Friday, March 18, 2022

Three Things Readers Might Not Know About Me

The truth is,

I’ve pretty much put The Real Me in my posts these past 13 years… at least the key facets that define me.

I bleed Chicago-Cubs Blue, even though I’m a Philly Girl at heart.

My Positive Mental Attitude enables me to find the Silver Lining in any cloud that blows my way.

Because I spend my days doing what I love and loving what I do – i.e. writing, teaching and coaching, I count my blessings daily, indeed hourly these past two years.

I excel at enthusing.


oh, the possibilities when it comes to sharing Three Things readers might not know about me! 😊

So, here goes …


I proudly know by heart all 456 original episodes of Law & Order!  

I hear the opening*…

…and I recite right along with the announcer,

“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”

I see the opening scene and every time, I immediately declare the culprits and the outcome.

From Detectives Mike Logan, Lenny Briscoe, Joe Fontana and Kevin Bernard to District Attorneys Ben Stone, Jack McCoy and Michael Cutter, with a whole lot of Captains Craigan and Van Buren in between, I’m there, in New York City, taking in the stories.  The 4 15-minute segments replay in my writer’s mind as story movements – the crime, the apprehending of the criminal, the trial prep, the climax leading to the resolution.

I’ve come to see after 31 years (!), the storytelling calms me - the familiarity of an episode, the rhythm of its four segments. The stories once again hold me. I know what to expect, yet each story surprisingly surprises me. Somehow or other, when something has me worked up or flummoxed, rewatching an episode I’ve seen a gazillion times both brings me relief and revs my engines. Go figure.


When I turned 40, I realized Three Life-long Dreams: I committed to five years of orthodontia; I got a permanent; and best of all, I began my tap dance career.

Shuffle-hop-step became my mantra.

I even performed in several Wilmette Park District Dance Recitals, to the horror of my junior high son whose classmates performed beside me.

Alas and alack, my career was short-lived, thanks to my herniated L-5 disc.

So, fortunately, was my permanent.

(The orthodontia paid off.)


And #3                                  

No matter the circumstance or physical place, I will always join the line that immediately becomes the longest.

Think: Whole Foods, Walgreens, my library, voting, any AMC theatre, airline counters, local cleaners, all fast-food restaurants, all in-person registration, the U.S. Post Office, Covid-19 Test Sites, just (fill-in-the-blank).

Suddenly cash registers run out of tape and the first-day-on-the-job clerk doesn’t know what to do, price checks are required and there’s no one to send, all six credit cards of the person in front of me are denied and/or his ID is refused, a scheduled break is announced, the computer goes down, counterfeit money is suspected, someone’s lacking credentials, someone’s lacking necessary forms, items need to be returned and replaced, just imagine and again (fill in the blank).

I often tell strangers: Never line up behind me!

BUT, should they refuse to heed my advice? They’ll have the opportunity to observe my shuffle-hop-step back cross-over – what my teacher Miss Joan called the Elevator Step, perfectly executed anywhere and anytime I’m forced to wait.

Oh, and #4, just because he’s eyeing me while I type: I rely on my Geico Gecko Bobble-head to retain my perspective.


Thanks to Ruth at there is no such thing as a godforsaken town for hosting today’s Poetry Friday.

Happy Revelations to you!

 Esther Hershenhorn


Sadly, I lacked the technological skills to download the dun dun sound, then insert that download into this post!

Friday, March 4, 2022

The Power of Three. Or Not.


Free Photo Courtesy of BBC One

Following Zeena’s wonderfully powerful story-–as a journalist in El Salvador and as a journalist during the 2000 protests  in Los Angeles—is a bit intimidating. I’m not nearly as interesting.

One. I’m older than fifteen Time Lords. No, really. I tell my students this all the time. Not sure they believe me. Come to think of it, I'm actually much older if you factor in the timeless child narrative.

Two. History is my jam. Both in teaching and in writing. Which makes sense, given the time lord thing. I was a professional student for a long while, earning various writing degrees (journalism, mass media, fiction, children’s literature) that explored all levels of story. I worked all sorts of jobs to make ends meet (freelance writing, reporter, bookstore flunky, writing adjunct). Of course, this dates back to high school, where I worked as an intrepid Sarah Jane Smith wannabe  (the Lois Lane of Doctor Who).  I once interviewed the Apollo Eleven crew (Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin). I even did an “expose” – and I use that word loosely – of Agent Orange before the local papers printed  their story. I used to develop my own film, loved working in black and white, and even had a couple of exhibitions at the local library. I didn't take to this digital camera thing very well. 

Three. For all my many, many, many years in teaching, I still hate getting in front of an audience. And it’s downright laughable that I teach online. I prefer the Tardis, and exploring galaxies of story. If I had a Tardis, and I'm not saying that I do or don't,  she would fly herself, and rebuff any interference from me. I may or may not have left the brakes on once and broke the flux capacitor, and now it makes this weird sort of noise. Still, I surmise that she would still take me where I need to go. Whether I wanted to or not.

Sounds like Life.

Wait? Do you think that means I AM a Time Lord?

But you knew all this already.

-- Bobbi Miller