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!!!
Mary Beth's picture


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!
Mary Beth's picture

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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What Now, US Constitution?


Not sure if I wrote this post for you or for me.

I was close to the end of my volunteer shift at the Food Pantry yesterday. The morning had been tougher than usual (see the upended boxes we didn’t have time to flatten) and I was tired. Then I got this text from Len, “Don’t look at the news.”

I’ve never received anything this cryptic from Len in my life. I told my co-worker Nancy I needed to look at the news because something weird was going on.

She replied, “The Supreme Court.”

Hot Weather Diary #4


Guess what amazing thing is happening at my house right now? This has not happened in, I think, two weeks…


Yesterday evening the heat index was 100 degrees. Tonight the temperature is 70, low humidity, breezes wafting in the windows like angels’ breath.

Hot Weather Diary #3


Today was another hot one and right now, it’s still 93 degrees in my backyard.

Hot Weather Diary #2


“Time wasted at a lake is time well spent.”  (I tried to learn who wrote this; it seems to have arisen spontaneously on a Pinterest plaque for your cabin.)

There is an argument that civilization started on the banks of rivers, the oceans, and along the shores of the hundreds and thousands of lakes on our earth. Waterfront is where people and animals gather to drink, eat, cool off, and watch the youngsters while they play. Also, it’s where adults gather to chat, fish, breathe in beauty, and sometimes swim far out there where joints don’t ache and its quiet.

Hot Weather Diary #1


We all knew it was coming and here it is. A Hot Week! We are in the news! We are important! Humans around the nation, especially in the East and Midwest, will be living through a week with temps in the 80’s, 90’s and worse.

What the Dickens?

The photo is from Barnados, a childrens charity in London in the 19th century. 


Argh! I have a new phone because the old one stopped staying charged plus a few more foibles. My phone cost $400 five years ago so it makes sense that it stopped working reliably, right? If an appliance worked like this we would burn that manufacturer to the ground.

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