Mary Beth Writes


Click right here.  September 2023.pdf (

The September issue of Creative Wisconsin Magazine is now published online and you can read my story plus lots of other good writing.

My story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” starts on page 28 and this is what the judges said about it: This entry is perfection in every way from plot to punctuation and took my breath away. Evocative prose delivers the reader into the soul of Crow in his jail and work-release environments. “I am an artist with a forklift,” the character says. “I am in my story now.” And “This poetry will fight endlessness.” The story touches briefly on societal issues, too, such as how money works in the incarceration industry.

(Actually, Crow’s not on work release but I’m not quibbling with an introduction like this!)

A person can also order a hard copy from Amazon if they search for Creative Wisconsin Magazine Sept 2023. I suspect most of you will not do this, but hey, I know one person (ahem) who coughed up $12 to see her writing in print.

If you read my story and like it, please let me know in the comments here or anywhere. Skywriting would also be okay.

If you have friends who might like my writing, I’d be honored and delighted if you recommended my blog to others. If you do this and they subscribe to this website (free, never shared) and you live local, I’ll even share snickerdoodles next time I bake some. Let me know.


Reading “How Crow Got Out of Jail”took me back many years to when I met you, and looked forward to reading your columns in the Racine Journal Times. The story is wonderful and I love how certain phrases and word groupings are so good that they make me stop and read them again, so I can enjoy them again. Well done, you!

Perfection indeed!
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Thank you!!

This story is great! The first place is well deserved! Enjoyed reading.

Con graduations!!!
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I loved the proud of you, and so happy that your writing was recognized as award winning! I have known that for a long time :)
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Thanks and one of these days ... a story of a woman who walks across half a buildings to make photocopies just so she can talk to another smart woman for five minutes before she returns to her work cave.

love that - I was always watching, hoping you would need copies or some kind of excuse to pop in my area. I did have a great window in my office, but there were other constrictions........

I loved your story! I watched a movie last weekend … one of the characters was writing a story and another man asked him how it was going to end.. He didn’t know yet …(because it was about other characters in this movie and the movie wasn’t over yet) The man advised him to make it a happy ending because everyone loves a happy ending to a story. Maybe that is accurate advice… I loved how your story ended on such a hopeful note for these two interesting characters!
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That's such a good question - about how it's going to end. I never quite know but I just don't have tragedy in me - there's enough outside of us that I feel entitled to not invent more of it. Thanks for writing and yeps, it's always an adventure doing this. Takes me forever. I'm never sure what's going on though I usually like the stories later. Sometimes i remember characters as if they were people I knew once ...

What a beautifully written story. I felt like I knew him or would like to know him. Your jade ring is well deserved!
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Cats Again (Lost In Racine)


Because I now have my Substack site where I can publish my stories, its more exciting to write fiction. I’m working on a story now.

Meanwhile, here’s a newspaper column of yore. If you like cats, you will probably like it. If you don’t like cats, well, you are missing a lot of grace, humor, and vacuuming opportunities.

We don’t currently want to adopt new cats, but since we’ve now lived with twelve of the world’s finest, we are rich in memories that make us laugh.

Len’s Birthday


Last week I mentioned that Monday of this week would be Len’s birthday. A friend remarked to me ever so kindly later that day, “I thought his birthday was the 30th?”

It is. Len’s birthday is the 30th. This same friend has commented to me, over the years, about how much I remember.

Covid Diary #1350 Thanksgiving


Today is 1350 days since the that March Friday in 2020 when we all went into quarantine.

Today is 60 years since JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. I remember that day, so does Len, so do many of you. Here’s a scary truth. We are as far today from that day – as that day was from the Wright brother’s first flight at Kitty Hawk on Dec 17, 1903.

Quarantine Diary #1349 Sci-Fi & Prophecy


We both took Covid tests this morning and both of us still have pink lines. I asked the internet what this means and it says I might be pregnant.

I have a call into my doctor’s office to discuss. I feel so much better that if I didn’t know I have Covid, I wouldn’t know it. I’ve been sicker than this after too much pie.

Covid Diary #1347


A few of you might realize yesterday we were 1345 days since March 13, 2020, and today we’re at 1347. Yup, I used a different calculator. Just a fun reminder that precision depends as much on asking the right question as doing perfect math.

I’m in day #4 of having Covid. No more chills. I have a fever of 100.4 which is more impressive than the 100.2 that Len achieved on his Day #4.  I’m taking various OTC meds and I keep track of them in my phone’s notes because, wow, it’s so easy to have no memory of the last time one took something. I’m good. Enough.

Covid Diary #1345


I thought I was done with the Covid Diary but guess what? Len and I caught Covid this week! Actually, Covid caught us. We have continued to wear masks in stores, library, meetings, and our church so we will never know for sure where Len encountered Covid. And since I got it four days later, I guess we know where I got it…

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