Buen Camino! Tips from an American Pilgrim

The Backpack Press

New BOOK Notice!

Not a guidebook, no maps, no long-winded legends or history – just lots of helpful suggestions to anyone planning their first Camino or just waiting to go back.

Please stop by Church of the Ascension, November 15, 7PM for a sneak peek! https://ascensionchurchnyc.org/

Book pub date to be announced shortly! Look for it on Amazon ($6.99) and Kindle!

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From the Keyboard


I have no eloquence. No arguments, so salve to offer. Just a mass of futile longings…

…that the next time the CEO of the NRA appears on TV, the pundit or moderator, or “journalist” he is facing will read off the names of the dead, one by one, every time he opens his mouth, so that he cannot speak…that the screen, instead of bloating with his countenance and propaganda, will fill with the images of gun victims in their last moments…

…that the mail boxes, the phone lines, the office walls of every member of Congress supported by the NRA will be stuffed and papered and flooded with those images and names…

…and that the only question anyone will ever ask of them, anywhere, from now on will be this:

How many did you kill today?

How many did you kill today?

Those are my thoughts, my prayers.

©2017 All…

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Bookbaby’s Inaugural Independent Authors Conference is in the Books

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on Eva Lesko Natiello:
What a weekend! Bookbaby’s inaugural Indie Authors Conference, which took place in Philadelphia this past weekend, was a big success. On Saturday, I spoke to the attendees about how to give their books the best…

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Beer and Brownies


Hubby and I were enjoying our leisurely cup of morning coffee and half listening to CBC radio. The man on the air was interviewing the brew-master of one of the local micro-breweries. The expert brew-master was talking about the many species of trees used in flavoring and storing  beer. He especially mentioned the many micro-breweries he had researched up and down Vancouver Island, sampling the many different flavors of beers using oak, spruce, birch and other species of local trees. After the interview was over, Hubby looked over at me and suggested, “If he can do an interview talking about beer and trees, you can do one too.”

“But,” I replied. “What would I talk about? I don’t drink beer.”

“You can talk about brownies,” he said with a grin. “Think about all the research you can do. After all, the best research is the sampling part.”

I had to laugh…

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The call to action for men on the #metoo campaign

Genesisfix's Blog

She was young, pretty and employed at a growing company dominated by male leadership. Her slight foreign accent gave her an exotic appeal, and her supervisor found the combination too alluring to resist.

melania-trump-donald-trump-020380f2-6db7-4202-b16c-b737c623c9e2.jpg“What are you wearing under that dress?” he inquired. It only got worse from there. He asked the young woman questions about whether she had had sex with her boyfriend that morning. This type of harassment went on for weeks, and months.

Finally she confessed some of these things to her friends while driving back from lunch one day. I happened to be in the front seat as the conversation unfurled. Her friends were aghast, but not entirely surprised. They had all been harassed at the same place of employment as well.

trump-00-c0c8f54f-fb46-4333-a0c0-b170cdef0673.jpgAs a male employee at that company, I’d heard plenty of comments from other men about the women who worked there. They’d stop by my…

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Who Knew?

Scrambled, Not Fried

eunoia-reviewApparently, the Eunoia Review has been around for almost a decade, publishing fine work (both poetry and prose) on a daily basis.  I don’t know how it is that I never heard of them until a couple of weeks ago, when I spotted their listing in another poet’s credits and decided to check them out.

And am I glad I did!  I almost couldn’t stop reading long enough to consider submitting.

Submission guidelines from Editor Ian Chung are clear and simple and promise the fastest response time I have ever encountered: (“We aim to respond to all submissions within 24 hours.”)

Bottom Line:
I sent them a short prose piece and received an overnight ACCEPTANCE!  Rehearsalwill likely appear sometime later this month. I’ll keep you posted.

Big thanks to Editor Ian Chung for all the great work and for accepting my work.

Oh. And in…

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The Color of….

From the Keyboard


It is not rose,

Much more like snow

that coats each velvet petal,

or  dims an apple’s blush,

the pear’s suggestive charm.

Nor is it fire,

for each hypnotic flame

dispels the notion once contained,

no, more like glass, it is,

transparent, hard,

and always set to crack.

It is not grass or stone.

No, more like ice,

much more,

an army of stalagmites rising from the depths,

unyielding and unbound,

crystalline and honed,

the frigid glow of outrage.

©2017 All Rights Reserved

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When walking is like dancing

A sweet breeze ruffles the leaves, green and red, with golden edges.

The window screen is silvered by the sunlight.

The clouds languish beyond the rooftops, feeling the warmth, unwilling to move.

We climb the stairs, not haltingly, but with purpose, enjoying the strength of our legs and our lungs.

We move forward, with resolve.



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Listen up….

From the Keyboard


This may turn out to be one of those posts I’ll delete later. But for now,  please bear with me: I have to rant.

A couple of days ago, I received eight…count them, eight phone calls on my land line within three hours, all of which were junk.

I love technology. I’m the person friends call when they’re having computer issues. But when it comes to cell phones, I’m 100% dinosaur. My cell is an old flip model, and is always off. Unless I am traveling, or have to communicate with family or friends during emergencies, I do not use it. So, if a junk caller is using that number, they’re getting bupkis.

But, because I have family and friends who are in their “Golden years” (if you are over 60, you’ll understand why I’ve used quotation marks), and who have numerous health issues, I never turn off the…

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Dear fellow teachers (and your students)


As the next school year looms and I prepare to begin my 21st year standing in front of a lecture hall full of one hundred (or more) eager and engaged students, happily professing about my favorite topics, I thought I’d prepare a pep talk for fellow teachers.

Then I thought I’d make another pep talk for future students.

And then I realized students and their teachers all need the same skill set, the same advice, to survive the demands of a semester.

Teachers, remember your students have many other courses, deadlines, labs, meetings, and responsibilities besides your homework. Be gentle: allow for a fumbled ball, a missed assignment, an absence. Consider excusing or dropping a low score. Consider it an outlier.

Students, remember your professors have many other courses to teach and lectures to prepare, hundreds of other students, meetings, committees, spouses, children, pets, and responsibilities besides grading your…

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