In Younger Days

View of the active Soufriere volcano on Montserrat, taken from Antigua in the foreground. Photo credit, Photo 105129148 © Industryandtravel |

This short story is part of a chapter in my forthcoming book, “Memories of Montserrat.”

They told this story for years.

My grandparents loved entertaining. Tea parties, afternoons playing bridge, full dinners, Caribbean sunset viewings, and “Adventures in Listening” — they never missed an opportunity to gather and socialize.

Phones would ring across the island, as my grandfather would carefully watch the weather reports for a clear sky. “There’s a green flash happening tonight,” he’d tell my Nana, and she’d set up in the kitchen to bake bread, or a clafouti, or delicate finger sandwiches, after they decided to invite…

Kitchen Table Talks

Is there a woman on the planet who hasn’t been subjected?

In the off chance that you haven’t heard the term — here’s a link. It rates its own Wikipedia page.

Every Friday in the Garden of Neuro, our new #SafeandBraveSpace — for women only — to meet, feel supported, and share aspirations, hopes, and dreams, we host what we call Kitchen Table Talks.

These are friendly, deliberative conversations held in a container where everyone gets to be seen and heard.

How do we accomplish that?

We have guidelines, and we review them at the start of each meeting. It’s not like most Zooms. …

Fun and Games

Does Yours?

I told the crew I’d take a moment away from regular captain editorial-in-chief duties to write a butt story.

These butt stories have become the most popular writers’ prompt we’ve ever come up with. Who knew that our butts could continue to garner awards and guffaws, even as adults who had seemingly outgrown this childish folderol.

So here it is. The butt honest truth.

It used to be, if I didn’t take a shower every night before I went to bed, I’d be cursed with waking up in the middle of the night. …

An Invitation

Daffodils and dandelions and what we can learn in gardens

Photo by Ivan Dostál on Unsplash

Every Friday, there is a Kitchen Table Talk. A gathering of experienced and wise women. And this one is sure to be a dandy. The topic is the title of this brief post.

I’m putting it out there on Medium, because we are just at the beginning of exploring this topic, and many others, in these Friday gatherings.

These are gatherings for women only. We open up a zoom room and expertly hold a space for all of us to share, tell story, feel safe, and feel brave.

They are deliberative discussions. We have boundaries. And rules.

We have found…

We are building the largest women's meta network collective in the world. Tomorrow's Kitchen Table Talk is called, "The Language of Disability." It's free for all women.

Fun and Games

We’re So Grateful

A MuddyUm Brand Excellence Award to David Todd McCarty

MuddyUm humorists are not merely fun people writing funny stories. They are among some of the most grateful people on the planet. We asked what they feel grateful about, or to whom they might have a long delayed thank you note due. With loving kindness and compassion, here are a few offerings.

by Walter Bowne

Thank You For Your Recent Submission

Rejection letters can be a source of entertainment and an opportunity to practice gratefulness.

by Alan Asnen

Dear Whomever Did This Thankless Deed

Even the dastardly among us deserve our thanks.

by Shireen Sinclair

An Overdue Thank You

For the lovely wine and chocolates.

by Marilyn Flower

An Overdue Thank You Letter to the Coronavirus

There might just be a bright side.

by Jennifer McDougall

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Those gifts that yield long lasting pleasures.

by Marilyn Flower

An Overdue Thank You Letter to My Former Mother-In-Law May She Rest in Peace

Some thanks should just remain buried.

by Smillew Rahcuef

An Overdue Thank You Letter to My Granddaughter


That don’t devolve into argument and frustration

Illustration <a href=”">125031443</a> © <a href=”" itemprop=”author”>Artbyfranzi</a> — <a href=”"></a>

Are you feeling nostalgic for REAL CONVERSATIONS that don’t devolve into argument and frustration? Many of us are. And some of us have taken matters into our own hands.

It’s time to re-cultivate our humanity.

We in the Garden of Neuro, which some abbreviate to GoN — and so satisfyingly looks like GoT — have been engaging in these very rich conversations again.

If you are woman who misses these types of talks, consider coming to join us. Through book talks and Kitchen Table Talks, we schedule time for each other, to connect in wisdom, a couple times a week.


Kitchen Table Talks Go Rogue

Conversations are the very soul of life’s connections.

When we connect with each other, sharing in story telling, imparting griot wisdom, grok’ing all the topics, we expand our lens. As I explain to my small group of mentees — the windows in our castle walls expand just a bit, so we can see the view from our neighbor’s bastions of protective armor, and begin to feel more comfortable opening the curtains, lifting the blinds, throwing open the sashes and allowing the fresh air of nature inside to cleanse all those dark areas with breeze and sunshine.

The dust bunnies even…


And what it is — is EXACTLY clear

An image from the Garden, the invitation to the Kitchen Table Talk event on April 23

I’ve been telling people that my new business model, something I’ve been working on architecting for the past five years, possibly longer, is my magnum opus. It’s called the Garden of Neuro. Its design will create the largest women’s network on the planet.

I recognize that’s quite a bold claim.

I’m confident. People who know me, recognize that I don’t make idle claims.

I’m reminded of the lyrics to this famous song. Sometimes, I wake up with fully formed haiku floating around in my brain.

Some mornings I wake up with a song in my head. …

Fun and Games

A huge Christmas gift

Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash

This is a writers’ prompt. The challenge which came out of one of our womxn’s Garden writers’ workshops, was to write a letter to someone for a gift you did not request. Write yours, then include a link to this prompt for our post that consolidates them all. Good luck!

Here is my entry into the fray.

Dear guy from my twenties who shall remain nameless,

This is the thank you note I never got around to sending you, all those years ago. I should have sent it to you, back then. I just never got around to it. …

Susan Brearley

EIC-MuddyUm-Contemplate-Garden of Neuro.20X Medium top writer. Writing comedy since Age 3. Founder, Garden of Neuro. Edited once by Ev Wiliams. He found a typo.

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