Your Story Matters

Writer Years Are Like Dog Years

This weekend I head to HippoCamp, a fantastic conference for creative nonfiction writers in Lancaster PA, which happens to be where I now live.

So convenient!

I attended my first HippoCamp four years ago. Four years that have gone by in a flash and at the same time feel like a lifetime ago.

Is that what time feels like for dogs? I've often wondered, being a new-ish dog mom to Lucy, my 9 lb. chihuahua mix. But I digress ...

When I walked into the Lancaster Marriott for HippoCamp 2018, I was just on the other side of a couple of very difficult years navigating coming out as LGBTQ+ and a divorce resulting from that coming out decision. 

I had been furiously writing since coming out, trying to make sense of the life-changing experience I was going through. What was it really about? Why had I made the choices I'd made? Why would anyone care about my story?

I was definitely in "1st Draft Mode"—writing to understand what I was writing...

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It's Never Too Late

all about suzette Oct 25, 2021

It's Never Too Late

Four and a half years ago, at the age of 56, I left what looked like a fairytale existence and moved to a city where I knew exactly one person.

Some called me brave.

Some called me crazy, a few to my face.

I read somewhere that most of us only make big changes when the pain of staying in the known is worse than the pain of leaping into the unknown.

That was certainly my experience.

On the “before” side of my leap, I wouldn’t have called myself brave but I did feel crazy at times as I  contemplated leaving a thirty-year marriage to a good man, a life that was financially secure and comfortable in more ways than one.

But one day when I finally got quiet and still enough to hear my own voice, the fog cleared. I wasn’t willing to go to my grave without having really lived my life. The pain of not living authentically was greater than the pain and fear of not knowing what was on the other side.

There’s no way forward without some...

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A New Chapter

all about suzette Sep 27, 2021


For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent the 4th of July on the beach, mostly in Montauk, NY. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Montauk, it’s the easternmost tip of Long Island,120 miles east of New York City. Originally a fishing village, it used to be known as a popular summer spot for middle-class families, especially compared to the glitzier Hamptons villages to its west.

That’s the laid-back Montauk I remember fondly. The place where I square-danced with my parents and sister at the Hither Hills State Park campground. Where I learned to drive our silver Buick station wagon. Where I called out orders for steamers and lobsters at the dockside clam bar. Where I wept over a break-up with my first love. Where I raised two sons. Where I committed to my writing life. Where I wrote words that turned my life—and my family’s life—upside down. 

That streak of 4th of July’s in Montauk ended in 2017 when I left my old life...

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Space to Create

all about suzette Aug 03, 2021

Yoga Gives Me the Space to Create: What Works For You?

Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I’m back on my yoga mat, in the yoga studio, five days a week. Boy, did I miss this during quarantine!

The sweat. The breathing. The realization that I am clenching my jaw and then trying to relax those clenched muscles. The drishti, the gaze on one thing. The community. The beauty of discipline. The beauty of just showing up and doing the thing.

And truth be told, I get some of my best creative ideas while I’m on my mat. Kind of like many of us experience in the shower. Maybe it’s just the mind’s way of telling us we need more time away from the phone and laptop. Time to allow our minds to wander, to open up to new possibilities. Time to see a story we’ve been telling ourselves in a new light, to see a new way to structure our book. 

I can’t pretend to know how the mind works but I know that getting on my mat regularly helps me create.

I know that...

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all about suzette May 26, 2021

Guess what happened this week? I got Shot #2! I’m going to continue to be careful—wear masks in public, physically distance, and wash those damn hands—but this is a hallelujah moment! Freedom on the horizon! Have you had your hallelujah moment yet or is it on the horizon? What’s the first thing you’ll do once you’ve got the “all clear”?

I’m a sucker for legal shows. Anything Law & Order. The Good Wife. Now I’m watching its spinoff, The Good Fight. These shows make me wonder whether I gave up on the law too soon, but trust me you’d never see me prancing around in the stilettos those female TV lawyers wear. Maybe I was meant to be a writer and a book coach after all. Birkenstocks suit me better. 

Somebody’s going to be a June bride—actually two somebodies are going to be June brides. LOL. And guess who’s walking down the aisle with us?

 I still marvel at how a single decision can change...

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Better Late Than Never

all about suzette Mar 31, 2021

I’ve made a few big leaps in midlife, and one of the best is becoming a “dog person.” Meet Lucy, my first ever pet (if you don’t count goldfish, guppies, or turtles). I was severely allergic to cats and dogs as a child so we didn’t have any in our home. Truth be told, I didn’t “get” people who talked about their “fur babies.” Now I get it. Lucy’s the best, even though I’m way below Wendy, aka Mommy #1, in Lucy’s pecking order. It’s never too late to take the leap.

During the pandemic, I’ve been putting in long hours revising my memoir, and I’ve made an amazing discovery: you really only need 3 pairs of pants. Preferably with elastic waists. My new capsule wardrobe. Ha!

Taking a break from the madness and trying to watch The Handmaid’s Tale .... so intense! I want to keep watching but after one episode, my body forces me to switch to lighter fare like Schitt’s Creek....

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