Thursday, September 11, 2014


It has taken years to write this simple poem.  I actually think I had to learn how to write it.  I offer it today as a humble tribute in honor and in memory of . . . all of us.

Learned on 911
By Judith Cullen
(c) 2014

Early morning phone call
the unbelievable
forcing myself not to
lock into the TV for hours
like the death of Diana
that it wasn’t true.

Pressing on determined
beneath skies
now menacingly empty
forcing myself not to feel
others depending on me
to be calm, and present.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

PREVIEW! Wednesday, September 10th at 7pm

I'll be presenting selections from this new collection live in Second Life (c) and streaming online Wednesday evening.

Check back for more details on the streamed session, or check out the Judy's Stories Live tab to make sure your media player is set up for streaming audio.

"Some journeys are measured in city blocks, and some can only be measured by how they change your life."

In The Unexpected Path, little seven year old Ann thinks she knows best and takes an alternate route to travel the block and a half to school in the middle of a harsh mid-western winter. It all goes well, until she gets stuck in the snow.

In The Empire Builder, a young woman leaves her home and family to journey to a University thousands of miles away.  Taking the train from Seattle to Chicago, and then on to central Indiana, she has three days on her own to contemplate this decision to cross half a continent.

In Lawrence Street, a street that was once traveled every single day is revisited 40 years later - "Things are the same on Lawrence Street, but they are different too.  The bones of familiarity are there, clear and comforting, but sometimes dressed in garments that do not seem as familiar.

Coming soon to Amazon for Kindle, and in Paperback.

Friday, September 5, 2014

MORE FROM THE INTERSTATE - Could this be the start of a series?

Several times a week, I work as a contract employee for the State of Washington.  This involves a 30+ mile commute to the State Capitol in Olympia.  I find the interstate is a great source of literary inspiration: both on things I am working on, and on the commuting experience itself.

In August of 2013 I wrote Beauty on the Interstate OR Cool Is as Cool Does. I thought it was a singular essay, but this week I had another inspirational experience on the highway that made me think that maybe this might become and on-going series.  Here's the next installment:

Beauty on the Interstate OR The Red Car
By Judith Cullen
© 2014

The Highway is a great rolling stage for drama.  Some are grand and expansive, complete with flashing lights, bells, and confrontations of life and death. Others of these rolling epochs are simple moments of delight and justice, for where would tragedy be without comedy? – The opening of the first Beauty on the Interstate tale

Photo by Magnus Manske via Wikimedia Commons
It really started with a dump truck – one of those double carriers.  I was behind it in lane 2, the second from the left.  I always seem to be in lane 2 when these things happen.  Already nursing a crack in my windshield, I did not really want to wait and speculate as to whether the truck was hauling bark, or gravel, or tiny bits of whatever the hardest substance in the universe is these days.  I decided to get around it.  Traffic was moderate, so I moved into lane 1 and accelerated. 

As my speedometer skimmed 70, a car came up behind me.  It was the same model as my own, but a decade younger. As I passed the dump truck and was looking for clearance to move in front of it, the car behind me shot into lane two, walking away from me like I was standing still.  That meant it was doing about 80 in a 60 mph zone.