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By Hedgebrook Guest

The Gloria Steinem I Know

I started out in radio at an auspicious time. It was the mid-1970s. Radio and television and radio stations were feeling the heat to put more women on the air. I became the beneficiary of a women’s movement that was gathering steam. And of course, Gloria Steinem was one of the engines of that movement.

I became the producer and host of a weekly one-hour radio show called “A Woman’s Place.” It aired at 11 p.m. on Sunday night, not prime time but who cared. I got to talk to many interesting women including Margaret Mead, Gilda Radner, Nora Ephron, Yoko Ono and Gloria Steinem.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Rio’s Black Heart and My Black Feet

I entered this city through its music, and with every step I hear the sounds of a tradition so rich and powerful its roots spread across the Atlantic Ocean from the coasts of Africa to Brazil, and then ricocheted back to Europe and the States, where it influenced generations of musicians … and one fifteen year-old girl who sat in a movie theatre, watching A Man and a Woman, the classic film by Claude Lelouche, for the third time—not just for the love story, but for the song Pierre Barouh sings to Anouk Aimee as he climbs stairs behind her.    Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

What I know about Writing

What I know about Writing—with a capable “W”—isn’t much. I’d be the first to admit it. Part of it is that my chosen genre is playwriting. Novelists, essayists, poets—those seem to be “real” writers. They can come up with phrases and sentences whose sheer beauty makes me pause, gasp or even cry. Playwrights can’t do that. If I’m writing a play, I often find that I have to take a phrase that I might in prose try to burnish into something beautiful and elegant, and deliberately break and distress it.

Playwrights are the shabby chic purveyors of the writing world.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

The Prize is in the Process

Another year, another Hedgebrook application. Okay, so actually this was just my second time to apply, but it’s already feeling like a periodic exercise in futility, kind of like cleaning the dog-hair off the sofa, or casting my vote as a democrat living in East Texas. And yet, just like cleaning and voting, it’s important to remember that the prize is in the process, not the outcome. The truth is, I’ve already reaped a benefit from Hedgebrook and all I did was answer a few questions and pay them $30.   Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

Interview with Strays Author Jennifer Caloyeras

It’s my pleasure to welcome Jennifer Caloyeras, author of Strays (published by Ashland Creek Press in May). Jennifer will be back in coming weeks with an excerpt from the book and more. ~ Sheila Webster Boneham

 

Sheila: Tell us a bit about your latest book.

Jennifer: My latest novel, Strays, is about a teenage girl with anger issues who is sentenced to a summer rehabilitating aggressive dogs. Here, she’s matched up with a three-legged pit bull rescue named Roman, who ends up teaching Iris more than she ever thought possible.    Read more

By Hedgebrook Guest

The Insidious Promise of “Busy busy busy”

Each time I forced myself go to the old rocking chair in the little cabin on the Mojave mesa, and just sit, I told myself that I was hugely lucky.  I’d signed for an improvised 45-day in-home treatment program. I’d agreed to not use any of the multitude of fixes I suspected no longer worked; to check in with my sponsor regularly; and to stop everytime I wanted to get busy.  “You’re lucky,” I muttered. “You’re not raising a handful of grandkids because one of your own children is a tweaker.  The rent’s paid for this month and you’ve still got a few hundred bucks left on your credit cards and a social security check.  You have nowhere to be for most of the day.  You aren’t battling multiple sclerosis or cancer or dementia.  You are responsible for no one except for the ungrateful cats and yourself.  You’ve always taught your students to embrace the Big Nothing.  Well, wrap your arms around It, woman.”   Read more

By Hedgebrook Staff

Meeting With The Mentor

Mentors come at unexpected times and in surprising places. Sometimes we seek them, and sometimes they just show up and offer exactly what we need.

My most unexpected meeting with a mentor happened by chance in a Seattle coffee shop.

The time was 2003, and the place was Victrola, a favorite Capitol Hill espresso bar, around the corner from my apartment. I’d moved to Seattle from grad school in the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and was supporting myself with odd jobs I’d cobbled together: a couple of teaching gigs, and a part-time job in the receiving department of the City People’s Mercantile. Making ends meet.   Read more

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