Help me reach my goal to make my second tuition payment!

Sharing my campaign could help me reach my goal to make my second tuition payment!

GoFundMe will withdraw donations and deposit them into my savings account tomorrow. My second tuition payment will be automatically transferred from this account on February 20th, but I am still $75 short of the payment. I will tighten my budget accordingly if needed. It takes up to 7 days to process a payment, so anything I receive after the 12th can’t be applied to this month’s tuition.

I just finished the book, Nervous Conditions and now it’s time to relate it to the first two chapters of Women Across Cultures and write a reflection.


Other good news is that I’ve applied to the three affordable housing companies in Brockport that I’m eligible for. I just have to check my mail and messages regularly for news that I’ve come up on the waitlist! Now that is off my mind and I can concentrate more on my course (and looking for a new computer for my course).

Thanks for your support!

Posted in Poet

Help Me Raise $200 by February 1st for Tuition!

Hartwell Hall from the front

I wanted to share all the beautiful photos of Brockport I took on my orientation trip. I had technical difficulties, so that took some time. They are smaller than I wanted them to be, but at least I have something to share. (I could only share a few photos here, so check my fb or email me for more.)

Anyway, I’ve been busy with my new course. I had assignments a week before the class started. I’ve just completed my first two official assignments (not including the many icebreaker activities). I’ve read many articles, chapters, and watched videos. I have to finish a novel and write about it by the 31st. It is intense. I’ve hardly had time for taking care of other basic things. It is fun and hard.

I’m learning, writing, and discussing gender inequality around the globe. I can’t think of a better class to be taking at this time. This class is a powerhouse 300 level course that fulfills three requirements and the two Brockport specific ones that I need. After this, it’s all English and writing courses.

You all made this possible! I hope to receive $200 in donations by February 1st to cover my second of three tuition payments. Would you please share my campaign to help me reach my goal?

Another request: I am looking for an hour or so of work per month, preferably editing or content writing, but will consider light housekeeping, clerical work and organizing jobs. This will help ensure affordable healthcare. Would you please let me know if you or anyone else is interested?


Sculpture in front of Drake Memorial Library
Joy and Happiness to All the Children of the World by Zurab Tsereteli

My orientation trip –


Crazy day. I’m trying to keep my eyes open to layout my busy day on campus at The College of Brockport. The train had a brake failure when we were almost to Utica. We had to wait inside the train for the next train from Albany to send an emergency engine for us. A four-hour ride turned into eight hours.

Had dinner with my old friend Darren! 🙂

Noted the differences between CDTA and RTS transit.

Arrived at the Econolodge and spent at least an hour cleaning. Even if I weren’t “housekeeping” for at least several years, I’d know the place wasn’t cleaned.

Yay, I’m here. Tomorrow I find out about all the support services, the campus, and meet people!


Another challenging day, mostly because of fatigue, hunger, uncooperative footwear and feet, and too much weight in my bags.

Plenty of good stuff though. Completed my intake interview at the Office of Students with Disabilities. Met with an English adviser who advised me which courses to take. Interacted a little with other students (when their noses came up from their cell phones). I did meet a 48 year old woman just starting college. It was nice to know I wasn’t the only one. Asked lots of questions at the information desk. Checked out one dining area. Found the lockers. Bought my books. Checked out the Student Center and met secretary. Checked out the Transfer Center and met staff there. Checked out the Student Learning Center and met staff. Got an idea of where things are located. Got my photo ID. (It’s hilarious.)

In the afternoon, it was quiet and a nice time to take photos. Too tired to share, but will upload them when things calm down. Probably after Wednesday when my first two assignments are complete.

Unfortunately, the college was a 25-minute walk away from the motel and my snow boots hurt me. Luckily, Wegman’s and TJ Maxx were across the street from the motel. I was fascinated with Wegman’s and it’s good to know they have plenty of options for food sensitivities (and foot care – ouch). TJ Maxx was a blessing since it had the perfect rolling duffel bag to make the next two days easier.

Bummed that I will likely not finish The Golden House before my 14 days are up at the library. I have read half of many books, lol. I’ll be devouring Nervous Conditions for my intense Women & Gender studies class. I have to make a video for a final project.

Extremely early day tomorrow. Hope I sleep well and rise early.

Office for Students with Disabilities: Completed my intake interview


I’m so burnt out. I forgot to take advantage of the shuttle bus this evening. I wanted to know the route and maybe get a look at parts of town I haven’t seen.

Everything was so fast paced this morning during the New Student Welcome with lots of moving about and no breaks. I learned some things about being a student there, but didn’t get to know anyone too well despite the icebreaker activity. I forgot to turn my survey in during the commotion. Then I participated in “Saturday of Service.” We helped set up for a Three Kings Day celebration for migrant farm workers.

Tomorrow I’d like to get up early, pack everything up, and walk to downtown. It will take at least 45 minutes and I’ll be loaded up with stuff. At 1, I’ll go on a tour of campus. I need to arrange for an Uber or Lyft to get to the train on time. I’ve not done that before either. Hope it works out.

I have to pass out now.

(I did visit downtown for about eight minutes and was given an abbreviated tour of campus. I like it. It’s all compact and homey. I managed to get a Lyft and saw the Brockport College shuttle bus pull out of the Amtrak station as I was coming in. Grrr.)

Main Street

Train was an hour late coming home and I’m still nursing blisters on my feet. It was worth it.

Now I’m heading back to the online classroom. I just remembered that I forgot to use questions in two of my comments. We are using Socratic questioning to have rich discussions about the material.

Posted in Freedom, Freelance

Please Share! Raising funds for college orientation on the 16th!

Great news – I received $175 in donations in the last 24 hours! I get teary-eyed thinking about this generous show of support. Each person who has donated has enriched my life and helped me to believe in myself.

I scheduled my first GoFundMe withdrawal today so I can use the funds to make my tuition payment this month, buy books, and hopefully attend orientation in Brockport the 19th-21st. After fees, $783.56 deposits into my account in two to seven business days. I also made my tuition down payment today. If my calculations are correct, I still need $233.86 by the 16th to accomplish all of the above. The alternative is wiping out my food and supplement budget, which keeps my health issues in check or skipping orientation.

View from Washington Ave Apt

Past View from Washington Avenue Apartment

I’m finishing edits for the next issue of the Co-op Voice and biting my nails waiting on the verdict for my submitted article. This leads me to think about the word “voice” when used to describe speaking out about things that matter. This leads me to think about the “voice” of women that is not readily heard. This reminds me that I’m the third high school graduate on my mother’s side in three generations and that no one on my mother’s side graduated from college in at least the last four generations.

What would the world be like if we all had a voice that could be heard? Help me raise mine.

Help me raise $233.86 by sharing this campaign!


Jessica Rae

“Even to me the issue of “stay small, sweet, quiet, and modest” sounds like an outdated problem, but the truth is that women still run into those demands whenever we find and use our voices.”
Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Posted in Poet, Social Justice, Write | Tagged , , , , ,


Please take action now. Call, tweet, and write congressman and senators – especially the ones on the fence or in support of the FCC’s bad plan for the internet.

Posted in Poet

Idealism is an Attractive Flower: Book Review

Idealism is an attractive flower by Oneida Morningstar Cramer

Idealism is an attractive flower by Oneida Morningstar Cramer

Two of my favorite things, photography and poetry combine in this unique and beautiful book of innovative photopoems by a woman with a unique and beautiful name – Oneida Morningstar Cramer. Her first published work, Idealism is an attractive flower, which won Gold in the poetry category of the 2015 Feathered Quill Book Awards and also received the 2015 North Texas Book Festival Silver Book Award, is a pleasurable wander through the author’s perspective and imagination — drawing the reader to be present and rapt in the wonderment of each moment frozen in her photographs. Cramer is simple in her presentation, occasionally philosophical, and often comical or charming in her compositions — speaking through a child-like voice, the voice of the experienced parent, the voice of the scientist, or her personal perspective.

Perhaps the number of poems in this book relate to one of it’s common themes – music —as in one poem for each of the eighty-eight keys on a piano. Coincidentally, or not, it ends in a musical poem that may  wrap up the overall intention of this book. “Bow for the muse… Bow for the music,” is perhaps a summation of the muse each photograph inspires and the music (or art) created by the author as a result. (I was not surprised to read that she had worked for a music conservatory.)

Then, I think of the title photopoem, Idealism is an attractive flower; and I wonder if it is about using imagination to step outside reality, to create the music, to change the reader’s mental state – which may be all the reader truly knows. The theme that stands out most is of a temporal nature — interestingly, so is music (and mental states). She notes the temporary, “ephemeral” nature of life. Another strong theme, not entirely unrelated to time (or music), are her allusions to the stage performance. We are given a space – a stage, a backdrop, maybe some props, and life awaits our actions. She will also show you her ecological passion, kinetic sensibilities, familial love, and musings on modern life and joys of past times.

This beautiful, Smyth sewn book has eighty-eight stunning photographs (including the cover) juxtaposed with words thoughtfully arranged within and sometimes outside the borders of the photograph in various fonts and colors, although Century Gothic seems to be appreciated. (What’s not to love?!) The result is a mixed media art otherwise known as photopoem. Inspired by her work as a journalist/photographer, O.M. Cramer developed this form of art. In the photopoem, the image on the page and the images the author conjures through words are interdependent and transfix the reader simultaneously. One photograph, not accompanied by words, has no need for them.

Her poems are short – frequently consisting of one stanza with about three stressed beats per line, make skilled use of assonance and consonance,  and often illustrate with action and personification. I suspect she is a fan of T.S. Elliot. Rarely does she make use of rhyme — one exception being the wonderfully musical, ECHO CHAMBER.

It was difficult to highlight my favorites without spoiling the book. While sitting in a drugstore… yanked my heartstrings. The simple image of a butterfly resting atop the orange stamens of a Marigold personifies the soda jerk and evokes memories of sipping on a root beer float while sitting on a spinning stool at the long counter in front of the soda fountain. In the artist studio… is a delight for the eyes and mind. In a playful font, she employs action and props to describe different types of artists. Her finale describes the performance of the chef with vividness intensified by the image of hands working over bowls surrounded by the props of the kitchen bathed in warm light. Down my alley… is one of two photos with felines as subject; but the felines’ challenges become very human in her poetry. This high-bred house cat sitting at an open gate longs to be feral– to take her “chance to run in the wind,” or will she “follow the line?”

Aside from the sublime contents – I particularly love the size (6” x 9”), shape, and weight of this book; as it makes it easy to hold in one hand, bring it in close, and absorb every detail of the photography and layout. The glossy photos enhance the experience. Enjoy drinking in the image before reading the text. This durable hardcover book has a matte finish and includes the author’s photo and bio on the back cover. Aside from a short dedication and introduction,  Idealism is an attractive flower consists of page after satisfying page of photopoems that utilize the space provided unfettered by page numbers or ornate borders. If you appreciate sweet simplicity and creative imagination, I recommend this book from Eudora Publishing Company, ISBN-13: 978-0-9905190-0-3, for $24.99, $4.99 (e-book — available as an .epub on iBooks release date, publisher: 12.31.14, Eudora Publishing Company, genre: poetry/photography).

Idealism is an attractive flower  is available at Amazon – URL: and iTunes (e-book) – URL:





Posted in Book Reviews, Write | Tagged , , , ,