All posts by Trudy



When I recently encountered STREETLIGHT for the first time, I found myself wondering about the name, why it was chosen, what associations it is meant to evoke.  Then as I explored the magazine I ran across Susan Shafarzek’s blog of February 10 in which she addressed the question of “why the name Streetlight” and invited “further comment.”  I decided to accept the invitation. Of course I am in no position to say what the editors may hope to communicate, only to offer my own idiosyncratic response to the name.  It led me to recall a … Continue reading Boundaries

Allowing To Be Led


“If we can’t educate you, we’ll make a pet of you, or sacrifice you.”  This from Jean Sampson in her class Gutsy Abstract Oil Painting at The McGuffy Art Center where Jean is a resident studio artist. This is a joke at the expense of the lone man in the classroom and because I often find myself the lone man, I hadda laugh. Ladies, you do know we LIKE these kind of jokes, right? “The painting just sits there, asking, demanding, what are you gonna do to me?” Jean and I look at a canvas … Continue reading Allowing To Be Led

Feeling Prosy


Spring for me means the Virginia Festival of the Book. To say this writer gets jazzed is an understatement. At last year’s Festival, I volunteered at an event called Poets In Prose and learned a lot. The first thing I learned, what a damn ugly crowd it was. Writers and poets and those who love them are not eye candy. I was the hottest guy around! Just kidding (maybe). The event took place in an old time bookstore — up the open staircase to the second floor—kinda like a movie set and with the characters … Continue reading Feeling Prosy

Red Light Green Light


In the last week’s blog, Memoir/Essay Editor Susan Shafarzek’s question, “What do I mean by STREETLIGHT?” triggered  in me a memory of growing up in Memphis and our neighborhood streetlight that drew us kids into its circumference of light after dark, after suppers and through the long damp summers. The streetlight’s slender concrete pillar shot up into the humid night sky and illuminated the two-lane street and cracked sidewalk. Under this streetlight, we would gather and begin our games, swap tales, fictions and non-fictions of ourselves and others, mash-up songs, re-tell jokes, push  and shove, be … Continue reading Red Light Green Light

Author Juditha Dowd Interview

Juditha Dowd at desk

SL:  Congratulations on the publication of your short story, “Phoenix” in Streetlight’s upcoming Winter Issue.  When did you start writing or realize that you were a writer? JD:   I remember that when I was eight years old and in the 3rd grade I wrote a poem, but I was writing down words as soon as I could read. I felt that words held magic. In the 5th grade I was writing stories. I liked to write stories about large families so I could name all the children. I loved names. I’d write stories with families … Continue reading Author Juditha Dowd Interview

Christmas Chaos


Leaving for L.A the day after tomorrow and realize I have not rented a car, wrapped presents, packed for California chill and sun, booked a motel for the road trip up the coast, or logged my students exam grades, nor scribbled notes for my house-sitter, arriving tomorrow. The clothes in my dresser drawers (spanning decades) are packed so tightly I am unable to dig past the tangled surface to even guess what archeological layers lie below. I fling everything out and now, panicked, realize there’s not enough time to thoughtfully sort and neatly fold, and … Continue reading Christmas Chaos

How Marcy Got Her Groove Back or…what I learned at my writing retreat


  Late on a Sunday afternoon, after a nearly eight-hour drive, I arrived at The Porches in Norwood, Virginia. I met my host, got the tour, unpacked my stuff, opened my laptop and stared out the large window in front of my writing desk, which overlooked a porch, and beyond the porch, the mountains. It was then that I noticed several strange, faint noises: a slight breeze rustling the tree leaves, the low hum of my ceiling fan, crows calling in the distance and, somewhere in those endless trees, the low rumble of a train. … Continue reading How Marcy Got Her Groove Back or…what I learned at my writing retreat

A Playwright’s Inspiration


Creative writing can come from many sources, and personal experiences and stories from friends can provide inspiration for your next writing project. Some people argue that you can’t tell a story with anecdotes alone, and that writing someone else’s life is biography and not creative writing, but I contend that “true stories” and even tall tales can pepper your writing with humor and local color. As a playwright, I am forever taking mental notes of my friends and family’s behavior to help me build realistic characters. We’ve all taken the role of observer when seeking … Continue reading A Playwright’s Inspiration

No More Writer’s Block by Joan Mazza

man reading at laptop

Writers, or those who want to write but don’t, like to say they have Writer’s Block, Capitalized, as if to makes it real, an explanation for why they’re stuck. They can’t get started or get back to the project they’re sure would be a bestseller. Ideas come only when they’re falling asleep or driving, never when they sit down to write. They often smile when they talk about the Block, as if there’s a certain satisfaction in having one, like a treasure or a talent to display.   I think saying you have Writer’s Block is … Continue reading No More Writer’s Block by Joan Mazza

Insomnia Meets Cartoons


What about doing it, if not on the beach, then in bed? Reading that is—it seems nowadays the only time I find to read is when I stumble (an exaggeration, but not by much) up the narrow backstairs to my bedroom. Less than two feet away from my bed, several shelves line a brick wall. At three a.m. I grab a magazine from the stacks and stacks of New Yorkers. Why can’t I throw a New Yorker away? Am I deluding myself into thinking I’m going to read them sometime? But I do read them, … Continue reading Insomnia Meets Cartoons