Celebrating the WordSisters

This month, the WordSisters celebrate eight years of blogging and sharing our love of words and stories.

Why a Blog?

The WordSisters name came from our longstanding writer’s group (Elizabeth, Jill, Brenda, Jean, Rosemary, Lisa, and me). Several of us were working on books and the first tagline, “In it together from inspiration to publication,” reflected the blog’s original purpose.

In 2012, Elizabeth and I had memoir manuscripts we hoped to publish. Experts recommended blogging as a way to attract agents and publishers. In 2016, North Star Press published Elizabeth’s memoir, House of Fire.

Create. Connect. Inspire.

Early on, Elizabeth and I were the primary bloggers. Attracting agents and publishers was our original motivation, but soon we were blogging for the pleasure of writing. We had things to say and stories to share. Plus, the discipline of contributing several blogs per month kept us writing. Some have been classic blogs; others are short personal essays. The blog’s tagline evolved to “Create. Connect. Inspire.”

 Since 2012, Our Circle Has Grown.

Through the years Jill, Brenda, and Jean have also contributed. Cynthia, author of five novels and coauthor of 40 Thieves on Saipan joined us in 2017. Bev, author of What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! A Guide for Teens added her voice this year. Now the WordSisters is a collection of voices—each with a distinct style.

The joy of writing brought us together under the banner of WordSisters. At eight years and counting, we’re still going strong.

Thank you to our followers (4,900 now). Your likes, comments, and support mean so much!





Lucky 7 — Celebrating the WordSisters’ 7th Anniversary

In 2012, when Elizabeth and I launched WordSisters, we weren’t sure where this adventure would take us or if we could keep up the discipline (and pleasure) of blogging regularly. But here we are—still blogging!

Through the years, more sisters in writing joined us: Cynthia, Brenda, Jill, and Jean. We’ve made friends and added followers from all over the U.S. and the world.

I believe one of our strengths is the variety of voices, styles, and subject matter each of us brings. In that spirit, here is a selection of popular posts:

On Losing My Ambition (Open Letter to 35-Year-Old Hiring Managers) I made choices that supported the life I wanted; my decisions did not advance a traditional career path.

Until It Becomes Personal  Until it becomes personal it is somewhere else, someplace else, somebody’s else’ kid.

I’m (Not) Sorry I have set a big goal for myself: to stop saying “I’m sorry.”

Time Runs Out We hadn’t seen each other for a couple of months when he had shared with us that he experienced a couple of mysterious health incidents.

No Merit Badge for This “What would you do if there was a fight in the food court?”

God Bless Middle-aged Daughters We’re the sensible, competent women who make it all happen.

Opposing Thumbs As I sat in Miss Bloom’s typing class, I never thought that one day I’d be typing primarily with my thumbs.

Comfortable on Any Turf In memory of Lisa, whose writing group—Ellen, Elizabeth, Rose, Jill, Brenda, and I—were WordSisters well before Ellen and Elizabeth began this blog.

Thank you for being our readers over the years. You’re the reason we’re here.


“Is there anything about me in here?”



“Is there anything about me in here?” Crystel said with a hint of despair in her voice.

“Yes,” I answered. “There’s a sentence. Keep reading.”

She was skimming my recent blog about our 3-legged cat.

“This story is mostly about Antonio,” I added.

“Grrrrrr,” she responded.

I laughed. “Do you want the next blog to be all about you?”

“Yes,” she said emphatically.

Writers often worry about writing about their kids online. Using them for fodder when crafting a story. Much is written about the ethical implications of mothers writing about their kids and the online privacy of children. Mothers don’t want to betray their children.

I’ve had a different experience with Antonio and Crystel, both now thirteen years old. My children want to be seen, noticed, and heard. They want to be important enough to be blog material. They would feel betrayed if I didn’t include them in my writing life.

Crystel helping me with squad maintenance checks.

Crystel helping me with squad maintenance checks.

From time to time, I get squeamish blogging about my children. Not because of what my kids might think but what other writers might. Mothers should protect their children, not exploit them for media attention. Sometimes, I feel tempted to add an aside to blogs and tell the reader that my children have read and approved of the story and photos. I don’t do that. Another voice emerges in my head, a much louder voice. That it’s my business what I write and readers have a choice whether or not to read my material. I won’t be silenced as I was when I was a child.

If the blog is about them, Antonio and Crystel know the contents before I even start drafting the blog.  Before it’s published they’ve read the article and seen the photos. They might ask me to change a line or to take a sentence out or to use a different photo. Most often the blog is published as is with their approval.

There are benefits to having a mother who will blog about you. Last week, Crystel was finishing a class project for her Language Arts class – a 3 panel brochure – that needed to include pictures of herself when she asked, “Do you have any photos of me?”

In the trunk of squad cars there are stuffed animals for children. Crystel is picking one of her monster dolls to add for a give-away.

In the trunk of squad cars there are stuffed animals for children. Crystel is picking one of her monster dolls to add for a give-away.

Antonio answered her, “Just Google yourself. I put a picture of me and my birth mom Rosa on mine.” He looked at me and explained. “That was the most recent picture I could find online.”

Crystel was positively gleeful. “You’re right.”

Crystel’s desire to be a part of my writing life isn’t limited to the WordSisters blog.

She visualizes herself sitting next to me signing copies of House of Fire, my yet to be published manuscript.

House of Fire shows that thirty years of breaking free from a cycle of silence and betrayal was not enough to prepare me for the trials of starting my own healthy family.

Jody and I have worked hard to create a home of love, safety, and joy where no one gets silenced.

Crystel’s been practicing her autograph. I’ll be so proud to have her next to me. Both of us will be seen, noticed, and heard.

Her only complaint about this blog – “It doesn’t have enough pizaaz.”

Well, next time kid.

I Never Wanted Anything Bad Enough to Camp Overnight for It, But . . .

Antonio had me at, “You can blog about it.”

I studied him, then upped the ante, “With photos … of you?”

To convince a twelve-year-old boy to pose for photos at any time is challenging.

Antonio pointing to an empty display of Amiibos

Antonio pointing to an empty display of Amiibos during our ‘dry’ run.

He nodded.

That is how I came to be standing in a line at Target on a Friday morning before the store opened.

Amiibos would be released at 8 am. It was Antonio’s goal to get three of them before they were sold out. But, he had school. Since I had the day off from work, I would be a perfect stand-in.

The night before the big release, Antonio insisted that we take a practice run. I needed to know the most direct route to the sales counter.

He would have preferred that I camp overnight outside the store doors. He even offered that he and Crystel would join me. He surmised that the both of them could bring their bikes and leave me first in line when it came time for them to bike to school.

I actually thought about it. It would be a new and shared experience. But, then again, I thought I should save that opportunity for something other than a fairy-type Pokemon. Concert tickets or ….. I don’t know …. I’ve never wanted anything bad enough to camp overnight for it.

What we would do for our kids. Antonio certainly wanted these Amiibos. His goal was to collect every one. He has 17.

I’m not a collector. I’m a purger. It took me awhile to understand that my children were different from me. There were times that I cringed realizing — a little too late — that they were collecting the very items I was purging. The items were already down the road at ARC or the school store or the garbage can.

IMG_6301That Friday, after dropping Antonio and Crystel off at school I headed over to Target. I was number 8 in line. I looked down the line at my 7 peeps.

A text message interrupted my thoughts.

Antonio wanted to know if I was in line, how many were in front of me, and if they were kids.

All men in their twenties except a young lady sitting next to me, I text back.

I set down my phone and asked her why she was there. “My brother,” she said. Adding, “He owes me.”

I stood up. “Hey, I’m writing a blog,” I said, loud enough for everyone to hear. “Do you mind if I take your picture?” A thumbs up, a nod of the head, a grunt. “Anyone mind?” I questioned again. No answer, which was my answer.

At 8 am when the doors opened, I was surprised at the calm.

My peeps walked single file. No cutting in line. The first guy determined the pace. Three clerks were at the counter waiting for us. Amiibos were stacked behind them. By the time it was my turn, two amiibos were already sold out.

IMG_6307I can only tell you that I got a Jigglypuff.

Antonio will learn if I scored any others on his birthday in July.

Not knowing until then will torment him. I love doing that to an almost 13-year old.