Writers Resources Cafe Magazine


Altered photo by Mo Conlan


Photo and Haiku

Hail the sun dipping
below Mother Lake; come back
early tomorrow.


~~~~ Photo by EyeSeeLight

Visit the Daily Haiku archives


At the writers cafe, we like to introduce new writers, writers in mid-stream, and authors with new books. Mo met Pete Gryffin ( PhD, MS) while she was in Iowa City this summer to attend the summer writing workshops. "He was practicing Tai Chi outside my hotel. Since I also do Tai Chi, I was struck by the near perfection of his movements. We struck up a conversation and I learned he had just published a book that explains the Why of how Tai Chi benefits and improves health and healing." Here is a look at the new book, an excerpt from the preface of Tai Chi Therapy: The Science of Metarobics

Read the entire preface
Why Tai Chi Works


A story for middle children and for those who love the color red


By Mo Conlan

There was a little girl named Margretta Todd who loved the color red. The bedspread in the bedroom she shared with her sisters -- Loretta, Henrietta and Tootsie -- was red.

The ball she tossed with her brothers -- Horace, Morris and Boris -- was red.

Most of all, though, Margretta loved red shoes. She wore red play shoes, red boots when it rained, red clogs in the garden. She wore sturdy red work shoes when she helped out at the family's business, the Todd Family Zoo. Margretta even had a pair of shiny red patent shoes for dress-up….

Red Shoes
~ read the rest


Short story by Kathy Coogan

~ ~ Susan walked through the fog leaning into it, shoulders hunched, strong legs taking long, rapid strides. She imagined herself slicing through it like a scalpel through skin, but knew that the fog healed itself once she entered it, leaving no scar. She felt off balance, gripping the coiled empty leash in both hands….

The Camel's Back
~ read the rest



Patty finds that sailing with the kids

presents challenges



Most recent entry in Mo's ongoing series. "Love Crash: She wanted him... "
Love Crash


Kathy admits a truth about her Prayer List


How I Became a Redhead



Perhaps you've wondered about the writers here. If that is so, here is a mini-autobiography of each of us. The three of us agree that writing about ourselves is the most difficult task we've entertained.

Maureen (Mo) Conlan

Patty Lawrence

Kathy Coogan


Kathy randomly selects a word from the dictionary to get her writing juices flowing. And the word is:



A new scathingly, funny report
from the real world by Patty
A guide to The Office

More wit and commentary
Inside Patty's writing log



The latest Ace Spade, PI, story from Mo

Has Ace Spade Found His Olive?



Here is an excerpt from, Babies' Breath, Kathy's award-winning short story contained in her anthology of the same title:

"My heart burned as red-hot as the ancient round stones edging the fire-pit and my tears sizzled and steamed like spit when they fell into the flame." Read on here.

Kathy answers questions
for blogger, Betty Meyette,
about Babies' Breath
at this link: Meyette's Musings

Kathy's five-star-reviewed
short story collection
can be purchased by clicking :

Babies' Breath


Goodbye Cancer

Patty describes her journey through Cancer-Land

- The only thing I am not behind on is haircuts.
- The only reading materials in the surgeon’s office are cancer magazines and a coffee table book on Spring Grove Cemetery...
Read the rest of Goodbye Cancer

Chapter One


Side Effects


Visit Mo's Art Gallery


Vase with gold and red


Visit The Cafe Blog.
and subscribe to the Cafe.

To discover what makes us tick,
click on Biographies

Mo, Patty and Kathy


Note to visitors:
The stories, poetry, essays and artwork
on this site are copyrighted,
owned by the writers and artists.
No commercial use of them by others is permitted.

Grandmother and granddaughter share books

by Patty Lawrence
My grandmother, whom I called “Dodie,” introduced me to Margaret Atwood. Dodie belonged to a reading group that exchanged books and once everyone had read them, the group members could buy the used books. She bought Margaret Atwood’s A Cat’s Eye for me. It was the beginning of many happy hours spent with Atwood.

I don’t remember reading books with Dodie when I was a child, but we enjoyed sharing books as adults.

Book sharing originated with Dodie when I was an undergraduate and taking a Jane Austin class. My grandmother sent supplemental readings and pictures that she researched at the library. I still have that packet.

Throughout my college days Dodie followed my literature classes and often sent interesting relevant tidbits.

My grandmother had a life-long love of learning. Since Cal was a professor at Ohio State University, she could take courses for free and she often did.

In the fall of 1988, I started graduate school at Xavier University in Cincinnati. That spring my grandmother decided to take another course on African art. It was fun to be college girls together even if we were two hours apart and she didn’t have to worry about tests or grades.

In the spring of 1989, I took a course called “Women Writer’s on War.” It was a great class with a challenging work load and reading list that reflected the professor’s feminist views. My grandmother took that course too. Vicariously, through me.

It was long distance learning before the Internet. I’d read my books, write papers, make presentations, or do whatever was assigned, and when I was finished, I gave the books to Dodie unless she’d already gotten them from the library.

Our book sharing made this class one of my most memorable college experiences.

At the beginning of the semester she wrote, “Thanks for the book list. I am going to the library tomorrow and plan to get a book or two. I have read Nadine Gordimer’s writing and like her and I will try Grace Paley.” Her love of African art resonated with the two South African writers on the syllabus.

The reading list, at around twenty-three books, was the longest of my college career. We read: Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts and my favorite, To the Lighthouse. Charlene Spretnak’s The Lost Goddess of Early Greece, and Audrey Lorde’s poems and a book called The Cancer Journals.

Audrey Lorde described herself as a middle-aged, black, lesbian, feminist and at the time, a cancer survivor. She said, “If you let the world define you, it will define you to your disadvantage.” It’s a favorite quote of mine even if her books were not. I don’t remember much about them except that she describes every detail of sex with her lover.

I read The Cancer Journals on a road trip with some friends who greatly enjoyed jabbing me about reading lesbian pornography. That book got passed along to my grandmother with the rest. We didn’t discuss The Cancer Journals so I’ve no idea what she thought of it. I hope she recognized another soul who was put on this earth with a full agenda.

We read Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, which I think she did enjoy as it was often sitting out and the only book I collected back after she died.

In March of 1989 Dodie wrote,

“I have read Grace Paley’s Enormous Changes at the Last Minute. I am reading Showalter’s Feminist Criticism. Thanks goodness I have a 28 day loan and the library does not charge for overdues on senior citizens. . . I have read short stories by Gordimer. She is so clear. I see the country. We have a cousin living in Johannesburg, I doubt if we could find a Nadine Gordimer book in her house!”

Later, of "Burger’s Daughter," she wrote, “As usual I enjoy Gordimer. She writes like a pen and ink drawing. I see her proper rooms and landscape when I read. I thank you for all the South African reading you have introduced me to.”

I inherited many of my grandparent’s books. While she was still alive Dodie gave me many of her mother’s books. Mostly they are leather-bound Shakespeare plays and Robert Burns’ poems. I’ve read quite a few of the books but not my great grandmother’s turn-of- the-century crackled leather versions. When I hold those books, bits of binding fall into my palm. I know Dodie found them on her required reading list, too, but these were not the books we read together. We read current writers with liberal ideas.

After Cal had his stroke, I ended up with many of his books. He wrote several books and I treasure those. His collection consists of presidential biographies, psychology books, a few about his home state of Iowa, and one called "More of the World’s Best Dirty Jokes."

While I’m delighted to have Cal’s weighty volumes, few of his books are as a much fun as the ones I shared with my grandmother. In the end, however, Dodie left a well-worn library card and few of her own books.