Beyond the Cuba Bloqueo


Visiting Cuba: 1905, 2014 and 2016

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Before the thawing of U.S.-Cuban relations went public, I made a trip to Cuba. It was 2014. Before diplomatic relations bloomed anew and flags unfurled over re-opened embassies. Before the two nations swapped prisoners, revered as national heroes by one, reviled as spies by the other, and vice versa. Before President Barack Obama and his family paid the first state visit to Cuba since President Calvin Coolidge won Pan-American hearts with his “ingratiating” grin and dined at “a colorful love feast with the delegates of the Latin-American nations”—or so the Chicago Daily Tribune reported on January 17, 1928.


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Writers Read: Parenting a Transgender Child


Writers Read at Fallbrook Library, Tuesday, June 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Hillary Whittington is a San Diego County resident and author of Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached (William Morrow, February 23, 2016). Part memoir, part instructive lessons, Raising Ryland tells her family’s story of her son’s transition from female to male.


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What a life


By Scott Gressitt

What have I done to deserve all this pleasure?

I am still an angry curmudgeon, an impatient father, an impulsive observer, and a distracted friend.

I can’t stay focused, I forget to call you, I live in my head (a beautiful but sometimes treacherous place), and I fart in public.


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Fruit of Thy Womb


An excerpt from Mi Amor: a Memoir

By Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin

I was born on the tenth of September,
nineteen hundred and seventeen.
Tucson, Arizona.
My baptism name is Elizabeth Carrasco Luna.
At nineteen years of age
I eloped with Elias Rodríguez Aparicio.
We were married by a justice of the peace in Arizona.
Five children lived. One baby boy died from my toxemia.


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Interview with Re Jane author Patricia Park


By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

When novelist Patricia Park set out to write Re Jane, she wanted to re-write Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s classic. The latter’s Jane was published in Victorian 1847 and set in the Georgian era. Neither time period offered women many options other than marriage. Park’s Jane was first published in 2015, when women had a multitude of options, if not equality.


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The Saga of Clete and Juanita’s Pool, Part 4


Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer

By Dan McClenaghan

Read previous installments: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

The remnants of the now subsurface meteorite had rendered gravity—a force considered as constant as God—inconsistent in the vicinity of Clete and Juanita Johnson’s backyard swimming pool. Big Brother knew this, and kept the area under surveillance via satellite and, sporadically, spy drones. …


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Writers Read Six-word Story Contest 2016


By popular demand, Writers Read at Fallbrook Library is conducting another six-word story contest.

In the vein of the story mythically attributed to Ernest Hemingway—”For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.”—we encourage you to be succinct and entertaining, while capturing the essence of a story in six words that imply a beginning, a middle, and an end.The deadline for entries is April 20, 2016, at 12 midnight, Pacific. …


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Put Your Husband in the Kitchen


Helen Keller explains economics to men

In my childhood, even before my education had been begun, I was allowed to take part in the elaborate ritual which, in those days, marked the making of a fruitcake at Christmas time. Although I was blind, deaf, and speechless, the thrill of the occasion communicated itself to me. There were all sorts of pungent and fragrant ingredients to collect and prepare…


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My Grandson’s Feet


By Ruth Nolan

My son-in-law sent my daughter a long instant message one night, about how he had just seen a soldier’s feet blown off at the ankles in Afghanistan when the guy stepped in the wrong place at the wrong time. My son-in-law said he had seen nothing but fire, and heard only the guy’s screams, and then he had seen blood splattered everywhere in the pattern of flames. Kandahar. 2013. …


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