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…

FUN AND GAMES Writing Prompt

Don’t Let THEM Have All The Fun!

Photo by Jeremy Zero on Unsplash

I was listening to a podcast the other day, as I do every day. This wasn’t a TED talk though. This was “Metaphysical Milkshake,” on Luminary.

I’ll listen to most anything once, to give it a chance. But if it’s too long or too boring, I may not keep on with it.

But this one was funny, since at the end, the co-hosts had written, and were reading their obituaries.

They weren’t writing their own obituaries. They were writing an obituary for each other. They were very funny.

It inspired me to write this post. And create a writing challenge…


Inspired by a Garden of Neuro Workshop

Photo by Robert Anderson on Unsplash

Inside the Garden of Neuro, which we operate as a #safeandbravespace for women, we have conversations, deliberative dialogs, inspirational Kitchen Table Talks where wisdom transfers happen between wisdom keepers and wisdom seekers.

We conduct workshops. We gather in topical circles. We read books and share learnings in book club talks. And we write and teach courses. All of this happens in this GoN space we hold. And the experience is visceral.

I was inspired to architect this space by my own experience with amazing mentorship — an experience I recognized that not everyone is blessed with.

But for those of…

A GoN Kitchen Table Talk

What are you standing for?

When I first envisioned this space for dialog and change, some five years ago, I never dreamed it would take hold as quickly as it did, or with the broad base of women that have come so far. Ages 18 to 80, and representatives from continents all across the globe have joined us.

So when we complain about age-ism, racism, sexism, or any of the other myriad of -isms there are to worry about — I step up and say, yes, of course, we see them, they exist.

Now what are we going to DO about it?

The Garden of…


A GoN Prompt

Photo by Stéphane Gachet on Unsplash

And on the strangest sea
I saw an orange sky
What could this ever be
I thought, what’s coming to mine eyes?

This surf is rough
The tide is high
The sand feels tough
against my thighs

I rest on this beach
until it passes
blues, purples, rose and peach
The people view, in masses.

This storm at sea, a massive one
soon passes like the rest
It ends as fast as its begun,
Reminds us — we are blessed.

Lisa Tomey, the Garden’s premier poetry leader, gives us a daily prompt. Even if you think you aren’t a poet…

Booty Call

Follow the map

Photo by N. on Unsplash

When you’re friends with other ship captains, you are fast to learn, there’s spoils that await ye!

So when one eyed captain of the Good Ship Bad Influence, Marla Bishop, told me about a treasure chest, and how to find it, I was — like all good ship captains — ready to set sail in that direction.

Fun and Games

Mottos and flowers and mollusks

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

On today’s writers’ call, we learned that the state of Rhode Island has a state mollusk.

The next natural question for a humorist writer is — what is my state mollusk?

We’re looking at you Iowa.

Today’s writers’ prompt is all about your state. Share what you learn about your state and see what funny bits arise. I’ll add links to your posts in this article as we go, and they’ll be featured in a future newsletter.

What if I don’t live in the states so-called united? That’s okay. Do it for your province, your county, your country, or whatever…

Sage Wisdom from Elon Musk’s Secret Sensei

If you can solve these problems, you’ll be rich and famous

Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

The number one problem with writing is — you have to sit on your butt and write.

That’s right. You cannot multitask if you are writer. You can’t go to the gym and exercise on a treadmill while you write.

You cannot take a walk around the most beautiful gardens of the world and write.

You cannot sit at the helm of a ship in a storm at sea, and write.

Go ahead — go try to find a stock photo of someone writing and multitasking while they are doing it.

To be a writer, you have to be dedicated…


My contract just did not allow me to reveal this until this month

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Yes, it’s true.

This is the big reveal party of the decade. I’m the one that planted the seed that gave Mr. Musk his start.

I’m his sensei.

I was not permitted to reveal the details. But the contract is finished, so I’m free to share now.

From my location in New York, which we fondly call The Eagle’s Nest, I’m writing this article to let you know how you too can achieve this greatness.

Here it is, step by step:

  1. Mindset is everything. You must believe you can achieve anything. Even when you think you can’t do a thing…


Because the issue didn’t go away just because Biden was elected

Thanks to Unsplash

You didn’t think this issue was resolved did you?

The good news is — the fascist in chief was voted out of office.

The bad news is — while everyone got to take a deep breath of relief, this issue is still urgent.

Let’s take a look at a couple of State of the Planet reports:

And this one:

Now that I’ve sobered you up from your post election day celebrations, what should you do?

To start, for women only — come join our Kitchen Table Talks. In specific, we begin our first in a series of free discussions…

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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