News on Not Winning and How Millennials Continue to Suck

This minion has been so busy supporting millennials, I haven’t had a chance to write one word of personal dissent.

[It’s 3PM. I’m making the time now.]

I had 3 submissions looming in the ether for the longest time; mere threads of writership, fraying away as the time lengthened into becoming writer-dormant. The editors told me these essays had ‘promise’ and in compelling fortitude, had a good chance of surviving the longest yard [$].

Final rounds of Women on Writing Q1 2017 Writing Contest knocked one of these submissions out of the running and the editor slapped a salty bandage over the blood gushing out of my gut with an Honorable Mention. This essay, a Seattle Slew of a piece if there ever was one, is particularly juicy (spoiler alert: I could not bring myself to read the ‘placing’ work which surely would stand inferior to my elaborate depiction of scene e.g. ‘hoo-hoos,’ ‘guilty dick,’ streetwalkers ‘nailing it,’ STD clinics).

The Gentlemen’s’ Agreement is a hugely personal account, incriminating not only my sweet husband [‘honeybee’] on a certain undertaking while in Vegas, but zillionaire ‘Max Litoris’ who I happened to be having an affair with when I met the honeybee. To his grand astonishment, I read Gentlemen’s to the honeybee one Sunday morning over breakfast. I could no longer keep the delicious secret to myself that I had potentially broadcasted the intimacy of our relationship to the world at large.

“I’m only going to read you the title and the first sentence,” I told him.

His complexion had flushed with scarlet fever by the time I finished the last sentence.

The second submission, an essay entitled Saving Bill Wilkerson opens this way:

I’m lying on his pullout couch and masturbating, a stone’s throw from where the British retreated across the North Bridge and faced the Minutemen. It’s 2003 and Bill, my boyfriend and “abiding” Christian, is downing Metamucil at the kitchen sink and calling me a sinner. Bill believes cheating on his taxes, doing things half-assed, and pocketing donuts, creamers and packets of sugar from Bible Study is peccadillo. We’re equal, alas; our Misbehaviors though varied, tally up to the same double-scored piety digit. Sixty-five, give or take, out of a one-hundred-point scale. Who can endure pure faithfulness, I ask? Not Paul, Peter, or Judas. I tease him. Not about his Transgressions, but with my Garden of Eden. He can witness my indulgence into my labyrinth of folds, my middle finger, my gyrating, by simply looking through the opening carved out of the common wall that partially separates the two rooms. He chooses not to; stares into the white waxy bottom of the crinkled Dixie cup. He doesn’t want to shake his hearty stamina for abstinence, the one teaching to which he abides.

I submitted Saving Bill Wilkerson to a nonfiction contest call for ‘Scintillating Starts’ and again surmised it was a sure bet because, well, how could a Christian masturbating not be ‘scintillating?’

The editor contacted me a day later—oh, the excitement that coursed through my patched-up gut when I saw her email!

But she did not rave about my ‘scintillating start.’

She asked me if the piece was fiction.

I guffawed.

My dear lady, I wrote back, I have never written a word of fiction in my entire adult life.

[Does this mean I’m out of the running?]

The third submission [sigh] is a personal favorite of mine. It’s about a certain demise. My account of my sister’s husband’s death by hanging on Thanksgiving Morning, 11 years ago [no, I’m not keeping track]. No hoo-hoos, guilty dicks, masturbating or streetwalkers nailing it. Just a broken-necked coward hanging from a tree whose body was found by a 12-year-old newspaper boy and most likely still overwrought with horror, is living his life in one of McLean’s padded rooms. Rejection of Forgive Me came by way of an announcement of contest winners. It’s a Canadian publication, so the informality comes as no surprise. Eh?

Oh, and last but not least, the topper. The millennial kind.

So, over the Christmas/New Year’s break, work was shutdown. Like it was so seriously shutdown, your badge didn’t work to get you into the building (or gym). This is a grand benefit for those who have tenure since the dawning of time and never left for another company out of fear of change or lack of ambition. I got permission to work because I’m not one of the Chosen and upon one of my bosses asking if I’d be interested in doing some writing (we’ll call him Turdman), I drafted an article recapping the most-socially shared content of this blog I help manage.

Now, understand that Turdman told me, ‘make this your baby.’

Well, I made it my baby. Weaving and vomiting in nervousness and contributing my blood, chasing after some recognition, a work-related publication credit. And when I pushed out the thing, glass at my sides and my bottom lip stretched over my head, he accepted my flesh and blood, swaddled the thing and put his name on it.

# # # # # # # # # #

Dear Lisa,

Congratulations on winning an Honorable Mention in the WOW! Women On Writing Q1 ’17 Essay Contest! We all loved “The Gentleman’s Agreement”! You have such a great voice and your essay was riveting. I was glued to the page. Thank you so much for sharing, and keep up the excellent writing. We hope to read more of your work!

Write on!

Angela & WOW


How This 52-Year-Old Woman Dropped 55 Pounds and a Bad Drinking Habit

Cycling guru and my mentor Selene Yeager crafted an article about my love of cycling and the weight loss that came with it. [I’m down 61 pounds; 5 more to go to make goal.]

Boston-area blogger Lisa Mae DeMasi with her bike.

Hint: It has two wheels and feels like flying


Life comes at you fast sometimes. Perhaps after a few tough personal and professional years you find yourself 66 pounds overweight, drinking martinis, wine, and cognac every night, questioning whether you need some professional help. Then, even though you’re well past the age when parental gifts can save you from life’s lows, you remember that bike your dad gave you. Sure, it’s a trash-picked mountain bike that weighs a metric ton. But it puts you on a path that leads to the thought that maybe this cycling thing is the solution. And 55 pounds down and hundreds of skipped drinks later, you know you’re right.

With a little instruction and structure, she started doing long rides, like a 47-mile ride “down the Cape [Cod]” on the weekends. Those long rides had a snowball effect in the rest of her life. She limited herself to having a drink just one night a week. “You don’t want to be drinking because you want to feel good to ride.”

Chick and dog donning the type of orange you can see from outer space.

DeMasi followed the Health Management Resources (HMR) diet plan, which provides meals and snacks in proper portions, for several weeks but found she needed more carbs for her long rides. She eventually dropped the plan but remained vigilant, which was easier because she wasn’t drinking. “I didn’t have the urge to polish off a bag of Chex Mix every night,” she says.

Four and a half months later, she’d dropped 55 pounds, going from what she found to be a very uncomfortable 3XL to a size 16. “I’d like to lose about 11 more pounds to reach 150 pounds, which is a good weight for me,” she says.

Thanks to DeMasi’s newfound love for cycling, she’s confident she’s on the path to hitting that goal. “The thing about cycling is that it’s always a win,” she says. “It’s always an achievement. The best are those times when I’m looking up that hill and going so slowly that I think I’m just going to fall over, but I know what it feels like when you get to the crest and the grade starts to decline and you know you’ve done it. Just knowing what that feels like gets me up a hill every time. No matter how slow I am, I am determined to do it.”

With a New England winter bearing down, DeMasi knows her outdoor riding days may be numbered for a few months, but she doesn’t view that as a negative. “I just started doing indoor cycling classes, which are fantastic,” says DeMasi, who has found that riding a stationary bike helped her become more confident and comfortable with skills like riding out of the saddle, which she says she struggled with because of her weight early on.

“I want to be as fit and skilled as I can be for when I can get outdoors—which I love best,” says DeMasi. “I want to be out there having adventures and hopefully inspiring other women to do the same.”