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September 06, 2013

Another Year, Another Revelation

Gloria MacKay contemplates how the world changes from generation to generation.

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Another Year, Another Revelation

Gloria MacKay contemplates how the world changes from generation to generation.

Continue reading "Another Year, Another Revelation" »

July 17, 2013

In And Out Of The Box

...That’s me, as snug as a bug in a rug. Unflappable. Tootling through time; let the swivel-heads gape. Not everyone can handle in a single glance, an olderish woman driving a vehicle obviously meant for a kid...

Gloria MacKay delights in her grayish-beige cracker box car.

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June 10, 2013

Hands, Clapping

...The psychology of applause has turned out to be a whole lot more interesting to me than the philosophy of applause, which, if I recall my student days, fixates on the sound of one hand clapping...

After reading Gloria MacKay's deliciously entertaining article you will never again be able to clap your hands without thinking about what you are doing.

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April 10, 2013

Scrambling Home

"Baseball is not just a game to me, it is part of my life,'' writes Gloria MacKay.

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March 27, 2013

Take Your Time

...A least I have an explanation why one of my punctual friends showed up one afternoon flushed and distressed, almost an hour late for a movie we were going to. “I don’t know what happened,” she panted, “I must have been looking at the wrong clock.” I didn’t pursue it; half a movie is better than none...

Gloria MacKay considers a subject which concerns every last one of us.

Gloria's entertaining words have not appeared in Open Writing for a long while. HIGH TIME FOR HER TO MAKE A RETURN. Hurray!

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August 12, 2010

The Spider And The Fly

Gloria MacKay is "trapped'' in the world wide web and has no desire to escape.

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May 24, 2010

Laugh Your Way Through Life

...Ironically, but not funny, once doctors announced that laughter is good for our health, the less we are laughing. In the 1950’s,according to research by Dr. Michael Titze, we averaged eighteen minutes of chuckles every twenty four hours; at the moment we allow ourselves a paltry six minutes a day...

Gloria MacKay brings the best possible advice on how to stay healthy.

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April 05, 2010

Hope On Top Of The World

…Hope hung on the living room wall just over the couch for so many years she made her mark on the wall. The painting, about two feet high and not quite as wide, was framed with burnished wood finished to look like metal. She was an eerie, dusky sight: a woman draped in a gown of sepia, mustard, olive drab and slate gray, her head in her hands and her legs sprawled over the top of a big, round, equally sepia ball…

Despite disappointments along they way Gloria MacKay still has hope - and Hope.

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March 29, 2010

Holier Than Thou

...When it comes to body piercing I admit I am a thin-lipped priss. Somebody’s private part spiffed up with a thrift shop treasure is none of my business...

Gloria MacKay wonders whether it is the grossness of the fashion (adornments embedded in flesh) or the mindset of the beholder which is remiss.

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March 22, 2010

High Tides

The action is overhead where gulls, eagles, hawks and crows congregate under the sky. An occasional airplane from the naval base up north streaks through the clouds, and private planes not much bigger than the birds putt by. In October, Canada geese move in with an air show which darkens the sky, followed by a land invasion of beachhead dimensions.

Gloria MacKay confesses that she is happiest when within sight and smell of salt water.

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March 15, 2010

Hocus Pocus

"Don’t let any old black magic put you in its spell,'' advises Gloria MacKay. "Be selective.''

And Gloria's particular "magic'' involves bat and ball.

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February 28, 2010

When I Awake...

Miriam McAtee's brief poem expresses an ocean of loss.

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January 23, 2009

Out To Lunch

...I took myself out to lunch once, long before I understood that a woman alone in a restaurant looks as exposed as a suzette without a crepe, a bump without even a log. I was nine years old, all by myself and hungry...

That was the very last time that Gloria MacKay lunched alone, Small wonder, for you only have to read a paragraph of Gloria's column to realise she would be the very best of lunchtime companions.

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September 12, 2008

My Kitchen Witch

Gloria MacKay hurled her first witch into the garbage can.

"I wish I hadn’t done that. It was a time when I thought what other people thought and bought what other people bought. Naturally, once I noticed my friends no longer had witches in their kitchens (witches weren’t cute anymore) I didn’t want one glued to my window like a canceled stamp....''

But now there is another witch in Gloria's life.

Do pleas click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/pins_and_needles/ to read more ofr Gloria's splendid columns.

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July 11, 2008

Urban Tales

...Patty's story was that cactus means spiders and spiders mean death. When Patty dropped by, as she often did, her coffee sat untouched and her voice trembled nonstop. She got the news from her friend in Wichita who heard it from a cousin who goes to church with a with a woman who had a sister named Mabel—who would be dead by now if it wasn’t for 911 and the bomb squad....

But is it true? Can a cactus plant harbour a deadly secret?

Gloria MacKay tells of the tales we are all-too-ready to believe.

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May 16, 2008

Keep It Simple, Sam

..I must have been around ten when I broke away from the children's quarters and wandered up and down the aisles, back and forth, in and out, left and right. There were books all over the place. If I wanted to read them all, and I did, I had to get started...

Gloria MacKay illuminates the wonder and delight of books and libraries.

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April 01, 2008

April Fish And Left-handed Whoppers

Gloria MacKay offers a seriously enjoyable article for this non-serious day.

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March 07, 2008

The Sunday Paper

Gloria MacKay tells of one of the great joys of Sunday morning – sorting out the many sections of a newspaper which comes stuffed in a blue plastic bag like a bed roll, then settling down for a long, delicious read.

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January 25, 2008

The One And Only Punxsutawney Phil

Gloria MacKay tells of National Groundhog Day, a fun-filled American tradition, and of that ageless and infallible weather predictor, Punxsutawney Phil.

Makes you long to be there for the festivities next week!

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December 26, 2007

You Are What You Munch

...The healthiest party game of the season might be to simply hang around the snack table, keep our hands in our pockets, and guess who is going to pick what.
Snack Food Psychology...

As the party season progresses Gloria MacKay muses on the findings of Chicago-based researcher Dr Alan Hirsch who says "The munchies you choose tells a lot about who you are."

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November 14, 2007

Winter Blues

Gloria MacKay copes well with the dark season of the year. "I can survive for weeks in a closet of gray and come out blooming like a Christmas cactus...''

But there are many who are both literally and acronymically sad in winter - victims of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"These people just cannot function well when they wake up in the dark, commute both ways in the dark, dine in the dark, make love in the dark and fight in the dark. Without light, their bodies want to curl up like bears until a ray of early morning sun jump-starts their brains.''

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October 24, 2007

Over And Under And Over And Under And...

...Clay was no better. As the rest of the class turned out rabbits and tea cups and flat little faces with the features all nicely in place, I never progressed past snakes. So, it was a ho-hum afternoon for me when Miss Jackson, my fourth grade teacher, began a new art project...

Art was not Gloria MacKay's favourite subject, yet she eventually found a form of artistic expression that brought her much pleasure.

For more of Gloria's generous words please click on Pins And Needles in the menu on this page.

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August 26, 2007

The Numbers Game

...Numbers are different; there is not a synonym or figure of speech in the bunch. You not only can count them, you can count on them. Whether sprawled across a check, stuck on a birthday cake, flat up against the side of a house or hiding in an equation, numbers always mean the same thing...

Gloria MacKay loves words more than numbers, yet, when the need requires - the need being filling in a tax form - she is able to look numbers in the eye.

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August 08, 2007

I Am Not Nice

"Nice is an insipid, namby-pamby, non-descriptive adjective.'' declares Gloria MacKay. "In some circles nice functions as a compliment but in my personal thesaurus the word describes someone who is as deep as a pie plate and as complex as glucose...''

And it would be altogether inadequate to say that Gloria writes a nice column. An entertaining column, yes. An unmissable column, yes, yes. A brilliant column, yes, yes, yes!

To enjoy more of Gloria's writing please click on Pins And Needles in the menu on this page.

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July 09, 2007

A Puget Sounder

...I sense a subtle bond among those of us who inhale a life time of briny northwest air: as though this has given us an attitude outsiders just don’t understand...

Gloria MacKay is provincial and proud of it, delighted to be living in the USA's Pacific North West. Her enticing words will make you wish that you too had been born a Puget Sounder.

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May 09, 2007

A Word Is A Word Is A Word

...When the New Oxford American Dictionary announced its top ten words of 2006 I approached the results not with baited breath, or bated breath, but with interest...

In this exhilirating encounter with the English language Gloria MacKay gets to grips with some new words - or, to be terminologically precise, new words and phrases.

For more of Gloria's entertaining columns please click on Pins And Needles in the menu on this page.

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April 04, 2007

Taking Care Of Your Edges

Take care of the edges, and the centre will take care of itself. Those words were aimed at gardeners, but Gloria MacKay is convinced that dealing with the edges is the best way to care for just about anything.

For more of Gloria's delightful words please click on Pins and Needles in the menu on his page.

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March 28, 2007

Three Shots A Day

"Current research points to a regimen of daily drinking as one step in our journey to maintain good health,'' says Gloria MacKay. "I have no problem finding time to floss and exercise is at least a sometimes thing. But this drinking! Increasing my alcoholic consumption is the toughest behavior change I have ever attempted...''

Gloria is a lady who has fun with words, and fun with life. For more of her exuberant columns please click on Pins and Needles in the menu on this page.

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February 26, 2007

Bread Rising

...Somehow, doesn’t rising seem morally superior to falling? At times we feel as though we can rise forever, but we only fall until we hit the ground? Maybe that’s it. Rising has no limits--upward and onward--while falling is a rock sliding, knee skinning, stock dropping, cake failing sort of a word...

By way of baking bread and recalling poems learned in Miss Portmann's fourth grade classroom, Gloria MacKay expresses her joy in words - and the use of words. That joy results in a reading treat for Open Writing visitors.

To see more of Gloria's columns please Click on Pins and Needles in the menu on this page.

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December 21, 2006

How Far Apart Are An Angel's Eyes

...A woman, thin-lipped and wild-eyed with chin embedded on upturned palms, kneels before her creation. "Help," she groans. "I can't do this." She unbends and waves an arm flecked with aerosol gold. "Help," she wails. "I can't figure this out. For God's sake, will someone please tell me... how far apart are an angel's eyes?"

Seventeen glue guns cool and seventeen women freeze. One whispers, "I was wondering about that myself."...

Ah, Christmas! A time to make angels.

But Gloria MacKay takes us beyond the making of traditional images to the true centre of Christmas - the wondrous, innocent creativity of children who know how far apart things should be.

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November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Traditions

...Roasting Pan and I are really quite close. He knows I start planning for this special meal days ahead. I like time on Thanksgiving Day to contemplate all four of my sons: their man talk and boy talk and parent talk and son talk, and note the few gray hairs, the certain weariness and the special compassion that fatherhood and unclehood brings...

On this Thanksgiving Day Gloria MacKay writes about family, and turkey, and pumpkin with whipping cream and/or ice cream (vanilla, chocolate and/or butter pecan) - and all the warmth and wonderful magic that make the celbration extra-special.

To read more of Gloria's splendid columns please click on Pins and Needles in the menu on this page.

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November 02, 2006

Spending Our Tips

Gloria MacKay read about an indepenent old maid whose favourite pastime was "Spending my tips''.
That set her musing on some of the "tips'' she has accumulated through life.

"Spending our tips, like spending anything else, is as much a matter of style as supply. From the start, some children pocket their allowance and spend it as fast as it takes to get to the store. Others can't wait to drop their coins in their bank, and there they stay. A jiggle, a peak and a clink is enough of a tip for them....''

And the best tip for Open Writing readers is, after enjoying this column, to sample more of Gloria's satisfying words by clicking on Pins and Needles in the menu on this page.

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October 26, 2006

Everyone Needs Pie

"Sacrificing women abound like smelt in the river or ants in the sand. And once their usefulness is over they tumble into limbo like unmatched socks from the dryer, or lemmings hell bent for the sea.''

But the compulsion to put others first is not always a virtue, says Gloria MacKay. Receiving can be as spiritual as giving, and women deserve their share of the pie.

Gloria broadcasts on a radio station in Everett, Washington State, USA.
http://www.kser.org/ To read more of her vigorous words please click on Pins And Needles in the menu on this page.

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October 05, 2006

It's A Wrap

Waxed paper and Ziploc bags. Everyday items, unworthy of more than a passing thought. That is until Gloria MacKay comes along to wrap them up in an entertaining package of words.

Gloria's words are broadcast by http://www.kser.org/

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September 28, 2006

Slow Talk

...In those days, slow was slower than it is today. No one could, or would, so they said, run a mile in less than four minutes. Cars moved slowly enough that even a child could read Burma Shave signs on the side of the road, and on a hot day when I opened my grandmother’s cooler to finger the ice, the drips were a long time coming...

Gloria MacKay remembers her childhood days, when parents advocated the virtues of slowness.

Gloria regularly broadcast on an Everett, Washington State, USA radio station http://www.kser.org/ To read more of her columns please click on Pins and Needles in the menu on this page. For maximum, and guaranteed, pleasure they should be read slowly.

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September 21, 2006

Sometimes On Pancakes

...Poet Carl Sandburg described slang as "a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.''

On the other hand, G. K. Chesterton, writer and literary critic said, "All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.''

Gloria MacKay ventures into the dense lexicological thickets to explore the ever-changing meanings of certain slang words - emerging into the light with a smile on her face.

Gloria broadcasts for a radio station in Everett, Washington State, USA, http://www.kser.org/

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September 14, 2006

Outgrowing My Cliches

There's no scarcity of words, says Gloria MacKay. "New words peck at us and old ones morph so drastically it's as though we've never heard them before. ‘Peeps’ for instance, is a slangy new noun for 'friends' as in "Open Writing' readers and writers are my kind of peeps.''

Gloria, who possesses the great gift of being able to arrange words in such a way as to make you want to read more and more of them, broadcasts regularly from a radio station in Everett, Washington State, USA http://www.kser.org/

Continue reading "Outgrowing My Cliches" »

September 07, 2006

What's Cooking?

"I diversified to tuna and noodle casserole, meat loaf, pea soup and corn chowder, then proceeded to a tomato aspic that quivered with authority, and eventually tackled a turkey. Despite tears and tantrums I learned how to cook...''

Here's a welcome to Gloria MacKay, a sparkling writer who will be regularly contributing columns to Open Writing.

Gloria regularly broadcasts on station KSER-FM 90.7 from Everett in Washington State, USA. She has written a number of books: Throwing Sticks and Skipping Stones, The Cuckoo Can Clean Her Own Clock, Spring Goes Out Like A Lamb. These can be bought on the Net. For details visit http://dlsijpress.com/mackay/

Continue reading "What's Cooking?" »


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