Author Archive | Judy

Tulips

Celebrate Spring!

It’s spring! Around Puget Sound, we just had a three-day storm off the Pacific with winds up to fifty miles an hour, but the tulip fields survived. A few golden ones from our garden, a bit windblown, light the dining table. The cherry trees are at the end of their glory, but the apple trees […]

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dreamstime_s_211694006

Buzz Words and the Power of Mob-Think

                        FREEDOM! REVOLUTION! CHOICE! LIFE! JUSTICE! Words that reach deep into the American soul, the heart of the moral order, even when they are demanding liberation from that order. All express the feeling that something is wrong or has gone wrong with society and […]

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habits of the heart

Talking About Religion and Politics

                    I talked last week about my journey from Protestant to Catholic and back again, and as I look back on experiences that shaped my life, I count the study of culture, especially the interweaving of politics and religion as a major force. Sociology and anthropology […]

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Boston Marathon exzplosion 4/15/13 Boston Marathon

What is it About Extremes?

    What is it about extremes that draw us so irrevocably toward our doom? For four years, we were ruled by a man whose love of power and belief in his own greatness took him, and us, to the verge of insanity. Now we watch Putin pull the world with him toward the same […]

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magoc book

The Power of the Imagination

  One of the greatest gifts of writing fiction is the ability to create characters and worlds, resulting in new perspectives that change your understanding of the people and the world around you. I remember inventing Carla in The Inheritors, then puzzling over her familiarity. I woke up one morning realizing that she sprang from […]

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community

Individual Versus Community

  If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, is that isolation is bad for the human soul. Maybe it has also shown us that our need for community, for others, is both vital and powerful—as much to our self-interest as to our individual aspirations. As an ageing woman with lousy hearing, I fight the […]

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magic lamp

Of Magic and Muses

  I was born and raised during the Depression in a row of apartment buildings behind the University of Chicago where young faculty raised their young. During the day, we children lived in the cobweb of banisters, porches, and staircases that climbed the back of the buildings. We climbed trees, walked fences and held secret […]

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The Stuff of Dreams

                            What is the American Dream? The most common definition we hear is the economists’—a wife, two kids, a home of your own and a car in the drive. That definition may serve its economic purpose, but it isn’t, to me, the […]

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Changing Racial Attitudes

  I ended the last blog by saying that the current race movement is carrying the country toward extremism and further and further from changing racial attitudes. Radical positions like condemning whole civilizations may sound noble, but it accomplishes nothing—except ridicule, perhaps. Consciousness-raising, making America aware that it has a race problem, has been going […]

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Racism and Fear

But allow the power of the internet to fall into the hands of those who deliberately heat fear into hatred, prejudice into racism, and we’ll move further and further from the kind of attitude change we seek.

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An Ode to Diversity: Hema Vasavada

  Hema Vasavada, one of the founding members of the Skagit Valley Writers League, passed away this week. A long-time friend and an active supporter of local writers, I will miss her. As I ponder how to honor her memory, I realize she is a model, for me, of what it is to be an […]

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How to Start a New Year

  I don’t know how to start this new year that feels already old. The usual resolutions seem irrelevant, the questions bewildering, the answers out of reach. I don’t know how to fix the mess the country has gotten itself into, a mess that is heading toward another crisis on Election Day. I can only […]

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