Marching In Solidarity, But Not “In Fashion”— Why Didn’t Vogue Call Me?

Marching In Solidarity, But Not “In Fashion”— Why Didn’t Vogue Call Me?

On January 27 I wrote a blog titled “A 48-Year Déjà Vu” about the similarities between the post-election Women’s March and the march to end the war in Vietnam in Washington DC on November 15, 1969. I’d been at both and have just finished a novel about the latter.

I commented on the longtime gap between issues that were compelling enough to get me back on my feet, and the “wake up” from my “radical sleep.” To illustrate my argument, I’d carefully combed through a circa ’69 photo of me in a protest march and lined up a corresponding shot from today.

The post was heartfelt. I received many comments (yes, a few about my hair) and reestablished connections from long ago. We were still all in it together.

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A Tale Of Two Writer's Conferences

A Tale Of Two Writer's Conferences

I just returned from two back-to-back conferences and am reeling a bit from what I’ve seen as I begin to peddle my novel after quietly writing it for the past 12 years.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs—I Am Not Throwing Away My Shot

I’ve been to the formidable AWP Conference several times in the past, but always hung to the sides, picking up what craft or marketing information I could, but not feeling quite “legitimate” without a finished manuscript. I’d found my first AWP pretty frosty. Twice, someone I’d sat next to at a lecture responded to my “hello” with a quick look at my name tag and, apparently seeing nothing useful, literally turned full-body to the evidently more credentialed person on the other side. I’d been taken aback at such a PR faux pas. How do they know I won’t be the next Donna Tart? So, this is the world we’re in, I thought, as I was repeatedly mowed down again and again until I figured out a system—leave the current session before the Q&A and you’ll have a prayer at being able to get into the next, even though you’d probably still end up sitting on the floor.

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A 48-Year Déjà Vu

A 48-Year Déjà Vu

The last time I was part of a massive protest march was November 15, 1969, in Washington DC to end the War in Vietnam. It was major. I wrote a novel about it. This past Saturday, I was in Chicago, part of the Worldwide Women’s March to maintain our hard-won rights.  It was bigger. It will be mentioned in inevitable books to be written four years from now. In both cases, I immediately knew I just had to be there, if for nothing else than to be counted.

The first song at Saturday’s rally was Let it Be and 48 years dropped away

Back in ’69 I’d arrived in DC sleepless, after an all-night trip on one of three school buses taking 200 of us from Northern Illinois University to what we were certain  would be the end of the war. I froze in a threadbare pea coat left over from high school and gym shoes that got so muddy I had to pitch them the minute I returned. I had three PB&J sandwiches in my paisley bag along with a knit hat to hide my red hair so my military mother wouldn’t see me on TV and realize that I’d gone even though she’d pitched that fit. “What do you mean you have to be there?”

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