Monday, May 30, 2011


A few years ago I went to a meeting of Guerilla Girls in NYC, it was a networking meeting for theater women. I don't remember a lot about the meeting. I don't live in NYC. But I do remember the talk about the inequity between women and men playwrights being produced across the country. There were some stickers available that a person could plaster on theater walls or bathroom walls etc. Instead, I vowed to contact my local theater companies every year and either congratulate them on having women playwrights in their lineup, or let them know of my disappointment and ask them to consider to include more women next year. I think the only difference I am making is that I am making a nuisance of myself in my own backyard, and pissing people off. Is this what an activist does?
I am like everyone else, I want to be liked. On top of that, I am a playwright. It is not in my best interest to piss off theater heads. What the hell. No wonder the Guerilla Girls had stickers available. I could have remained anonymous, but I thought I was being courageous. A real woman. If there were a pack of people -- women AND men -- talking to theater companies about this very real disparity, then maybe I wouldn't be a thorn in someone's side. As it is, I'm an irritant. This is distressing. What is the answer? Just give up? What would Susan B. Anthony do if she were the only one?

The Stillwater Review, Poetry Reading

I have a poem coming out in the inaugural issue of THE STILLWATER REVIEW. There will be a reading and book launch on Friday, June 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Atrium of Sussex County Community College. That's in New Jersey, and I'm in Oregon, so I won't be there, but lots of wonderful poets will, so go if you can. Buy the book if you can. Later there will be a smaller version available online. I'll let you know about that when I know about it.
My poem is "Mom's White Strapless Dress: A 50's Memoir." Look for it when you pick up your copy. Thanks for your support.


I wish I could also say "right here in River City ..." but not quite yet. However, there are companies in the US who are making it their mission to create equity, and Halcyon Theatre in Chicago is one of them. They are offering a festival of FULL PRODUCTIONS, of five women playwrights this summer. Go here and see:
This isn't their first year to produce women's plays either, but this year they went out and got five women to write plays inspired by other women's plays (from the past). Who wouldn't love to see that? If you are in or around Chicago, go see. If you can make the trip, go do. If you have funds you can share to support Halcyon's mission, please do that. Support women playwrights however you can, please. Right now, women are being produced only 20% compared to men. We are aiming for 50% by 2020. Anything you can do to support that is much appreciated. Talk to your theatre companies. Let them know you appreciate seeing plays by women, want to see plays by women, then show up when they present plays by women. Women write every kind of play. My last play is "The Godmother." It's about the mob in Kansas City during the Prohibition. In case you thought she was a fairy godmother in a silver coach with white horses. Just saying. Now get outa here you crazy kids.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


As a long-time migraineur, I'm only beginning to come to terms with this debilitating condition. I have these headaches as often as two or three times a week, month in, month out, and have had for many years. They became worse in my 50's, until I was forced to retire from a combination of migraine and heart disease, but once I retired the heart disease became manageable (after a couple of years). The migraines continue to be so bad that there is no way I could hold down a job, however.
These days, since the beginning of 2011, I've decided to try to write a poem for every migraine I experience. Most days I can't write the poem on the day I'm having it. I've managed a few, but usually the pain is too severe or the nausea, or both. Today is another day after ... I feel groggy, headachy, less than mentally sharp, and really wish I could just stay in bed another 16 hours. But I have a life I have to attend to. So I soldier on.
There are millions of us, doing the same. Most of us are women because more women than men are stricken. I have tried every thing I've ever heard of except for having nails driven into my skull, and I might yet try that. I learned biofeedback, I try every herbal that I hear of, I take supplements regularly, I take preventive meds, and use painkiller meds only on the day of, and never more than 2x a week, no matter how many days I get a headache. I've tried acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, juicing, exercise, hypnosis, crying, laughing, and many Western meds. Prayer and meditation. Now I write.
Writing has been my answer for everything else in my life, why not for migraines? It may not cure them, but I don't see how it can hurt. What do you do, fellow migraineurs? Retreat? Medical marijuana (that I haven't tried)? Ice baths? What?


You might want to consider joining the blogsplash of these poets who publish "small stones" for their upcoming wedding. Instructions are here:

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Ever have your mom or gramma or other loving relative say to you: gimme some sugar? Maybe they don't do that in the North, but where I come from, we say it all the time. My grandma and grandpa, my favorite aunts and uncles were always after my sugar. Fond memories.
When migraines took over my life in 1999, yes they did, they took over my life, I eventually had to change every aspect of my daily living. In 2000, I went on the elimination diet and discovered that my main trigger for migraines was CORN and all corn products. Wow, are there a bunch of products that have corn in them, that do not sound like corn. Invert sugar is one of those products.
Invert also means homosexual. Did you know that? It's another old-fashioned word, like using "sugar" to mean love. I first heard it used when I was ten years old and read Radcliffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness." Yes, I was precocious. I read "The Well of Loneliness" at 10. I read everything I could get my hands on, and that happened to be in our bookcase. And then later on, I turned out to be an invert myself. Whoa. Do you think it was the book? or the sugar? I think it was the DNA.
So. Putting the words together: Invert Sugar, sounds like lesbian love to me. I'm giving that title to a mini-chapbook of my lesbian poems. Take that, CORN industry. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Carmencita, first draft completed

Tornado, it is! And the first draft has been sent off to the musical director. She and I will discuss when she returns from her vaycay in a few days, casting will begin soon, and rehearsals will take place over the summer. Production most likely in October, but certainly in the fall. Very excited to have this happen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


In adapting Carmen for teens, my biggest wall so far is what to do about the bullfight. I don't want a bullfight in Carmencita. I recognize the importance the bullfight has played as a symbol, a metaphor of the violence of the relationship between Carmen and Don Jose. And I do not want to have this blood sport as part of my adaptation. I do want a violent metaphor, but not a bloody one. What to do? I want to keep the music and the lyrics as close to the original as possible, and lose the bloody bullfight. I've been meditating and pondering this question for weeks. Today I think I may have found the answer on the weather channel. What is more violent and unpredictable than tornadoes? This does mean rewriting the lyrics [in French!!!] but it is better than bloody bullfighting, IMHO.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


All this year, I've been writing a poem a day. I said I would write a poem a day until a larger project pulled me away. This month I'm adapting Carmen (the opera) for teens. For most of the month I have continued to write a poem a day. This week I have missed a couple of days as I have spent more time on the opera. After I finish my first draft by the 31st, I plan to dive back into The Hounding (my mystery novel) which was published as an eBook back in 1999, for a complete rewrite. eBooks have finally found their time, and The Hounding needs to step into the 21st century. So, I may become more sporadic with my poetry writing, but I will continue to write every day. This is a terrific commitment, once which gives me great joy and a feeling of accomplishment.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Rapture

Over on FaceBook I've written a few things, mostly questions about what will happen after the rapture. Last night my friend Vicki Cheatwood blogged about the rapture in such a deep way that I realized my questions were just dancing around on the surface of what I was trying to ask. What I am actually feeling.
I was asking things like will I still be able to garden, and what will happen to all the animals that get left behind, and who is going to deal with all the stuff that is left behind by those who rise up ... Vicki asks a more serious question: if you knew the date and hour of your end time today, what would you be doing? are you anywhere near where you want to be? are you doing what you want to be doing? are you with the people you want and need to be with?
I am. Finally in my life, I am. I am writing every day. I am with my daughter and grandkids. I am in touch with my son and his daughter. I talk with my Mom every week. I am surrounded by great friends whom I see regularly. I have a garden again. So, yes, this is exactly where I want to be.
Am I ready for a whole host of my family and friends to rise up in the rapture and leave me behind? No. I have abandonment issues. The truth is I'm no more ready to lose them one at a time. It's this whole topic of death, letting go, being left behind.
Which is really the issue of attachment -- and time for me to go back to sangha, find a Buddhist sangha group and renew my own spiritual practice.
What has all this talk of the rapture brought up in your life?