Too Much To Do

A woman who needs no introduction– Julia Connolly.

Various & Similar


I’m jealous of my husband. Or at least I’m envious of one thing he doesn’t have: A to-do list. He doesn’t not have one because he has nothing to do; he’s actually a highly productive guy. But other than work-related priorities, which he keeps in his head, his to-do list (if he had one) would look something like this:

1. April 5, 8 a.m.–dentist

That’s it!

My list, on the other hand, consists of 12,357 items on a light day. That’s partly because I’m forgetful and disorganized, but mostly because I’m a woman.

Women, after all, are the do-ers of the species. We birth the babies, we pick up the dry cleaning, we pick out the birthday gift for our husband’s cousin Irene.

We wipe the tears and runny noses, remember to get green sox before soccer practice, learn 237 ways to cook chicken breasts. We often do all these…

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Trouble Child

But she has such an angelic smile…  read “Trouble Child” by Julia Connolly.

Various & Similar

Trouble Child

At 4, she ripped the arms, legs, and head off the baby doll her parents had bought her to keep her from being too jealous of the real new baby.

When she was 5, her mother was called to collect her from nursery school after she beat up a boy named Mark who tried to keep her from being the engineer on the playground train.

At 6, she sprang herself from the fenced area her dad had built to contain her and ran into the street where she was narrowly missed by a cement truck. The driver was so upset he pulled over and spanked her before turning her over to her parents.

Later that year, on a dare, she ate a worm on the playground during recess.

At 7 years old, she exchanged clothes with her pal Eddie in her bedroom, then convinced him to walk with…

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Not So Minor Characters: The Beats’ Female Voice

“I’d learned myself by the age of sixteen that just as girls guarded their virginity, boys guarded something less tangible which they called Themselves. They seemed to believe they had a mission in life, from which they could easily be deflected by being exposed to too much emotion.”


In Boozo Veritas #29: Writers in the Festival Mode

Susan Lilley guest blogs for “The Drunken Odyssey” from Key West.

The Drunken Odyssey

In Boozo Veritas #29

Writers in the Festival Mode

I am honored to welcome the brilliant and amazing poet Susan Lilley as guest blogger for this week’s In Boozo Veritas. While I’m braving the ice and snow up north in Indiana, she is down south in Key West no doubt having a remarkably different experience.

—Teege Braune

Special dispatch from Key West, Florida February, 2014

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Writers know better than to make a no-alcohol resolution on New Year’s Day. After all, the doldrums of January signal the beginning of literary festival season! Actually, it’s always lit fest season, but the period of January through March seems to have more than its share of workshops, residencies, seminars, and confabs of all kinds. As one who just survived a glorious week at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, I can say with certainty that, if you imbibe at all regularly, there is absolutely…

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The Top of the Highest Mountain

by Suzannah Gilman

A commercial shown last night during the Olympics made me sad.  Children were shown riding the public bus and in other public places as well on the sofa at home, all saying “My mom got her degree right here… and here… and here.”  It’s a commercial for a distance learning bachelor’s program. The children proudly said, “It’s an accomplishment.”  Well, it’s certainly something to have a piece of paper that says you went to college, even if you were never physically present in a classroom.

rollins seal'

I thought of my own children and how proud they are of me for graduating from college.  I went to Rollins College full time, on academic scholarship, and finished my last three years while serving my school (volunteering and as VP of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta) and my children’s school (PTA board member, classroom volunteer) and being a Cub Scout Den Leader and a member of the Pack Committee as well as assistant leader for my daughter’s Brownie troop.  I drove my kids to school, made their lunches, chaperoned their field trips (including a 5th grade trip to Washington, D.C. while I was studying for mid-term exams), and even found time to exercise.  How could distance learning be necessary if it’s possible to be present and functioning in all of these places in all of these ways?

I wouldn’t trade my classroom experience at Rollins for anything. It’s where I got my second positive self-identity in my life (my first: as mother), where I became empowered, where I made friends I will always keep, and where I gained the confidence to apply to law school. I went to the highest-ranked law school in the state, feeling like I was standing on top of the highest mountain.  

This girl from a single-parent family who grew up on food stamps and free lunches and never went to high school could not have made this quantum leap if I’d “gone to school” on a bus.

This poem by Tom Wayman, “Did I Miss Anything?” speaks to the importance of the classroom experience.  Don’t miss out on it.

Classroom in Orlando Hall, photo by Rollins College

Classroom in Orlando Hall, photo by Rollins College


My Psycho Valentine

If you’re already grateful for your Valentine, you’ll be much more grateful after you read what happened to my friend Julia Connolly on the night before Valentine’s Day, 1974.  Feel free to share, repost, reblog, and print out and mail to your daughter/niece/granddaughter.


An Ideal Husband? My May-December Romance

I did something I never thought I’d do, and I wrote about it on The Gloria Sirens.

The last thing I thought I would ever do is get romantically entangled with a man 25 years older than me. But here I am.  Here we are.  I used to think of it as “sick” when I saw couples like us together.  I’m sure I said that word.  I’m sure there are those who’ve said it of us.

Read the rest here.