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Nine pint-sized players take positions on America’s diamond. Different colors, sizes, languages, and origins.

Throw, catch, pitch, hit.

Respecting each other, their coach, the game. For ninety minutes united to win. Something soon turns them into men. Graduates, fathers, workers, dropouts.

Throwing jabs, catching breaks, pitching lives, hitting fists.

United or divided by the example set. Our future, these boys we’ve made.

This is a 62-word sestude from an exercise I did with the Dark Angels Advanced Writing Course. As always, constraints breed creativity and I particularly like how these few sentences depict big ideas. The prompt was “What I see now…”

In the best stories, the characters are as real to us as our closest friends and relatives. Real enough to write a letter to another character in a completely different book.

Women often think aloud, looking for inspiration or a common ally. This piece takes a minute to wonder what if Josephine March, the standout sister of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, wrote a letter to Jane Bennet, the quiet counterpart to the heroine Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Jane’s gentleness makes the perfect sounding board for Jo, who writes her in a fit of rage. Jane is best known for almost losing her Mr. Bingley when she held her heart too close for him to see. In contrast, Jo wears her writer’s heart on her sleeve.

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A poem inspired by Emily Dickinson

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“Hope” is the thing with laughter
That starts as a sly grin
And blooms into a snicker.
It grows from there — it can’t help it.

It might become a chortle,
the sound when you try to hide a snort.
Furrowed eyes and a raised finger to lips try to shush you.
But the bonds are broken now, it has wings.

It quickly takes off as a chuckle, then a ha-ha.
Then an open mouth, cover-it-with-your-hand guffaw.
It makes you slap your knee and it ends with a light-hearted sigh. …

A fond retelling of my recent trip to Ireland’s west coast.

Dear friend,

I write to you as though we are acquainted, as though we talk often and are used to a comfortable conversation. After my recent visit to Galway and other western parts of Ireland, I must tell you how delightful the countryside is.

I am fortunate to visit Ireland for work about twice a year. This was my sixth trip and while I grinch at how long the journey takes — about a 3-hour flight to Newark, then 6 to 7 hours flying over the Atlantic to Shannon…

It houses food, yes. But so much more, should you ever need it.

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We were sitting around the dinner table scraping the last bites from our plates when I remembered to tell my husband “Mom said to call her this weekend if you need anything.”

“I need anything!” my son Charlie proclaimed.

“What is it that you need my dear,” I asked, side-eying him as I folded my napkin and crossed my arms.

“Pop-tarts and root beer,” he stated matter-of-factly. “I can only get that at Gigi’s house.”

The thing about my mother, Gigi, and her pantry is simple. It…

A look at my first decade as a mother, in 14 lines.

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A note on the form: when you read a sonnet, read it out loud, saying the numbers. You’ll notice a steady rhythm, like the rumble of a train as it gets closer to you.

1. In just a few short months, my twin boys will celebrate their tenth birthday. Ten! Two boys who are ten. Seems like just yesterday they were born, weighing a collective 10 pounds. 2. I feel like I should mark this milestone, salute all that we’ve accomplished in this first ten years, to prepare…

If you see oysters and have a stomach-churning reaction, this book may be the cure.

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Let us all thank M.F.K. Fisher for asking so politely that her readers “consider” the oyster. This slim (only 96 pages!), yet potent book, like its protagonist, is a must read merely for the pleasure of learning the evolution of your oyster before down the hatch it goes.

If you are enduring winter’s last gasp like we are down in Texas, I offer this book recommendation to you in the hopes that it tempts your senses with sunshine and brine and sea.

Fisher opens with…

Lacy Rohre (like a lion)

Dabbling writer who leans into whimsey, motherhood, and all things wistful.

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