Sunday, July 13, 2014

Musical Chairs

hello friends,

a few quick notes, decisions I've made...some changes. For all further information about Run to the Roundhouse, Nellie, I am now using the Facebook page for Nellie, at
Last week, I finally posted the Spring/Summer issue, on the regular journal website:

re: the Facebook page for Nellie: I've had the page for awhile but have done nothing with it, but people seem to expect that it be a gathering place for the journal. People were 'liking' it with no content at all, which was kind of sweet, but embarrassing. I am at the same time taking a hiatus from my personal Facebook page, which has become a sinkhole of time wasting for me. I am not good at doing anything moderately, so FB needs to soldier on without me for awhile.

I do plan to return to blog writing and photographs. Whether it's here at PIE or elsewhere, I haven't decided. Please let me know if you want to be contacted as to where I land.

Thank you so much for your kind comments and loyal following on PIE.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Reading ideas for the endless Winter of 2014: how about a memoir?

Our Winter 2014 issue is perfect for cabin fever reading: in-depth interviews of some seriously accomplished writers of memoir. In a coup for a small literary journal, Joe Sacco, the well-respected cartoonist/political and social justice journalist is interviewed by Charlotte Hildebrand, about his memoir/ personal narrative reporting in Palestine.

Louise Steinman is interviewed about her memoir, The Crooked Mirror, a personal journey into Polish history and the Holocaust, by Melissa Cooper.

George How Colt is interviewed about his relationship with his own brothers, as well as several sets of other well-known brothers (the Marx brothers included) in Brothers, by Victoria Alexander

Miriam Levine, an admired and gifted poet, is interviewed by Melissa Shook about her growing up years and her colorful  and poignant family life, as depicted in Devotion.

Tsaurah Litsky, a true NYC original, has written a wonderful essay about her memoir, called Flasher, for the Writing a Memoir section--complete with a not-to-be-missed video, featuring her reading a portion of her book.

Finally, The Readers' House topic for this issue is LOST and FOUND, and as usual we have a wonderful array of responses, both in prose and poetry. SO: take a look...and perhaps you would like to submit your own short-memir piece for the Spring issue? The topic will be... MOTHER.

Monday, February 3, 2014

indiegogo....white patent leather/pleather go-go boots optional

Yes, I have finally--last week--posted the Indiegogo campaign I've been talking about for months, to raise money to pay wonderful Leo who helps me with all the IT problems in the behind-the-scenes world of hosting a website. "Helps me" is a euphemism, of course. I fold into myself in paroxysms of bad words, torrents of frustration, and then he fixes it. I'd hire him to follow me around all day fixing everything in my world if I could. Alas... he is only available virtually and for internet matters. He's from Brazil, originally, and utterly kind and charming. He has a beautiful wife and two beautiful children. And sometime he stays up until 4 AM figuring stuff out for me after his full-time job and after being a husband and and a father. I kiss the hem of his gown.

Here is the link to the Indiegogo campaign:

I am trying to raise $2000 so I will have a bit of a cushion to pay Leo for crisis control, for the next year of Run to the Roundhouse, Nellie, is the fervent hope.

People whose work has appeared in Run, Nellie or who have been interviewed have been incredibly generous, donating lots of cool perks for pledge levels. Please take a look at the campaign, please share on your Facebook page and via any other social media tools you are familiar with. Here are the wonderful premiums with the respective pledge amount. Thank you for looking, for sharing, and for cheering on the sidelines--it means everything!

$20 pledge: tote bag, designed by my son.                              

$25 pledge: signed books (non-memoir), by Run, Nellie-affiliated writers (Rosemarie Rotham aka Angella, Miriam Levine, Melissa Green, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith).

$35 pledge: signed memoirs, by Katherine Weber, Jessica Handler, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, Miriam Levine, Scott Nadelson.

$35 pledge: signed art books (by Stacy Renee Morrison and Niki Berg), chapbooks (by Diane Kendig and Julie Marie Wade), 2 photography books by Elsa Dorfman, and an inkjet photograph (by Niki Berg, "The Winged Venus").

$40 pledge: set of 8 handmade books (Melissa Shook) or personalized mail art (13.5 H X 5 W, art on both sides; secret message in backpack and mailed to recipient of choice, by writer/artist Marylinn Kelly).


$40 pledge: signed over-sized books, by Elsa Dorfman and Niki Berg.

$45 signed, SPECIAL VALENTINE PROMOTION, $30.00: out of print postcard from original photograph by Elsa Dorfman: Dylan + Ginsberg (sorry: the color here is poor. These are a nice, crisp black and blue.)

$200 pledge, original archival print, text and photograph by Patt Blue, as featured in her memoir, Living On A Dream: A Marriage Tale.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Beach

I have a memoir piece in the magazine called Revolution House, available online at
My piece, called THE BEACH, starts on page 51.

Pictured above is the beach I wrote about, albeit as depicted in a postcard from probably the mid-1920s. I went to the beach every summer day starting in about 1954 through the 1960s. My family had a house on a quiet street in the woods in the part of town called Marshfield Hills, about 3 miles away. The whole coastline of that section of Massachusetts, about 30 miles south of Boston, toward Cape Cod, is riven with tidal rivers and sand bars and marshes and bogs. Some of the many beaches are rocky, built out with jetties that toss the sea back; before and after storms, that's where the surfers go. Other beaches are more pastoral, with rounded hummocks of sand dunes and marsh grass, providing sanctuary for shore birds and hollows where we kids used to play hide and seek.

It was not a bad place to grow up. When I left for college, however, I thought I'd never return. That the pain and sadness of my childhood would keep me away. But after my brother died and then my mother, too, and my son went off to college, I bought an old cottage and left NYC and I moved back, and lived for 12 years in a part of town called Brant Rock. It was a short walk from Blue Fish Rock, pictured below. I have a lot of memories from distinct segments of my life tied up in that town, those beaches.

Monday, December 23, 2013

home for the holidays

The roads are so icy that Benjamin, James and I have spent 3 days hanging around the house, being lazy, cooking and eating...playing games, listening to music, watching the the first of the Godfather films. Tonight we start Godfather II; tomorrow night, open house next door at the neighbors. This has been the most relaxing Christmas I've had in a very long time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

more white

we have about 24 inches of snow, but sleet and rain will likely wash it away in the next few days.

i have been enjoying the nuances of whiteness.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Snow pudding is a traditional New England dessert, a whipped confection of egg whites and sugar and a bit of gelatin, served with a vanilla custard sauce. It is similar to the French île flottante served with 
crème anglaise.

When I brought my New York Jewish boyfriend home from college to visit, my mother, who was an excellent cook, made a lovely dinner and served snow pudding for dessert. Danny asked what it was called, and she ridiculed the fact that he did not know what snow pudding was. Whether her reaction -- which she made a point of staging dramatically in front of him -- was provincialism or a set-up to draw attention to the fact that he was 'other,' I never knew for sure. The irony I realize now was that if she had identified it as île flottante, Danny would have recognized it. His mother spoke fluent French, was chair of the foreign language department at a high school in Queens, and throughout his childhood, he and his family had traveled extensively in France, often designing their route around gourmet restaurants.

A few years later, married to Danny, he and I attended a family gathering at my aunt's house -- my mother's sister -- on Cape Cod. We brought several dozen bagels and containers of cream cheese with us from the city, enough for everyone for breakfast all weekend. My aunt nervously asked me "What should I do with these, Susan?" I said, "Just slice them in half -- we can warm them in the oven or toast them -- whatever people prefer." She then handed a serrated knife to me and said, "You better do it -- I don't know anything about bagels."
It was as though Jewishness was contagious...and the bagel clearly was a carrier.

SHE is a tall dark beauty containing a great many beauty spots: one above the breast, one above the belly, one above the knee, one above the ankle, one above the buttock, one on the back of the neck. All of these are on the left side, more or less in a row, as you go up and down:







The hair is black as ebony, the skin white as snow.

BILL is tired of Snow White now. But he cannot tell her. No, that would not be the way. Bill can't bear to be touched. That is new too. To have anyone touch him is unbearable. Not just Snow White but also Kevin, Edward, Hubert, Henry, Clem or Dan. That is a peculiar aspect of Bill, the leader. We speculate that he doesn't want to be involved in human situations any more. A withdrawal. Withdrawal is one of the four modes of dealing with anxiety. We speculate that his reluctance to be touched springs from that. Dan does not go along with the anxiety theory. Dan does not believe in anxiety. Dan speculates that Bill's reluctance to be touched is a physical manifestation of a metaphysical condition that is not anxiety. But he is the only one who speculates that. The rest of us support anxiety. Bill has let us know in subtle ways that he doesn't want to be touched. If he falls down, you are not to pick him up. If someone holds out a hand in greeting, Bill smiles. If it is time to wash the buildings, he will pick up his own bucket. Don't hand him a bucket, for in that circumstance there is a chance that your hands will touch. Bill is tired of Snow White. She must have noticed that he doesn't go to the shower room, now. We are sure she has noticed that. But Bill has not told her in so many words that he is tired of her. He has not had the heart to unfold those cruel words, we speculate. Those cruel words remain locked in his lack of heart. Snow White must assume that his absence from the shower room, in these days, is an aspect of his not liking to be touched. We are certain she has assumed that. But to what does she attribute the "not-liking" itself? We don't know.