My first personal essay for an online zine

For decades, I’ve been writing for print publications, including The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Travel & Leisure, Gourmet, Saveur, Modern Maturity and Garden Design. But it was especially during the Covid lockdown, when I necessarily was spending a lot—too much!—time alone, that I found myself online exploring online magazines. Anything that dealt with fiction and non-fiction. I subscribe to Literary Hub, which culls news about books and publishing. One of the online zines it mentioned bore an intriguing title: Dorothy Parker’s Ashes.  When I clicked on the link, I was further intrigued by how the zine described itself: Brazen words by witty dames. Everything true. More or less. And when I started reading the essays, I found myself Alice-like in a wonderland of words written by witty women. While I don’t feel that I fit that category, I definitely felt inspired to write for Dorothy Parker’s Ashes. And so I did.  

Every issue of the zine has a theme. Libido was the theme of the next issue. This caused me to swallow hard. Then I dug deep into my past and wrote “Pavel, Paris, Prague” about my wonder years living in Europe and one of the people who made them so wonderful. I was delighted—no, overjoyed—when the editors accepted my personal essay. And I am delighted to share it with you. Just click here for the current libido issue. I hope you’ll be transported as I was when I learned I’d be rubbing elbows with such renowned writers as Vivian Gornick and Marge Piercy.

Image: Poppies by Georgia O’Keeffe