Beautiful Badasses


2020 was a bad year for many people. But lots of us can name some silver linings that came from the isolation, depression, and all that bad stuff. One for me was joining the Zoom write-ins started by the writing association I belong to, WFWA or the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. We gather on Zoom to write, talk about writing and publishing, and make friends.

Some of the WFWA Write-Inmates including our baddest badasses.

Kelly, one of our members who I happened to be friends with before on Facebook, has a genetic kidney disease. She’s a beautiful badass for lots of reasons, a few being she survived a suicide bombing at a hotel in Kenya, is an award-winning journalist who started her own online news site when the entity she was working for had to fold, and she knows her way around the American healthcare system better than most of us. Pretty awesome since she’s from Israel.

Kelly lives in the Los Angeles area. Wait time there for a donated kidney is ten years. Kelly doesn’t have that long. So we in the Zoom meetings do whatever we can do to offer support to Kelly. But one woman is going way beyond prayers and good thoughts and donating to fundraisers.

Pamela is donating a kidney. Pamela is a badass in her own right, not least for having adopted three children from overseas and handling everything that goes with international adoptions. Pamela was moved to help Kelly by donating a kidney and has the full support of her family. A whole family of badasses.

Today, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, a team of doctors will remove one of Pamela’s kidneys. It will be flown on a commercial flight from New Jersey to Los Angeles and be installed into Kelly. We at WFWA are calling it the Sisterhood of the Traveling Kidney. We are worried and excited at the same while expecting the best possible outcomes for both women.

WFWA, led by the Write-Inmates, have been doing things for weeks to get ready. Pages have been set up at Give InKind (see links at the end for more of their stories and to donate if you are so moved) to provide meals and other things of their choosing to get through the recovery process. Many of us are wearing bracelets spelling out Beautiful Badass or Brave and Beautiful with beads in Morse code. And we’ve been sending every prayer and thought we have time for into the heavens for the health of our dear friends.

Today, Tuesday, March 29, WFWA is hosting an event on Zoom to support Kelly and Pamela as they undergo their respective surgeries. Below is the link to WFWA’s Facebook event page. Click on the Join Event button and stop by to write, chat, and/or burn a candle which is a tradition at our writing meetings.

If you’re interested in learning about kidney disease and/or the donation process check out The American Kidney Foundation.

If donating an organ is more of a badass thing than you’re prepared for, consider registering for bone marrow/stem cell donation at Be The Match to possibly provide what people with blood cancers and other blood diseases need to survive.

Kelly Give InKind

Pamela Give InKind

Now, go forth and be your own kind of beautiful badass. The world needs us.

Play Ball With Your Enemies or Baseball Rivalries I Have Known

A Facebook writer friend who lives in Israel posted that someone gave her an MLB something for her birthday and now she can watch the Dodgers. She used to live in Los Angeles.

That reminded me of the baseball rivalries of my life. I touch upon this topic in Another Place on the Planet.

   “I wonder,” I (Lily) said absently as we walked past Chase Field on Jefferson Street, “if the Diamondbacks open the season at home this year.”

     “You like baseball?” he (Charlie) asked with the first smile I’d seen in a while.

     “I do. I’ve been hoping to meet someone to go to games with.”

     “If I go to some games here with you, you’ll have to go to Dodgers games with me in L.A.,” he said.

    “Yikes!” I cried with mock—mostly—fear. “Going to L.A. to see the Dodgers? That might be a little more trauma than you’re worth.”

    “What do you have against the Dodgers?” he asked, his step lightening a little.

     “Everything. It’s a Phoenix thing. Like hating the Yankees is a Boston thing.”

     “A beautiful woman who loves baseball and understands its rivalries. I’m in heaven.” He kissed my cheek as we waited for the light to change. His mood seemed to lift a bit. Mine did.

Dbacks General Manager Kevin Towers. He probably never said this, but probably wanted too.

Dbacks General Manager Kevin Towers. He probably never said this, but probably wanted too. I know I’ve wanted to hit Puig in the face. At least.

I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania watching baseball with my Dad. The Phillies. Occasionally the Mets. I tried football but didn’t understand it very well. Baseball I could keep track of. A few season, I sent away for theyear book. Once when the star pitcher at the time, Steve Carlton, was having a bad season, I sent him a letter of encouragement and was awarded an autographed photo for my effort. I think I still have it. I also drew a poster of various players copied from photos in the yearbook. Guys in white and red uniforms on a blue background. Guess I was a baseball geek at the time.

This is the photo I received that was autographed by Carlton. It would take all day to find the actual photo. longer if I don't have it any more

This is the photo I received that was autographed by Carlton. It would take all day to find the actual photo. longer if I don’t have it any more












When we moved to Maine in 1975 for my dad’s midlife crisis (there really is something to be said about getting a sports car your family won’t fit in as opposed to forcing them all to move to another state and subculture, dads) we became Red Sox fans and I learned about rivalries in baseball. That the Red Sox Nation (although it wasn’t called that at the time because TV was harder back then) detested anything to do with the New York Yankees. That’s just how it is. If you’re a Yankees fan in New England you had better be tough. We all know how much fun it is to hate a rival, even though we know if our location was New York, we’d hate the Boston Red Sox.

i love to hate the yankees

don't be a dick






In Maine and I met and fell in love with my native New England husband and appreciated the Red Sox even more. (He was actually scouted by several major league teams in high school, but a book-adapted-into-a-movie worthy car accident ended his baseball career when he was a senior.) We even got to a few games at venerated Fenway in Boston.(I saw the Yaz hit one of his last homeruns.)


He quickly adopted the Phillies when we move to Pennsylvania. The Phillies rivalry with the Braves was in full swing, made worse by the fact the Braves almost always tromped the Phightin’ Phils.

After 20 years, we ended up in the Phoenix area with the Diamondbacks and marveled at how easy it is to get to games in downtown Phoenix at Chase Field as opposed to the nightmare of Philadelphia.

The Dbacks have only been around since the late 1990s and the state of Arizona still has Dodger holdover fans from when there wasn’t a major league team here. Plus the thug element sides with the Dodgers because they’re a bunch of thugs anyway. This was perfectly illustrated when, after winning pennant in a postseason game, the LA thugs desecrated the pool at Chase Field by jumping the outfield fence and rollicking in it, cleats and all. Every Dback fan there ever was was supremely insulted by that deliberate action of disrespect, as was the intention.

Lord, help me forgive.

Lord, help me forgive.

But sometimes, you have to put the rivalries aside. Our lovely daughter fell in love with a Yankees fan (and a New York Giants fan which is hard to ignore when you grew up in Eagles territory.) This was something we had to work through. She was with us (albeit in my belly) when we witnessed Yaz and his homerun at Fenway. But we decided to love him anyway, for the sake of our daughter. As far as we can tell, being a New York fan is his only fault. But he grew up there, so you can’t blame him too much. If he grew up in New England and was a Yankees fan, that would be a completely different story. We might have had to disown our daughter.

Not really. We’re not hardcore. It’s just fun. When you finally realize it’s only a game and your life won’t change one iota if your team wins or loses, even the World Series. (I’m talking about you, 1986 Red Sox) you can let go of the red-hot-gut-churning-soul-consuming anger of being defeated by the entity you hate more than ever hated anything in the history of your existence (and oh, how we know that agony, given the histories of these teams) and move on and live a normal life.