Did she deserve it?

Did she deserve it?
And when, if ever, is misogyny funny? By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


Disclaimer 1: I know it is not wise to watch videos posted on social media. More often than not, their contents suggest that weird folks create them to get their jollies from the number of viewers who choose to watch weird stuff.

Disclaimer 2: I don’t always act on my hard-earned wisdom.

So, a few days ago, I watched a video on Facebook, because I love the artist who posted it (Ladislao Loera) and because the female subject of the video’s comedy was a public figure I previously enjoyed critiquing.

I was swiftly sorry I clicked the play button. The video was rampant with overt misogyny and crudely objectifying jokes targeting the woman, who was...

Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Presents Poet Karla Cordero

Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Presents Poet Karla Cordero
Spoken word artist reads from her new collection on Tuesday, Sep. 13 Karla Cordero performing and discussing her new collection Grasshoppers Before Gods Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, September 13, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

Karla Cordero is the 2015 recipient of the Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship for writers of color from The Loft Literary Center (Minnesota, Minneapolis) and recipient of the Global Diversity Award at San Diego State University. Cordero curates Voice For Change, a reading series inviting award winning spoken word artists to share their narratives on survival, and she hosts writing workshops for undocumented migrants in shelters located in Mexicali, Mexico.

She is a contributing writer for Poetry International and the founder and editor...

You have no idea what your words mean

Trump responds to accusations of racism, calls Clinton a bigot; journalist calls man who would be emperor clearly unclad By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


On Friday, after watching a CNN video clip of Donald Trump insisting Hillary Clinton is a bigot, Mika Brzezinski—journalist, author and “Morning Joe” co-host—looked into the camera with a solemn face and said, “Donald Trump, you have no idea what your words mean. You have no idea. You have no idea what your words mean.” She shook her head in seeming disapproval and continued in a steady tone, “I can’t pretend and sort of try and cover this fairly and put it in the veil of objectivity. This is wrong. You have no idea what your words mean and what you’re...

Postcards from Greece

Postcards from Greece
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


“I’m a big-ass feminist,” proclaims the sixteen-year-old tourist, his enthusiasm leaping through the stacks and first editions displayed at Atlantis Books, in Oia, Greece. “I’m a drama student,” he says in demi-pointe. “But I don’t like Shakespeare. He’s a dick. Romeo and Juliette is a parody of love. I want to go to university in the U.S.” He glissades into the next room. “I have to get out of Bahrain.”

A large, ruddy man fills a Santorini-to-Crete ferry seat and overflows into the next one. A standing woman smiles, gesticulates, and says in a language the man does not know, “I believe this seat is mine.” His jowls assume a belligerent stance and he settles his bulk deeper into...

The Road to Greece

The Road to Greece
Sunrise over Italy


... the first bottle of Retsina, in Athens


You know all those penii missing from classical sculptures? We found them in the classical Greek tchotchkes aisle.


Pakistan Independence Day in Athens, 14 August


The week that was

The week that was
Zika funding bill, Olympic victory, Harvey Milk and more By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Last week started on a low note. Sunday morning's inbox contained notification that I received a D on a course assignment, the first ever that I, an annoying perfectionist, can recall. I had a champagne cocktail to acknowledge the moment and aid in my recovery.


While U.S. senators and representatives began the third week of a seven-week recess from their taxpayer-funded jobs, women’s wombs and worries remained under the congressional scrum of the Zika virus funding bill, which lingers unresolved. Meanwhile, the incidence of Zika cases in the U.S. is increasing and the CDC is recommending contraception to avoid Zika infection and to prevent pregnancy while at risk of infection. Perhaps...

Readings from the San Diego Poetry Annual 2015-2016

Readings from the San Diego Poetry Annual 2015-2016
Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, August 9, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

The San Diego Poetry Annual, published by Garden Oak Press, contains the work of poets from throughout the San Diego County region and beyond. The Annual includes two volumes: one bilingual Spanish-English volume, and one of poetry in English.

The new edition includes an eclectic group of poets, including our first Latino U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, who was raised in Escondido.


Enjoy a sample poem from the collection: Home Office By Tom Somers My raucous rooster's crow in twilight gray drives away the night's refreshing sleep. Waves rush in and wash my dreams away tops foaming with commands I cannot keep: Trade your soul, your peace, your all for cash! By duty called I...

Reprieve from sorrow: Playing the Woman Card

Have you played your woman card today? By K-B

It's been some sorrowful days since the attack on Pulse Orlando, but I was comforted by the wee bit of lightness in this morning's mail. My Official Hillary for American Woman Cards arrived—I bought ten so I can keep some up my sleeve—with a whole deck of Woman playing Cards, because, as we know from previous weeks' sorrowful news about the Stanford sexual assault injustice, it's a real gamble for women out there.

So, have a chuckle, then demand rational gun control laws, share a hug, and walk in the next Pride Parade—16 July in San Diego.

Love, K-B

The Official Hillary for America Woman Card

P.S. You can buy your official Woman Cards here.

My Brief Life as a Poll Worker

My Brief Life as a Poll Worker
The California Presidential Primary: An Imperfect Process By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


1909 Women's Suffrage cartoon

The scent of potential disaster wafted in the wake of our letter carrier’s truck as he scooted away, having delivered a Registrar of Voters Official Appointment Notice letter.

“Congratulations!” the letter began, and it continued with confirmation of my appointment as a touch screen inspector for last Tuesday’s Presidential Primary Election in California. “Touch screen,” I read again, as in technology.

“Are you nuts?” I bellowed through my office window to the hummingbirds, who were sucking down nectar as fast as my fanny was puckering up to my earlobes. Anything to do with computer stuff is a “thingy” in my world, and I promptly doubted both my fantasy...

Brock Allen Turner, Rapist

Brock Allen Turner, Rapist
Convicted of felony sexual assault, sentenced to six months By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

This is the face of Brock Allen Turner, rapist and former Stanford University athlete.

Two witnesses stopped his sexual assault of an unconscious woman on 18 January 2015.

He tried to run away.

On 30 March 2016, a jury of four women and six men found him guilty of three felony sexual assault charges.

The victim said, “You don't know me,  but you've been inside me, and that's why we're here today.” (Read her letter here.)

The prosecutor recommended six years.

Turner apologized—for drinking too much—and requested a sentence of four months in County jail.

Judge Aaron Persky gave him six months and probation, saying, “A prison sentence would...

Beyond the Cuba Bloqueo

Visiting Cuba: 1905, 2014 and 2016 By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

First published by The Missing Slate.


Before the thawing of U.S.-Cuban relations went public, I made a trip to Cuba. It was 2014. Before diplomatic relations bloomed anew and flags unfurled over re-opened embassies. Before the two nations swapped prisoners, revered as national heroes by one, reviled as spies by the other, and vice versa. Before President Barack Obama and his family paid the first state visit to Cuba since President Calvin Coolidge won Pan-American hearts with his “ingratiating” grin and dined at “a colorful love feast with the delegates of the Latin-American nations”—or so the Chicago Daily Tribune reported on January 17, 1928.

The Obamas’ March trip was a public relations parade, with the enthusiasm...

Writers Read: Parenting a Transgender Child

Writers Read: Parenting a Transgender Child
Hillary Whittington, author of Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached Tuesday, June 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 124 S. Mission, in the Fallbrook Library Community Room Forty-one percent of transgender respondents to a survey, conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA, reported having attempted suicide.

That’s almost ten times the rate of the overall U.S. population.

But statistics are just that, numbers, data without emotion or character—unless you have a personal connection.

Consider this: San Diego County lost four transgender or gender-nonconforming children to suicide in 2015, four we know of: Sage David, Taylor Alesana, Kyler Prescott and Emmett Castle. This makes the 41 percent disturbing, perhaps frightening—devastating for those who loved them.

For one local mother of a transgender child,...

Interview with Re Jane author Patricia Park

Interview with Re Jane author Patricia Park
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


See Patricia Park at Warwick’s BooksThursday 28 April 2016, 6:30 pm7812 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037

When novelist Patricia Park set out to write Re Jane, she wanted to re-write Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s classic. The latter’s Jane was published in Victorian 1847 and set in the Georgian era. Neither time period offered women many options other than marriage. Park’s Jane was first published in 2015, when women had a multitude of options, if not equality.

“I wanted to show what would happen if Jane was in the present day,” Park said as she was preparing for the just-released paperback edition book tour, “if my novel would end with that iconic line, ‘Reader, I married him.’”

It took Park...

Writers Read Presents Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin

Writers Read Presents Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin
Discussing Mi Amor on May 10, 2016


Preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Date: Tuesday, May 10, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook


Author, artist and gifted storyteller Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin will share excerpts from her poetic memoir, Mi Amor, illustrated with her visual art. She will also share the flavors and aromas reflected in her writing.

Vibiana's prose and poetry have appeared in Dismantle of VONA, Voices of our Nation; Heart Song Food Memories; Los Angeles County Latino Heritage Calendar; Flor Y Canto Literary Festival, USC; Inscape Literary Magazine of Pasadena City College; the City of Altadena's Poetry Anthology, 2011-15; dandelion breeze and apology of wildflowers, Southern California Haiku Study Group Anthology 2013-14; The San Gabriel Valley Poetry...

Writers Read Six-word Story Contest 2016

Writers Read Six-word Story Contest 2016
UPDATE: And our 2016 winners are... Crime thriller by Gregg Brandalise Broken teeth filled six Mason jars.

Disaster story by Patty Campbell Let's go home. If it's there.

Melodrama by Christine Brandalise My mother had called that day.

Political fiction by Marit Anderson Abortion needed. Hanger used. Funeral tomorrow.

Romance by Francine Schwartz Before I left, you said goodbye.

Satire by Lawrence J Klumas Misplaced cell phone. My god—panic!


By popular demand, Writers Read at Fallbrook Library is conducting another six-word story contest.

In the vein of the story mythically attributed to Ernest Hemingway—"For sale: baby shoes. Never worn."—we encourage you to be succinct and entertaining, while capturing the essence of a story in six words that imply a beginning, a middle, and an end. Tragedy, comedy, artfully mundane; any theme, any genre; whatever your inspiration...

Put Your Husband in the Kitchen

Put Your Husband in the Kitchen
First published by The Atlantic, August 1932 Helen Keller explains economics to men  

I In my childhood, even before my education had been begun, I was allowed to take part in the elaborate ritual which, in those days, marked the making of a fruitcake at Christmas time. Although I was blind, deaf, and speechless, the thrill of the occasion communicated itself to me. There were all sorts of pungent and fragrant ingredients to collect and prepare—orange and lemon peel, citron, nuts (which had to be cracked), apples, currants, raisins (which had to be seeded), and a host of other things. The family encouraged me to assist in these preparations, for they discovered that this was one means of keeping me, at least temporarily,...

Writers Read Presents T. Jefferson Parker

Writers Read Presents T. Jefferson Parker
Reading from his new novel Crazy Blood  

Date: Tuesday, April 12, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook

Crazy Blood is Fallbrook author T. Jefferson Parker’s second literary departure from his long line of award-winning crime novels and short stories, including three Edgar Award winners.

Like his acclaimed novel, Full Measure, in which a Marine returns from Afghanistan to his parents' ranch in the fire-ravaged town of Fallbrook, California, Crazy Blood is also a story of family and the search for identity.

But what a family it is, a dynasty of crazy ski racers, carving the slopes of Mammoth Lakes in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

Crazy Blood follows the third generation of a fatally conflicted clan of snow sports athletes and the brutal competition between...

Women’s History Month 2016

Saving women’s stories from disregard By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


Perhaps you’ve noticed a wave of social media posts indicating March is Women’s History Month. Well, not a wave, more akin to a ripple. I sit in my office, a rare Southern California rain overflowing the gutter to wash my glass door, and little bio blurbs of noteworthy women absent from text books pop up in my Facebook newsfeed, black and white images of intrepid activists of yore, hopeful shots of women of color in typically white male roles, feisty words of wisdom rendered cliché on t-shirts and mugs.

Lucy E. Parsons

Women’s history certainly does not garner the volume of likes and shares, of retweets and TBT images as do women’s...

Looking through valentines in a trunk

Looking through valentines in a trunk
By Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel

b. 1918, d. 2007


Maybe I am only a sentimental fool. Why would a woman save valentines all these years?

Here is one from 1928, beautiful little girl with apple cheeks holding a big heart for her valentine. The whole idea sets me off remembering children.

Some could buy valentines, some could not.

That little orphan Eddie always looked for a valentine from his real mother, but, of course, it never came.

He longed for her so much, one day he made her a valentine on a piece of cardboard. He used a big, fine feather as a quill and wrote with red cake coloring. His aunt wasn't even around to see him at it. He was just learning to read, and I helped...

Women's History Month 2016: Our History Is Our Strength

Women's History Month 2016: Our History Is Our Strength
March 8, 2016, Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Presents Women in Words: Readings by, for and about women Our annual all-open mic celebration of Women's History Month Date: Tuesday, March 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook, 760-731-4650

Bring your favorite writing—original or by another writer—by, for or about women throughout history, recent or long past, poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction.

Join us for an all-open mic reading that celebrates Women in Words.

And, if you're up for a challenge, take the Women's History Month Quiz here.

For more information about Writers Read,  contact K-B Gressitt at kbgressitt@gmail.com or 760-522-1064.

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