My Wandering Uterus ToC

Wandering Uterus Proposed for web

The all-but-final table of contents for My Wandering Uterus, the collection of travel writing by women that Byron and I were foolish enough to brainstorm together — joking! I suppose this is the nearest I will come to that feeling of a baby being overdue (at this rate, I fear it will be coming out smoking a cigar and demanding a martini). But the end is in sight!

We have poetry, memoir, travelogue, fiction, humour, and more from very different women who inhabit all walks of life — even a mother and daughter! I’m grateful to them all for trusting us with their tales.

There are one or two details to firm up [contributors! please correct any errors you see in your title, name or punctuation] but here we go:

A Journey Charm — K. A. Laity (translation from medieval English)
Foreword — H. Byron Ballard
Accidental Openings — Carolyn Coulson
Wearing the Shalwar Kameez — Dawn Reno Langley
Once Upon a Time in Mexico — Catherine Lundoff
Poems — Devon Balwit
In the Course of a Pilgrimage — Tahni J. Nikitins
The Five Dollar Car — Diane Payne
The Threshold of the Sheela — Amy J. Rio
Mexican Getaway — Tonja LH Vernazza
In Search of Sorrow — G. Clark Hellery
Freedom of Voice — Jessica Marie Baumgartner
How Could I Disappear? — Sandi Hoover
The Week I was Jodie Foster — Leanne Breiholz
The Time I Went to Malta — Holli Shan
Sally Lunn — H. Byron Ballard
Good Fortune — Ellen J. Perry
Five Poems — Miriam Sagan
From Warrior to Chaplain: Giving the Middle Finger to the Patriarchy — Tiffany Andes
Notes from Barakhamba — Kate Telma
Pilgrimages — Ginger Strivelli
Chasing Shadows — Tammy Conrad
Motosexual & Trains of Thought — Shannon McRae
Five Days in Sydney: Remembering Judy Garland — Joan Coulson
Journal of Drive Therapy — Clara Vann-Patterson
Get Miles — Susannah Blanchard
My Uterus Did Not Wander — Tamara Miles
Never Look at their Faces and Other Unwritten Rules — Sonya M. Hamrick
Traveling the Crow Road with My Daughter — Sheri Barker
Freedom to Move About the Cabin — Angela Kunschmann
The Anniversary Train — Catherine Nurmepuu
The Beauty of Language and the Inadequacies of Standard Dictionaries — Ellen Sandberg
My Wandering Freedom — Lisa Wagoner
Walking Veiled through Khan el Kalili — Cynthia Talbot
Hotel Sheets — Victoria Squid
Across the Cerulean Sea: Woman on Water? — MJ Toswell
Colophon: Blessing

Write 4 a Day: 18 Feb 2018

Write 4 a DayDon’t you deserve at least one day to write?

Write 4 a Day is a series of monthly one-day writing retreatsin upstate New York. There is:

  • no workshop
  • no agenda
  • no required activities
  • no assignments
  • no schedule
  • no WiFi!

Unplug. Write. Don’t write. Think. Daydream. Doodle. Outline. Come for the whole day or just for part of it; network, collaborate or write solo; wander the woods, hills, fields and streams of Universal Pathways for inspiration (bring sturdy shoes) or sit in a comfy chair and brainstorm. It’s up to you.

WHO – you! We haven’t had to limit attendance yet, but it’s getting to be a consideration. If you want to be sure to reserve a space, email me via the contact form.

WHY – because you deserve a day to devote to your writing (or daydreaming or sketching or scheming or knitting or…)

WHAT – $22 fee for the space (cash/check/PayPal/$20 for HVWG members) and food (a dish to share or your own lunch)

WHEN – 10am-5pm

2018: Feb 18, Mar 18, Apr 22, May 20

WHERE – Universal Pathways, 692 Pleasant Valley Rd, Berne, NY 12023 – Phone: (518) 872-2272

My Blakean Muse

Rouze up, O Young Men of the New Age! set your foreheads against the ignorant Hirelings! For we have Hirelings in the Camp, the Court & the University, who would, if they could, for ever depress Mental & prolong Corporeal War.

William Blake, Preface to Milton

I have had some insight into a revision I need to make to my novel Hire Idiots. I’ve neglected to make clear the important role played by quislings.


Quislings are the reason the neoliberal effort succeeds. The hard-line zealots would get nowhere without them. They help normalise, apologise and internalise the reframing of education as assessment. Their efforts to ‘not make waves’ allow the system to drown in mediocrity. It’s always easier to ‘go with the flow’ in the short term, but the long term effects are deadly.

I’ve had more insight in recent years about my inability to conform to neurotypical conventions. Despite accusations, it’s not a pugnacious desire to ‘think outside the box’; it’s a kind of blindness. I can’t see the box.


William Blake: Apollyon Attacks Christian, Pilgrim’s Progress

Ione’s Dream Festival: Dream Poem for Sunday

Ione Dream FestThe SpeakEasy dames are hosting Ione’s Dream Festival this week: check it out on Facebook. Here’s our Sunday poetry offering by Wendy Goldberg; I think it’s got just the right touch of melancholy for an ending.

We’ve had a wonderful time sharing our writing, music and art. Keep dreaming, remember refill the well, and as the dames would surely tell you, make sure someone’s got your back while you dream. 


Perhaps it would be like no poem would ever be forgotten,
if we remembered every dream we ever had.

The day would be as surreal as the night,
populated with a memory that does not exist,
a narrative running counter to the light.
Would people say in the café, wiping sugar off the table
I am a flyer or I dream of water?
Would lovers whisper sexual non-sequitors
about images that abandon all sense of plot?

Perhaps those taboos would go silently unshared,
and if nightmares could not be broken with the day,
we might keep those secret yet.

But, we would remember all —
from an angel in the deep midnight womb
telling us the mind of God
to our last twilight vision in sickbeds
where dreams glide away like a grey sky
sliding its palms on an endless, still sea.
As we breathe at night, we breathe in day
like the way we dream
about the dead in that first year of grief.

Instead, mornings have merciful hands,
wiping a fogged-up mirror, and we see
the same story we keep telling ourselves.

Ione’s Dream Festival: Dream Music

Ione Dream FestThe SpeakEasy dames are hosting Ione’s Dream Festival this week: check it out on Facebook. Here’s tonight’s entry by singer-songwriter Julie Beman:

“Memory This” is a song about two dreams, but it also sounds dreamlike due to various production choices made during development and engineering.

The song opens with a mellotron, moody and wonky; its sound is a staple of both science fiction and prog rock and its “out-of-tune-y-ness” serves to destabilize. The piano brings in a feeling of being grounded, but only until the vocal, awash in reverb and delay, introduces a dream. After four lines the vocal splits into elaborate harmonies. As all of the parts are sung by the same person, there is a hall-of-mirrors quality to them; one person has multiplied into many. Strings are typical dream-fare. Panning moves the sound in space, denying it an opportunity to “land.” The song ends with an improvisation, an act of creation that will happen only once, much like a dream.

Ione’s Dream Festival: Dream Poem

Ione Dream FestThe SpeakEasy dames are hosting Ione’s Dream Festival this week: check it out on Facebook. Here’s today’s entry by Karen Ponzio in poetic form: find her as @kptheword on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook.

Ode to Dreaming

What do you do when you cease to dream?
Do you walk the streets endlessly,
Drink large quantities of wine, whiskey,
Or some other magic potion sweet
Search for a wild woman, make her your queen,
Feed her sugar fresh from your lips
As she lies back upon the green grass
Of your mountain bed,
Stir her guts up with promises
Of passion in pink and red
Comfort her when she breaks instead?

Is there comfort in anything if it isn’t taken
To its end?
Is death the only comfort left?
Must you pretend that life is the better choice
Knowing it is not a choice at all?
Must you fall over and over into the same hole
Hidden in plain sight
Or is the hole one of your own making
Where other worlds awaited you,
Jewels, gold, a dragon’s lair,
A sorcerer’s stone
A hiding place for an alien force
Though no escape from the torture of knowing
You were mostly alone?

Would you then try once again
To close your eyes at night
And see what transpires
Without judgement of what is
Wrong or right,
Without begging her to tell you something
Anything to keep you from hearing
The stories of your own plight
Buried deep within your troubled mind?

Would you let your queen get her beauty sleep,
or do you feel the need to wake her
And ask if she had claimed your love as well as
Your dreams?

How much do you expect her to take?
Do you even know what love is?
Do you have anything left to say?

Let what you love break if it has to
And love it anyway.

Ione’s Dream Festival: Dreaming as a Musical Practice

Ione Dream FestThe SpeakEasy dames are hosting Ione’s Dream Festival this week: check it out on Facebook. Today’s entry by Lys Guillorn, singer-songwriter and all around great gal, can be found at her website. Here’s a taste:

I trust my dreams to reveal aspects of reality that I can’t access in waking life. The shuffle of influences, information, and stimuli creates new combinations in music, writing, and visual art impossible to activate with my waking mind. My dreaming self is my most constant collaborator… [read the rest here]