Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Moving Parts

By Kate McLachlan

            I had my first attack of penis envy at the age of nine.  Steve was ten and John was eleven.  Mom was visiting the doctor (just about the only time she ever left the house) regarding the imminent birth of her ninth child.  Granny was in charge, and my older brothers and I had taken advantage of the inadequate supervision to indulge in a lively game of strip poker.
            We didn’t really know how to play poker, but stripping was easy.  It didn’t take long before we were prancing buck naked across the boys’ room.
            I’d seen penises before, of course.  I had three younger brothers as well as the two older ones. Escaping the bathtub to run around the house, screaming and soaking wet, was a favorite activity of the little boys. The sight of a penis was nothing new to me.      

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Piracy: Is There an Upside?

By Vicki Stevenson


            People are selling my books and collecting money for them, and I’m not getting my piece of the pie.  The books are not theirs to sell.  Selling something that doesn’t belong to you is unlawful.  Case closed, right?  Well … maybe.
            There’s a little wrinkle to this.  A few online entities now provide free copies of lots of books and ask for a voluntary donation to enable them to carry on.  So they aren’t actually selling my books, they’re providing free copies.  It’s kind of the reverse of the popular bug killer, the Roach Hotel (“roaches check in, but they never check out!”): books are checked out, but they’re never checked in.  It’s a strange twist on the public library system.  And it makes you stop and think.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Undelivered Speech

By Renee Bess

     This past September 6 marked the beginning of my eighth year of retirement from the School District of Philadelphia. During these last seven years I’ve missed the camaraderie of some of my former colleagues and the seconds of magic I used to see when my students experienced their “aha” moments, but I do not regret having left the classroom.
     I like to think I’ve used these seven years well. I’ve become a volunteer at a local hospital, continued attending water aerobics classes twice a week, visited all sorts of places of historical and cultural interest, served on the Board of Directors of the Golden Crown Literary Society, and written four novels. There are tons of activities I want to explore, more books I want to write, an Atlas full of places to which I want to travel, an untold number of people I want to meet and talk with, and so many facts, information, and skills I hope to learn.