All posts by Suzanne Freeman

Poison and Antidote


    In 1983 I gave up on acting. I was a sophomore in college. It was not an easy choice.  Since junior high, I had been convinced I was going to be America’s answer to Laurence Olivier. I had chosen to attend California State San Francisco because their Theater Arts department was aimed at training for the realities of a career in stage, film, and television and I loved the limelight. But, it turned out that the program’s realistic approach to careering, the emphasis on cultivating commercial skills —feeling no shame singing and dancing … Continue reading Poison and Antidote

Between Lanes by Stephen Poleskie


Off to my left the dark current of the Hudson River rushed downstream at 65 mph, a magnificent sight, but at the moment my mind was concentrating on the tail lights bobbing and weaving in and out of traffic in front of me. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack, an anonymous group of motorcycle enthusiasts who met on summer evenings on Eighth Street in Greenwich Village to ride out together. Being, more or less, one of the regulars, but never the leader, I would hang around, chatting and ogling the passing chicks, … Continue reading Between Lanes by Stephen Poleskie

House Hunting by Lee Foust


The first thing you need to do is case the neighborhood, check out all of the streets in the area, walk around between the buildings—imagine yourself passing by these same sights every day. You have to be lucky too. You have to imagine yourself coming home to the apartment, wanting to go back, night after night, yours for better or worse. You don’t want to be driven out sooner than you feel like going. You have to be prepared for what it might do to you, how it might make you feel. You have to … Continue reading House Hunting by Lee Foust

Still Waiting to Move a Mountain


  The recent New York Times news article asking the question: “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” was painful for me. Because I know where one of them is – on my desktop, unpublished.  It wasn’t supposed to happen that way.  Soon after I finished writing The Boy Who Moved a Mountain, it was accepted by a literary agent and then sold rather quickly to a major publishing house.  It advanced through various stages of the editing process.  Julian Bond wrote a blurb for it.  It was assigned ISBN and Library of … Continue reading Still Waiting to Move a Mountain

Saying No


    I worked in college admissions for a number of years and in all that time we never “rejected” one single student.  Honestly.  Instead we “denied” admission to them – thousands of them, most of them.  Deny does sound gentler than reject.  In fact, just reading the definition of reject makes me wince:  “Dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate or not to one’s taste”… “fail to show due affection or concern for…” But, of course, no matter what we called it to make ourselves feel better, the impact was just as harsh.  One of my tasks … Continue reading Saying No

Phoenix by Juditha Dowd


“So, what do you think?” said Don. He’d hoped Alison might bring it up this time but she was staring out the big windows toward the marina, one of several on Venice Island where they were staying. He followed her gaze to anchored boats bobbing in the onshore breeze. Alison came to, shifted her attention back to him. “I guess that little Cape had possibilities.” She took another sip of the Sangiovese the waiter recommended, surprisingly good for such a well-priced wine. “Cape?” Don wasn’t versed in architectural styles. Curb appeal, price point—this was language … Continue reading Phoenix by Juditha Dowd

Mentors of the Peace


By Kanta Bosniak “Herein lies the real hope for our future. We are moving toward the ultimate destiny of our species—a state of compassion and love.” – Jane Goodall “Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment.” –Nikola Tesla “We use our gifts to bring people together.”–Babtaunde Olatunji Over a period of twelve years, I painted a series of sixty Contemporary Folk Art portraits that I use as teaching tools and which I exhibit in universities and other educational settings. The Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech is … Continue reading Mentors of the Peace

Ten Books You Shouldn’t Waste Your Money On


  Okay, there is no such list.  In fact, you can go ahead and file that under Lists You’re Unlikely Ever to See in Our Current Culture.  Because, these days, it seems we’re all supposed to pretend that there are no bad books.  Critics may still pan movies, artwork, dance and theater, but fewer and fewer reviewers are willing to talk tough about a book.  Not long ago, the New Yorker’s web site published a rambling mea culpa from critic Lee Siegel who confessed that he’d written negative book reviews in his career, but has … Continue reading Ten Books You Shouldn’t Waste Your Money On

A Foot in Two Worlds


As a young girl growing up during China’s Cultural Revolution, Anchee Min was taught to write statements proclaiming the glory of Chairman Mao almost before she learned to write her own name.  She was also told to denounce Nobel-winning author Pearl S. Buck as an “American cultural imperialist,” for her depictions of  peasant life in China.  Min had never actually read a word that Buck had written, but she didn’t have a real choice – she dutifully mouthed the denouncement. It was 25 years later that Min, now a successful author herself, was handed a … Continue reading A Foot in Two Worlds

It’s Been a Long Time by Lawrence F. Farrar


Wisps of early evening fog had begun to push in by the time Rachel parked her Volvo in the hotel parking lot. She switched off the ignition, leaned back in the seat, and sighed. A dark eyed woman with an almost pretty face, she checked her makeup in the rear view mirror and touched her hair with her hands. Her brown hair had been longer then; now she wore it short. Would he notice? Since taking the university job at Irvine, she had driven to San Diego perhaps a half dozen times—but had set foot … Continue reading It’s Been a Long Time by Lawrence F. Farrar