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From Phyllida's Desk

Medusa and Me

Classical Greek gorgoneion; fourth century BC
Classical Greek gorgoneion; fourth century BC

After I got lucky, had my bisexual romance novels published, and was still basking in the afterglow, I renounced the idea that writing has to be painful, like sitting at the typewriter and opening a vein (according to Red Smith, or Ernest Hemingway, or other great writers). If writing stops being fun, I said, I would quit.

Well, writing stopped being fun a long time ago, but I didn't quit. I just got very, very sloooooooow.  Read More 

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Help is not a dirty word

Last year, explaining to a coworker why I didn't want to volunteer at the children's Halloween party, I said what I thought was obvious: "I don't feel like having the 'What happened to your hands' conversation a gazillion times."

She apologized, saying, "People just don't see it after a while."

That's nice for people. Because it’s the deformities they stop seeing, not the disabilities.  Read More 
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Furies on the Shuttle

In Greek mythology, the Erinyes (Furies) are "the angry ones." They are chthonic (underworld) deities whose purpose is to punish crimes against the ancient "natural order": young against old; child against parent; host against guest. The furies are so terrifying that they are seldom called by name. The title of Euripides' play The Eumenides is a euphemism: "the kindly ones."

In my Christmas letter, I included a link to a video of me performing my latest work, "What is the Matter?" Apart from any question of poor judgment (guilty!) what has troubled me in some peoples' responses is what I would call a one- dimensional way of thinking about the subject of the piece: two points (terminals) linked by a shuttle. There is no place in the middle, much less a second or third dimension.
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