The Biggest Bitch in the Pack – Kerry- 6/4/17

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One Year of Letters

The Biggest Bitch in the Pack

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

June 4th, 2017

My daughter, Bear, has a service dog through Canine Companions for Independence. We waited three years while the organization vetted us as a qualified family and while the appropriate dog was trained. When the time came and a dog with the right potential personality and skills became available, we moved to Dublin, Ohio for intense training. To graduate as a service team, we needed to master the commands and show our ability to adapt them in ways to help when we reached home. My daughter, her dog Latte, and I form a three-point companion team. Although Bear and Latte are usually pretty good about remembering, I reinforce the commands and ensure they pay attention to the rules in public.

My girl has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, autism, and a number of other diagnoses. Latte helps keep…

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The Biggest Bitch in the Pack – Kerry- 6/4/17

Pelham Hills by Sara Eddy

Background photo: Skeeze/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Sara Eddy teaches composition and American Literature and tutors in the writing center at Smith College.  Her work has recently appeared in Panoply Zine and Surreal Poetics.  She grew up in, and now lives again, in Amherst, Massachusetts–and therefore loathed Emily Dickinson, until she grew up and realized Dickinson is our badass mother.  She believes in green stuff, black tea, kindness, and cussing, and lives with her husband, two teenagers, three beehives, and a periodically asshole cat in Amherst, Massachusetts.  She can be reached at seddy@smith.edu.

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Pelham Hills by Sara Eddy

The Power Of Make-Believe

Rhetoric Askew



Remember when you were little? With very little effort, you could pretend you were anyone, and you could do anything. From playing ‘house’ to adventuring through the jungle, all it took was an idea, and a sense of wonder. Even if you were all alone, you could pretend to be an entire group of different people, and they could interact within your imagination.

When we first become aware of the world around us, it is a place of wonder, mystery and endless possibilities. If we are fortunate enough to grow in a home filled with love and support, we soon develop a curiosity about all the things that we don’t know yet, and a desire to experience our dreams. As we grow, we discover that we have within us the power to create any world we want to play in, and in our world, we can be anything or anyone…

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The Power Of Make-Believe

Growing Old – Guest Post by Angela Lindseth

Rhetoric Askew


It’s a creaky, old house; low ceilings, uneven floors, not a speck of insulation, but I call it home. I will be here for many years, not because I have to, but because I want to. Not because I don’t have a choice, but because I do have a choice. It’s my place. I’m at peace with it.


The house, like me, is aging and hopefully, with grace. We’ve deteriorated with time. We sag and need a new coat of paint. Each summer it’s harder to trim the hedges and the lawn doesn’t get mowed. Upkeep is a struggle, and we’re not willing participants.

Every winter I huddle in front of the Dearborn furnace, probably original with the house, which cooks my skin while it’s on and requires a sweater when it’s off.

It’s hard growing old and yet so easy at the same time. It’s not until I look…

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Growing Old – Guest Post by Angela Lindseth

My2Cents ~ On Rules

Check out my new column My2Cents!

Rhetoric Askew

How do you go against the rules with your writing? My response…

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     I’m a big you have to understand the rules, to break them. Often, I find the writer who always breaks a particular rule, doesn’t understand. I say that because the rules have reasons to be here.

     Not all passive verbs are bad, but active verbs are more exciting, and easy to read. If someone is being acted upon, by definition, it is passive. If the sentence is passive, it makes sense. However, overuse of passive voice, becomes boring to the reader. Readers want to imagine themselves in the book or story. And you can’t do that passively. Passive voice tends to be a bit wordy too.

     Another rule people love to break, adverbs. Though I don’t actually (Pun intended) agree that “the road to hell is paved (wait is that passive?) with…

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My2Cents ~ On Rules