into my mind...

What Do You Want to Have, To Do, To Be?

A good question, posed in a graduate social psychology class, and an eye-opener for me. I had recently moved from Philadelphia to California to escape an abusive relationship. What I wanted for the past year was crystal clear. Get my affairs in order, plan the move,...

Now Is The Time

Well, here we are. It’s been a month since I’ve attended a meeting outside my home. A month since I’ve taught in a classroom. Since I’ve had lunch with a friend, gone to a movie or stood in line at the grocery store. Even for an introverted writer who loves solitude,...

Believe in Miracles

Do you believe in miracles?  Sure, you might say. I’ve seen miracles. And I expect to see them again Or, There are no such things. Science has explanations for everything. Actually, both perspectives are right. Miracles are prayers answered, hope fulfilled, stories of...