Lakefly Writers Conference

How would you handle having something to say, getting a book deal, and then writing your version of a story?

On Saturday morning, Jerome Buting, ex-attorney for Steve Attorney, will talk about Jerome Buting writing his book, Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System. A first-time author, Buting said “I wish I had come to this event last year. I would have learned a great deal!” Buting will share the challenges […]

via Jerome Buting at Lakefly Writers Conference — writingwithdixie

Ten Things It Took Me 50 Years To Figure Out…

Great list. Is there a way for 23 year olds to learn this?

So today is my 50th birthday. Fifty. Holy shit! I’d certainly rather be 25 twice and I’m pretty sure that in my mind I’m infinitely 23…but here I am 50. So what has all this time here on earth taught me and how am I a better woman than I was at 23 or 25? If I had to break it down into just ten things, I’d have to go with the following insights.

  1. Life is a roller coaster   Be sure to fasten your seat belt and keep your hands in the cart at all times because as sure as there’s an up, there’s going to be a down. Don’t panic, hold on tight around the sharp curves and enjoy the ride. Everything always works out in the long run. 
  2. Choose your battles   Some things just aren’t worth the drain that they cause on your energy and…

View original post 413 more words

How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century

This is my review for Louis Clark’s chapbook How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century. This is from the Wisconsin Historical Press.

“The story Mr. Clark tells is fascinating. It’s his story of growing up Native American in Wisconsin and facing racism, discrimination, and a difficult childhood. Don’t worry though, Mr. Clark also focuses on humor and love. He reminds me of a priest our church had that told a homily and broke out into song to punctuate his points. Mr. Clark does that with his poetry.”

In full disclosure, I know Mr. Clark. I interviewed him for my YouTube Channel show AuthorShowcase of Oshkosh. Besides being a great guy and family man, he has many stories to tell (he tells many in this book). So I am biased. Yet I think you will find this to be a great book. He weaves poetry in the story of his life and as he tell us, he does it to the real beat of the pow wow drum.

Lakefly Writers Conference

I have been a part of the Lakefly Writers Conference for the last five years now. I’ve spoken at it twice and I want to invite you to come to #lakefly17.

If you are a writer, you need to go to a conference. They do so many things for you. They teach. They create friendships, and they inspire. Everyone I’ve met that has gone to a writers conference leaves with inspiration to write (aggressively/ passionately??). If Oshkosh, Wisconsin is too far away, find another one.

However, I recommend this one. We pride ourselves on being friendly and well-run.

I am also inspired by The Oshkosh Public Library. The director set out on creating a conference to fill a need for writers in the area. The only goal was to support them. Since then, the library and the Lakefly Volunteers have had one goal- to provide quality speakers at a very affordable price.

We have a powerful lineup this year. Nickolas Butler and Jerome Buting will be are keynote speakers. For more information please go to

If you have been to the Lakefly, please let us know and maybe blog about your experience.

Adult Supervision

Adult Supervision

John Elder Robison, author of Look Me In The Eyes, talked about his asperger’s syndrome going undiagnosed. A great book and in it he talks about the adults being the only ones that interacted with him due to his social skills.
People with autism can be challenging. However, as adults, we can handle it. When behaviors get on our nerves, we need to be the ones that keep them from isolation.
Their behaviors are not a choice to be naughty. They can be organic and they can be learned. They may make comments that are insensitive because they cannot predict how it will be taken.
Those behaviors do not need to be ignored. However, we need to make sure the person behind those behaviors are also not ignored. You do not know how important you might be to someone without positive relationships.

Autism-Sensory Overload

Sensory Overload-

Everyone can get frustrated at noise or lights. People with autism are especially sensitive to it. Your mind has the ability to filter out an extraneous sound or a slight flicker to a light. However, a person with autism may not. It may be a trigger for them and it may not be obvious to neuro-typical person.

I have read experiences with kids where they are screaming and crying and it turns out they are upset about a machine in the other room or the flicker of lights. Most often, I think that they are responding to internal stimuli or that it is a behavioral response. They are trying to gain or avoid something. yet it is something to consider.

People with autism may not have a mind that can filter out what is important. They put as much attention to the electric fan going as the sound of your voice. The chair is as important as your face. They take in sensory input and cannot prioritize.

That is why they cannot identify social cues.

Autism- Some Thoughts

(disclaimer: I am going to generalize for simplicity sake. Autism affects every person different. They have their own set of skills and deficits, like everyone).

Remaining calm:
One of the significant problems of autism is the sensory. They do not filter out input the way a typical person does.That is why you will see a person with autism wearing headphones. They are extra sensitive to sounds.

They are extra sensitive to all sensory input.

That is why it is important to be calm when dealing with children with autism. Sometimes this can be impossible, but they do respond to calmness. If you can maintain a low heartbeat, slow breathing and a calm expression, their body will try to match it.

So if you can, sit close to them and remain calm and remain safe, then they will respond. However, you have to use caution. This leaves you open for a hit or bite.

Choose safety first.

After All, we have all been so angry we have wanted to hit someone or something. The thing that stops us is we identify others feelings and we know the social norms.
These are two things children with autism have difficulty with.
If you are upset, you will give off cues. Those cues come at a child with no filter strongly and there body gets even more overloaded.

This is why (and it is hard), as a aprent you should look into respite time. Autism is hard on you health and your marriage. Take help so that you can be at your best.

The Brutality of Being a Cop

If we want to fix the problem of unarmed black men being shot by police, we must do more than fight racism. There are racists police. There are racist people in every profession. Police officers have to deal with things on a daily basis that almost all of us could not deal with. They do it for society.
However, their main goal is to get home alive each day. They are trained for the situation of what to do if they feel threatened. That is to shoot and shoot to kill. People have to realize that and acknowledge the danger of appearing armed.
This is not to blame the black men either. Anger of how they are treated is justified. The problem comes from prejudice.
However, the most prejudiced police officer does not want to shoot a black man. Even if they are confident that they will be exonerated, life as they know it is over.
That is not to say that there is not a problem. It begins with bias. Recently I heard Paul Bloom on the Art of Charm discuss empathy and bias. He described how babies like people similar to them and are against those different. It is a survival technique ingrained in animals and humans. However, it does not work in modern times.
So combine this with learned bias. Society, statistics, and a large variety of things tell us that a black male is dangerous. Now Bloom talked about how with adrenaline our bodies revert to depending on bias.
So in a dangerous situation, a police officer feels the need to kill so that the self and others are not killed. They train to do so. I believe it needs to be that way.
We must identify this bias. Police officers and minorities. We need to teach people to respect the police. Even more important, we need to change the culture of the police so that minorities do not have rightful resentment towards being targeted and stopped more than white people.
We need to get rid of what divides us. This means, ultimately, socioeconomic factors. As separate races and as a whole, we are not doing enough.
This all begins with not looking for the easy answer and someone to blame. That is all too many people are doing on both sides. Let’s look to cities that are successful and mimic what they do.

Sundress Reading Series presents Andrea England, Minadora Macheret, and Clay Matthews

I enjoyed and recommend Clay Mathews’ Pretty Rooster chapbook!

The Sundress Blog


Join us on February 26 at 2PM at Bar Marley for the February installation of the Sundress Reading Series!

Featured readings will include:

andrea-englandAndrea England is the author of two chapbooks, INVENTORY OF A FIELD (Finishing Line Press) and OTHER GEOGRAPHIES (Creative Justice Press). She has been a finalist for Four Way Books Levis Prize and Intro Prize, and has been awarded residencies from the Vermont Studio Center and SAFTA. Currently she lives and works between Kalamazoo and Manistee Michigan, where she works as an adjunct and serves as a board member to the non-profit organization, Friends of Poetry. More information about Andrea England and her poetry can be found at


Minadora Macheret is a graduate student at Kansas State University, where she received the Graduate Poetry Award and Seaton Fellowship. Her poems received the Isabel Sparks’ Poetry Prize. Her work is forthcoming from The Deaf Poets…

View original post 90 more words


I do not understand how fundamentalists do not see how they filter the Bible. They look for the tidbits that they want. They say the Bible is to be believed and not interpreted. However, when you show them passages that is contrary to their believes, they interpreted them.

For example, there are passages that support abortion. One where God commands that it is okay to kill a woman carrying an innocent child. Another where a man may take his wife who he feels has been unfaithful to a priest and that priest can give a harmful substance to a woman with a child.
Exodus 21:22-25 which state:
22. And should men quarrel and hit a pregnant woman, and she miscarries but there is no fatality, he shall surely be punished, when the woman’s husband makes demands of him, and he shall give [restitution] according to the judges’ [orders]. 23. But if there is a fatality, you shall give a life for a life, 24. an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot. 25. a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise
Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:
“When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

“O daughter of Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” (Psalms 137:8)

Most of these examples are taken from this article:

I am not saying abortion is right or good. I’m just saying that Bible contradicts itself. As if people writing the Bible threw in some of their own beliefs. I don’t think you can defend these passages without interpeting them, but aren’t we suppose to take it as the word of God period?