new book judy

Meet Poet Judy Korotkin

new book judy

Just released!

Let me introduce you to one of most influential writers in my life: Judy Korotkin (aka my mom), who has just published “Horizons,” her second volume of poetry. Her first volume is “The Whirlwind Heart.”

Judy came to poetry later in life (after her novel and several plays), and it is through her work that I finally understand how poetry simplifies the complex, strips away excess, and clarifies ideas and experiences. Through her poetry, I’ve gained a greater understanding of her life, of life.

Judy writes movingly about her worldview and the world’s view of her as an older person. She doesn’t take kindly to typecasting. And why should she? She’s younger than many of us and can laugh you under the table.

Judy Korotkin and I reviewing a proof of her poetry book Horizons.

Judy Korotkin and I reviewing a proof of her poetry book Horizons.

The “Horizons” collection is whimsical, insightful and at times bittersweet. It captures dreams past and present, as well as life’s daily magic. She also writes of the inevitability of her passing (which I refuse to believe possible).

Below is one of my favorite poems. But first, let me share a dream — to sell enough of Judy’s books to cover her tuition to the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference in Vermont. (It is one of the premier writers’ retreats in the country.) It would be her reward for a life well lived — and well written. All book sales go directly to her.

The book is $10, click here to order.

 

“At This Age”
© 2014 Judy Korotkin

 

I can’t believe I’ve reached the age

where my horizon is today,

where all I want is to engage

 

with myself right on this page

so those who read my words will say,

her words, her wit deserve the stage!

 

It warms my heart that at my age

I still can move, I still can sway

the young, the old, the fool, the sage —

 

I still can show them at this age

(with no sign yet of mind’s decay)

what’s still possible if you engage!

 

I’m really thrilled that at my age

I can write and still convey

my view of life and love and gauge

 

why I can’t accept I’ve reached this age

where my horizon is today.

I’ll admit there is some rage;

I’ll explore that on another page.

 

Watch our fun video, “Two bored girls on a Friday night.”

 

deviate

Why You Should Deviate

deviateMy husband and I are making a cake. Open before us is the bible for lost souls: the Joy of Cooking. Across the countertop are the requisite ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, eggs and salt) and various implements of destruction (measuring cups and spoons). The Joy (ha!) of Cooking makes clear the precise measurements and order of ingredients. It states, “Deviation brings disaster.”

Deviation brings disaster? Joe and I frown as we reread the warning. We then look at each other and smile: “Screw ‘em.”

Why this story about cake, you ask? Because it’s not about cake but deviation.

I am a writer, and to not deviate brings disaster. If I can’t mix ingredients the way I want and in the order and proportions that strike my fancy, why bake at all?

So what if flour spills on the counter or I mistake the salt for sugar. Who cares if I turn my three-layer cake into an apple pie, or preheat my oven to broil. Or simply serve my pie raw, in wine glasses. Or toss the whole mess in the trash and begin again, this time with chubby blueberries that stain my fingers as I plop them into a paper cup. Perhaps I’ll sprinkle fairy dust sugar on them. Or add chocolate syrup with a twist of lemon. Lemon? Yes!

So there Joy of Cooking! Deviation does NOT bring disaster. It brings surprise, which can be just as sweet. Ask any writer.

(By the way, the cake my husband and I made? It was delicious.)

My Weekly Recap in Pictures

black walnut weekly

Thermometer under the Black Walnut says 67, but weather folks say 90 today. Where should I put my trust?

Vegas weekly

How bizarre, but then again, this is Vegas. Ceasar’s Palace underground mall. Cash registers shouting: Hail the mighty Ceasar!

vegas weekly

Anyone want to join me? Only catch is you have to fly out to Vegas. #bethconny #lifenicity #someonegetmesmellingsaltimfeelingkindveweak

flowers weekly

Joe loves flowers so I made him a bunch. Learned how to make them in camps during arts and crafts. Pipe cleaners and tissue paper. #bethconny #lifenicity #feellikeakidagain

book weekly

A rare moment when everything aligns. Good book, lunch, ice tea and conversation I’m eavesdropping on #bethconny #lifenicity #shoulditellhimtoreconcilewithhiswife?

art weekly

New markers, old love. We were meant to be together. #bethconny #lifenicity #lovedrawingpicturesformylifenicityblog

dance weekly

So little time, so many dances. Which is your favorite? #bethconny #lifenicity #anotherrecordfrommyfatherinlawscollection

music weekly

This New Age music makes me feel old age. Too schmaltzy and putting me to sleep before even dinnertime. #bethconny #lifenicity #perhapssomeheavymetal

time

Should I or shouldn’t I get out of bed? #bethconny #lifenicity #maybeiwilljustlieinbedanothertowhoursandtrytofigurethisout

DNA

Familial DNA

Image Credit WikiMedia Commons

Image Credit WikiMedia Commons

Back from Las Vegas jet lagged. The three hours time difference feels like three weeks. My clock says 6:15 a.m., my usual waking time, but my body thinks it’s 3:15 a.m. Or maybe it’s not my body but family that pulls me back to bed.

For the last four days my family has spent nearly all of our waking hours together, drawn to Vegas for the unveiling of my Aunt Anita’s tombstone. Contingents from New York, Washington, Florida, California, Maryland are present. We have greeted each other with tight hugs and firm kisses, and when we stand at the gravesite, shoulder to shoulder, we pass tissues and reach for each other’s hands. We remember, together.

Always I am struck by the unbreakable bonds of familial DNA. Our daily lives do not intersect — we live too many hundreds and thousands of miles from each other — and yet we know each other well. And because there are no warring camps among us, our reunion, though bittersweet, is sweet.

We catch up, share Aunt Anita tales and form new memories. We vow to stay in touch, knowing we likely won’t. But when we meet next it will not have mattered. We’ll fall into conversation, share smiles. The hugs will be tight, the kisses firm. We will be together again.

(More of Aunt Anita and the remarks I wrote for her funeral.)

My Weekly Recap in Pictures

ferret

Definitely going on my reading list. Can’t wait to see the movie version. #bethconny #lifenicity #iguessthereisareasonwhytheyarecalleddummiesbooks

apple mac

Initiated! Jenna gets her first Mac. #bethconny #lifenicity #anothersuperiorpersonwalkstheearth

deodarant

Well, so much for drinking out of my commemorative cup, which the guy in front thinks is an arm rest. #bethconny #lifenicity #isheevenwearingdeoderant?

Orioles

Incredible!!!! Joe’s BD and as Joe, Julia and I go up to the O’s ticket booth to get seats, a season ticket holder gives us three tickets because his friends can’t make the game. We’re five rows from the dugout! Great BD gift! #bethconny #lifenicity #maybewewillcatchaballandgetonjumbotron!

My Weekly Recap in Pictures

menopause

Walked into bedroom last night to find Joe engrossed in PBS show on orangutans. Here they are talking about this particular gal who is going through menopause. To which I say, why waste plane fare to the South Pacific? Stay stateside and study me. #bethconny #lifenicity #imbetterlookingthanhertoo

parking

Not a joke. A very tight parking spot next to concrete pole. Made a note to myself to remind me (along with getting nails done and supermarket). Otherwise, I’d swipe my mirror racing out to the next place. #lifenicity #bethconny #atleastididnthavetomakeanotetoscrewmyheadbackon

tree walnuts

I grew up in a three-room apartment in NYC and now live in a house. But what really thrills me is having my own tree. Giant black walnut left over from the days when this land whole area was farmland. #bethconny #lifenicity #sometimesithinkthistreeiswiserthanme

spider

I will not touch this thing in the basement sink. Neither will Joe. He says it’s his pet. Personally, I’d rather have a dog, or even a boa. #bethconny #lifenicity #thishairythinglookslikeaminiaturetarantula

chat

Early morning chit-chat with one of my peeps. Better than coffee for waking up. Thanks for a great start to the day, Ivonne! #bethconny #lifenicity #neverenoughtimetogetitallineventhoughwetalkreallyreallyfast

My Weekly Recap in Pictures

beach

Thinking about beach reading. Suggestions? #bethconny #lifenicity #prefernonfiction

office

#bethconny #lifenicity #sometimesyoujustgottagetoutofthehouse

wedding

31 years. Still love you, Joe. Still like you too! #bethconny #lifenicity #littledidweknowthenightwemetinthechineserestaurant

harsh

Oh my, that’s harsh (and also not mine!) #bethconny #lifenicity #abitpassiveaggressiveiwouldsay

hike

Resting after hike in Gambrill. Can see miles and miles from Middletown Lookout. #bethconny #lifenicity #reallyneededthiswalk

desk

Joe ponders how to make the legs of desk he’s building for Julie. #bethconny #lifenicity #glueperhaps?

flush

Who knew it was so easy to be successful! #bethconny #lifenicity #flushnowandfeelgoodaboutyourself

My Weekly Recap in Pictures

A parenting bestseller. #bethconny #lifenicity #aparentingbestseller

A parenting bestseller. #bethconny #lifenicity #aparentingbestseller

#bethconny #lifenicity #itmakesadifference

#bethconny #lifenicity #itmakesadifference

weekly pics

Even I am skeptical of my claim that peanuts (coincidentally covered in chocolate) are healthy. But is self-doubt a good thing? Of course not! #bethconny #lifenicity #someonegavethesetomeiswear!

cleaning

Sunday morning cleaning. Starting here. Yes! I can do this! And then, the rest of the house! #bethconny #lifenicity #whydoibeginthedaywithalie

pedicure

My grand-dog and I show off our pedicures. #bethconny #lifenicity #sorrypoochbutminearesexier

salt sugar fat

Has anyone read this? Worth it? #bethconny #lifenicity #wantsubstancebutnottoomuchscience

My Weekly Recap in Pictures

Lincoln Tunnel

Crawling through the Lincoln Tunnel along with tens of thousands trying to make it from NY to Manhatten. #bethconny #lifenicity #whatelseisnew

#bethconny #lifenicity #justwandering

#bethconny #lifenicity #justwandering

blogging

Blocking out my blog’s layout. My head hurts. I’m a text girl! #bethconny #lifenicity #whycantijustsnapmyfingersandeverythingbeperfect

rubber container

I get a great deal on large plastic container, only to discover the warning label that I can’t store a baby in it. Darn. #bethconny #lifenicity #canistuffadeadbodyinitinstead?

haircut

Today I woke, filled with gratitude. I’m getting my hair cut. #bethconny #lifenicity #gonnaputapaperbagonmyhead