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(Barely) On Zee Go Newsletter

January 2021

“If you want your name to be remembered after you’re dead either do something worth writing about or write something worth reading.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Dominican Republic

Bye bye 2020, not that 2021 started off on the right foot. January 6th who would have thought!
We usually go to Fiji for our “second anniversary” but as there was a 14-day quarantine (fine with me, not so much hubby) we instead zipped to The Dominican Republic. Neither of us had been there. Lovely, not that we saw much of the country, mostly sat on our behinds and of course I read. Which reminds me of the powerful book “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez. It is the heartbreaking story based on the Mirabal sisters who – well, I don’t want to give away – but three sisters during the time of the brutal Trujillo dictatorship. The sisters rose up and were political activist. I highly recommend.
Stories Matter

I started Stories Matter, my mentoring program with 6 engaged, passionate, smart young women. My whole concept is to encourage, inspire and guide the future female storytellers, underserved young women in our community (but growing beyond Santa Barbara). It is about finding their voices and telling their stories. Yes, I give them writing and reading assignments. We had the best-selling and Edgar-nominated author Ivy Pochoda pop in and tell us how she created her world in her book “These Women.” I will be having more guests for my mentees. And I’m planning the Spring Season of Stories Matter.
I have also been engaged with two filmmaking students who are participating in the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 10-10-10 program. Professional writers and directors mentoring high school and college students. They will soon be making their 10-minute film. The theme is “Isolation.” I wonder why? I love the stories my two girls will be telling. More on that latter.
Other than that, I have not been doing much of anything worth relating here. Writing. Reading. Exercising. Isolating at home. Working on losing “the quarantine 12!” Six down, six to go!
Betty at 100

My friend Betty Rowland, formerly known as “The Ball of Fire” for her hot stripping and flaming red hair turned 105!!! She is in line to get her COVID-19 vaccination. I haven’t seen her since her 102nd birthday. I hope she is still able to have her hair dyed, it was very important to her. Betty’s story and the story of her three sisters is pretty amazing. I’ve told a portion of it in my film (streaming on HD Broadway) and book “Behind the Burly Q.” I hope to write more about her someday. Involves a baron, a mysterious death and a whole lot more.

Burlesque and Pinup Emojis

Next month I have another book club zoom, this one for “Feuding Fan Dancers.” Super excited for it. If your BOOK CLUB would like me to visit via Skype, I’m available. It’s been fun coming into your homes, sending specialty FAN cocktail recipes before for you all to try, email me at if you want me to join in. A questionnaire is on the website to download for your Book Club

Must Read

Read a shelf more of great books. I am going to highlight St. Simone’s “The Sun Down Motel.” It is a ghost story with depth. A real-page turner. Other highly recommended pages are: “The Black Kids” which I have already suggested to my little peoples’ Upper School. Should be a MUST READ instead of “Lord of the Flies” (some of you know of my very real hatred for that book!) “You Can’t Catch Me” another great twisty thriller, involves a cult, and several women with the same name and birthday and a big con. Also, “Roll with It,” though written for middle-schoolers it is super engaging, with a loveable character of Ellie who has cerebral palsy, but refuses to be defined by it. More coming.
Also, damn excited to announce I have started a book club with ENTITY Magazine and in February our first book, and guest author who will zoom with us is Christina Hammonds Reed (above.) AND, I have some amazing other authors committed.
And what I’m reading or recently read
for complete list, I have everything on Good Reads
as I can’t remember them all!
Excuse the typos . . . the bane of my existence.

See ya between the pages next month which is the month of the National Holiday . . . Age of Aquarius (that’s your hint)

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