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Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

I am a complete geek. A nerd. And I am not ashamed of that.

Like all the best nerds, I am picky about my superheroes. For example, I am not into aliens (Superman wasn’t even a documented alien until he was adopted, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a legal adoption). It was just pure dumb luck that Peter Parker got bitten by a radioactive spider on his way to becoming Spider-Man. …


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Photo by Candace Mathers on Unsplash

I have tried to educate myself about vitamins, but one of my problems is that I am a cynic. Deep in the recesses of my mind (and not so deep, as well), I am not sure that vitamins work. There isn’t a committee of dedicated physicians who rigorously test how taking vitamins will affect each individual. There aren’t any standards at all, that I noticed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically states on its website, that it “does not have the authority to review dietary supplements.”

While it is true there are no clear standards for vitamins and…


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Photo by Aneta Foubíková on Unsplash

I love New Zealand. I have loved the very idea of New Zealand for almost 40 years now. It started with a movie.

The movie was called Utu. It means “revenge” in Maori. I saw the movie in 1983. It was then I fell in love with New Zealand. I saw it with a friend, Sunu, who was from Samoa. After he saw how I absolutely loved the movie — and the wild, untamed land of lush vegetation, he said, “You are going to be so surprised when you get there, to see white people in New Zealand.” “What?” I…


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Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

I know that I just wrote a short list of exercises for creative endeavors, but as I was looking for a book for a friend, I stumbled upon one of my favorite books about writing, John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction. It contains not just some good advice — but pure gold — and the exercises in the end, the ones John Gardner used for his classes, are diamonds. As a writer, my challenges are many, but chief among them is the fact that everything I write sounds like my voice — my style, my flow, my wordplay. …


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Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

In thinking of writing today’s blog, I thought to myself, “Self, wouldn’t it be great if I had some little guide, a sort of an exercise I can do?” I went in search of this exercise among the many, many books on writing and creativity that I own, and came out with several ideas from a variety of sources — several sort-of warmup exercises everyone can use to warm up the creative writing muscles (yes, this is a listicle).

1. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write as many words starting with the letter R as you can in…


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Photo by Mirko Blicke on Unsplash

If you love doing something, you are going to make time for it. It’s really not complicated, it’s not rocket surgery, it’s not even remotely original. So why do I find it so damn difficult?

For one, my ego resists both change and hard work. Change is difficult under the best of circumstances. My nature isn’t exactly a hard-working but rather work-averse. This last part is a mystery to me, since I come from very hard-working folk.

And I want to work hard. I want to become a write-a-holic so badly, I can taste it … and it tastes like…


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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Wal-Mart is the one of the few places I have to get psyched up for in order to go to. It is not a classy place. But, it is also a place where no one, absolutely no one, cares what you wear. I feel overdressed, even when I am wearing my largest, baggiest dark green sweatpants and a ratty, ancient black t-shirt under my oversized red hooded sweatshirt (now I have Adam Sandler’s “Red Hooded Sweatshirt” on my brain).

That’s where, and how, I found myself yesterday afternoon. Cursing myself under my breath, and under my mask, I reviewed the…


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Photo by Renè Müller on Unsplash

I wish I had a guide map, to help me on the way,

I wish I had a pillow, to lay where I would lay,

I wish I had some will power, to tell me when to stop,

I wish I had a compass, to tell me where to go.

In early, blurry hours, when I can’t sleep a wink,

I worry about Covid, and melting ice caps, too,

I worry about racism, systemic at its root,

I worry about headaches, delivered on my route.

I think about my doggoes, the weather and my kids,

My privilege, my language and…


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Some meme taken from the Internet

Take one fat and adorable groundhog in a town of Punxsutawney, call him Phil, take good care of him and the missus, and every February 2 he would emerge from his burrow and predict the weather. This year, 2021, Punxsutawney Phil did indeed see his shadow, and that means that we are to expect six more weeks of winter.

I love this “holiday,” as well as all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds it. You have several grown men who don formal clothing, including top hats, and treat this day as a truly magical rite of winter. It is my…


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Photo by Becky Phan on Unsplash

As a little girl in Soviet Union, I used to love the circus. I loved watching the performing animals, I enjoyed seeing amazing acrobats, and I really loved the clowns.

Unfortunately, lately, clowns have gotten a bad rap. Thanks to The Joker, IT, Krusty, and the simplicity of most clown routines (here in the United States, at least), clowns get no respect. Other than Ronald McDonald, most people can’t name a clown to save their lives. But back in the days of the U.S.S.R., clowns had elaborate, almost intricate routines (in addition to being able to do everything everyone else…

Elena Tucker

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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