Mary Beth Writes


Click right here.  September 2023.pdf (

The September issue of Creative Wisconsin Magazine is now published online and you can read my story plus lots of other good writing.

My story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” starts on page 28 and this is what the judges said about it: This entry is perfection in every way from plot to punctuation and took my breath away. Evocative prose delivers the reader into the soul of Crow in his jail and work-release environments. “I am an artist with a forklift,” the character says. “I am in my story now.” And “This poetry will fight endlessness.” The story touches briefly on societal issues, too, such as how money works in the incarceration industry.

(Actually, Crow’s not on work release but I’m not quibbling with an introduction like this!)

A person can also order a hard copy from Amazon if they search for Creative Wisconsin Magazine Sept 2023. I suspect most of you will not do this, but hey, I know one person (ahem) who coughed up $12 to see her writing in print.

If you read my story and like it, please let me know in the comments here or anywhere. Skywriting would also be okay.

If you have friends who might like my writing, I’d be honored and delighted if you recommended my blog to others. If you do this and they subscribe to this website (free, never shared) and you live local, I’ll even share snickerdoodles next time I bake some. Let me know.


Reading “How Crow Got Out of Jail”took me back many years to when I met you, and looked forward to reading your columns in the Racine Journal Times. The story is wonderful and I love how certain phrases and word groupings are so good that they make me stop and read them again, so I can enjoy them again. Well done, you!

Perfection indeed!
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Thank you!!

This story is great! The first place is well deserved! Enjoyed reading.

Con graduations!!!
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I loved the proud of you, and so happy that your writing was recognized as award winning! I have known that for a long time :)
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Thanks and one of these days ... a story of a woman who walks across half a buildings to make photocopies just so she can talk to another smart woman for five minutes before she returns to her work cave.

love that - I was always watching, hoping you would need copies or some kind of excuse to pop in my area. I did have a great window in my office, but there were other constrictions........

I loved your story! I watched a movie last weekend … one of the characters was writing a story and another man asked him how it was going to end.. He didn’t know yet …(because it was about other characters in this movie and the movie wasn’t over yet) The man advised him to make it a happy ending because everyone loves a happy ending to a story. Maybe that is accurate advice… I loved how your story ended on such a hopeful note for these two interesting characters!
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That's such a good question - about how it's going to end. I never quite know but I just don't have tragedy in me - there's enough outside of us that I feel entitled to not invent more of it. Thanks for writing and yeps, it's always an adventure doing this. Takes me forever. I'm never sure what's going on though I usually like the stories later. Sometimes i remember characters as if they were people I knew once ...

What a beautifully written story. I felt like I knew him or would like to know him. Your jade ring is well deserved!
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The Lies We Live By


Aristotle wrote a lot of important stuff, very little of which I’ve read. But this Aristotelian idea is cool and I don’t know why we are not taught this in high school. It helps untangle the importance of what we read and watch.

Fat Tuesday & Valentines Day & Ash Wednesday (says it all)


I think today has to be a Three Things. You probably don’t even know I have Three Things scaffolding in my secret writing toolbox of organizational tools, but I do. Sometimes it’s how thoughts present themselves, you know? Things to say, but not for too long.

(Now that I've finished and read what I wrote, I guess this is five things but some days, in our expanding universe, the math just works this way,)

Successful & Failed Artists


Last week I finished reading Woodcutters by Thomas Bernhard. (I discovered this book via Librarian of Burgos Instagram because I am her fangirl now.)

If you like to read a book that has a recognizable plot of sympathetic characters moving forward through a problem to a solution– you will likely not enjoy this novel. Heck, I’m not sure if I ‘enjoyed’ it.

Animals of Winter


Last week I invited you to submit pictures of animals who are visiting your life these days.

The Republic of False Truths


I set a goal for this year to read one translated modern novel every month. I’ve been following ‘Librarian of Burgos’ on Instagram and this woman keeps hyping and explaining books I’ve never heard of, which intrigues me mightily. I think she might be a reader’s reader. Anyways, she is European, has transcendently luminous skin plus several master’s degrees and a doctorate in history. Sometimes she even recommends books that are not, sadly she says, not yet translated into English. Cracks me up.

Who's In Your Backyard?


It’s been a wowser of a wintery week. We had the deep and blowing snow last Friday which turned into the heavy-as-concrete snow on Saturday which turned into a deep and frozen crust on Sunday - and here we still are. Last week’s snow still limns the trees and branches. A foot of snow still covers every roof. When I walk (why yes, I’m still going out for strolls) it’s a matter of life and limb navigating the jagged piles between sidewalk and street. I do use my “Alpine” walking stick these days.

Change is coming but not today.

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