Category Archives: public life

Democratic State Convention

After many years as an unenrolled voter who voted Democratic and even occasionally worked for Democratic candidates, on January 30 I finally registered as a Democrat. Two weeks later, almost by accident, I became secretary of the Martha’s Vineyard Democrats, … Continue reading

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Tolerant, Up to a Point

At the end of April, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center held its first Spectrum Film Festival, featuring films with an L, G, B, T, and/or Q connection. Like the LGBTQ coalition itself, the films had an uneasy relationship with each … Continue reading

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Candidates’ Night

There are only two contested races on West Tisbury’s town election ballot, and so far the buzz is not exactly overwhelming, but the turnout for Candidates’ Night on Wednesday was respectable enough. The event was organized and moderated by the … Continue reading

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Calendars Rule

I used to pride myself on being able to keep all my engagements and deadlines in my head. My memory isn’t unusually capacious — it’s just that my engagements were few, and because most of my editing jobs are book-length … Continue reading

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Women Stand Together

Across the country and around the world yesterday, women and our allies rallied to celebrate International Women’s Day. In some places, women refrained from work and/or shopping in order to demonstrate women’s significance to the community and the economy. On … Continue reading

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Bills to Watch Out For

This is the post that “Into the Mud” was supposed to be the introduction to. You can read it first, but you don’t have to. Here’s the key line: “many, many of us have only the shakiest grasp of how government … Continue reading

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Into the Mud

The title of my first novel, The Mud of the Place, came from its epigraph, a quote from a 1994 interview with the late poet-writer-activist Grace Paley: “If your feet aren’t in the mud of a place, you’d better watch where your … Continue reading

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Against Perfectionism

On January 30 I finally did the deed: I changed my voter registration from Unenrolled to Democrat. Written confirmation from the town clerk’s office was dated the 31st. A very small step for a woman, so it seems, but to … Continue reading

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Small Town Nuts & Bolts

One of the few good things to come out of last November’s presidential election results is a renewed interest in how government works, or is supposed to work, and how we can go about influencing it most effectively. So Saturday … Continue reading

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Women March

As the plans for the Women’s March on Washington began to coalesce shortly after the election, I kept the whole thing at arm’s length: It’s a huge diversion of energy from the work we have to do. Let’s wait till … Continue reading

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