When I had my first son, I'll admit it, I was expecting a girl. As one of four girls, my world view has been fairly female-centric. My father was the one to hide himself in the house where I grew up. When I had my second son, my job description was clear, I had been tasked to raise good men who would be aware, sensitive, and brave enough to not need the macho shit that has become increasingly toxic for men and women. My work however was and is not easy and not always clear despite the wonderful men in our life.
"The A to Z of Amazon" was years in the writing after I tuned into Amazon–The Everything Store–to try and make sense of the physical and cultural changes in Seattle, an established tech-city, and the changing habits of consumers around the globe. Amazon’s promise to be the most customer-centric company on earth hid a darker ambition of dominating e-commerce by turning people everywhere into mindless turbo-shopping machines. This essay is an overview of the ever-expanding Amazon universe and, Jeff Bezos, its brilliant shrewd, stealth, disciplined, driven, and calculating founder. The piece is a warning, a plea, and a request that we look at the cost of convenience.
"Two Men, One Women, and Three Dogs in the Park," is a story of a dog walk gone wrong. It's a story where size and color matter. It's a story that ends in the emergency room with more questions than answers.
"It's Just Sex" is a poignant and humorous essay about a mother explaining sex and sexual responsibility to her adolescent sons . It touches on all the awkward moments within a family when the topic of sex arises, even in very open families. It's also the tale of the social and political realities of teenage sex in the age of STD’s gone wild and a judicial system that is hacking away at Roe v. Wade.
I got pulled over by a cop seventeen years ago. I was 9 months pregnant and on my way to work. I became a chew toy for the officer to work out his rage. Every time I've been pulled over since (twice) that incident, I brace myself. In the days of #BlackLivesMatter, I realize how ridiculous my fear is. I'm a small fifty-four year old woman with grey curly hair. The first time I got pulled over, I stayed quiet. The last time I got pulled over, a month ago, I cautiously evaluated my position and spoke in a way that I've learned to when I want to gently challenge someone.
My essay is a tribute to Marita Dingus, an artist of incredible depth and breadth. I am fascinated by her way of making art and by the way she thinks and speaks her mind using assemblage techniques instead of words to create bold images that carry huge meaning. I first fell for Marita's jewelry in the late eighties. Her work, to my mind, was fresh, quirky, and obviously made with love and a sense of humor. As I got to know her work better, I discovered that she was talking about care of the planet, race, gender, class, and challenging us to rethink the way we live and think. Our refuse is her raw material which she uses to remind us to think and act with care.
Raven Chronicles in 2013 and Drash, Northwest Mosaic, 2009
My Yerusha, A Story of Inheritance is the true story of inheritance. What is it that we have left with when our loved ones leave us that is indelible? It is the taste, smells and stories of life and the people who have taught us. In this case, it is gefilte fish. It is the precise instructions, the proper tools, a 100 year-old wooden bow, a mega lite dutch oven, and the sound of history reminding us to chop the fish twice and to cook it for at least an hour.
Mary Ann Gwinn of the Seattle Times remarked, “I took a tour of Drash and found some good stuff–– a delightful essay by Seattle author Stacy Lawson on her family history as seen through the lens of the Passover ritual of making gefilte fish.
r.kv.r.y. quarterly literary journal, vol x, no. 2, April 2013
Hiding from Breast Cancer is a poignant, informative and (even) humorous essay, which considers the historic, personal, and political realities of Breast Cancer. The piece includes a breast-milk smuggling incident, Ruth Handler's (Barbie's inventor) contribution to prosthetic breast design, Rachel Carson's early warnings, and Monsanto’s refusal to listen.
Area 25 is an essay on depression for those who suffer the fate, for those who live around people who do, and for the curious. It’s an unflinchingly honest look at the causes, effects, remedies, and this author's experiences both on and off of medication. It’s the story of a wife, mother, friend and sister who cannot help but keep her mouth shut when she sees someone suffering.
Putting on the Dog recounts the many costume changes required of a woman who lives in many different worlds, inhabiting all of them and yet not be content to settle in any one of them. In this essay, gender, modesty, sexual orientation, cross-dressing, and transgender issues come together as the narrator rides into Queens to visit the Lubavitcher Rebbe, struggles to get into her 20 year-old wedding dress, or dresses as a Hasidic Jew for the holiday of Purim.
“Putting on the Dog” came out in Sunday Ink: Works by the Uptown Writers in 2010 as a tribute to the Uptown Writers at the request of Sandra E. Jones who wanted to immortalize the group's writing before she died a month later of Multiple Myeloma.