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Alice in Writer-land

February 3, 2016


News from the Writer’s Desk:


Alice in Writer-land


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



As the calendar was turning from the final days of January to the first days of February, I came ever closer to the realization of my hope, goal, and wishes for devoting my “retirement” years to my own writing . Throughout my years of teaching writing and grading stacks of essays, poems, documented essays, term papers, etc., I looked forward to the post-teaching years when I could work on my own writing, when I could accumulate a substantial writing portfolio of my own. With three years of blogging and three-and-a-half years of being part of an active writers’ group, am I in the midst of my wishes-come-true? During this past week, I have finally felt as if I were “Alice in Writer-land.”


First, on Friday, January 29, 2016, I received an e-mail informing me that my letter-to-the-editor would appear on

on Saturday January 30; then, the brief letter headlined “Transfer Trolley Funds to Flint” would be in the print edition of the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, on January 31. After a number of years teaching a college course in which one of the assignments of a mass media unit was to write a letter-to-the-editor, I was quite satisfied to utilize all that I taught my students about writing such short persuasive pieces and have my own letter accepted for publication. For this first submission to the Journal Sentinel, I signed my name simply “A. J. Massa, Milwaukee” and hope the letter was effective.


Secondly, on Saturday morning (January 30), my sister called me from Colorado to inform me that she completed the work on our third and longest collaboration on a very personalized children’s book. After I wrote the text for these three children’s books, my sister chose all the materials and the photographs, most of which she had taken, to put together the three books. Each subsequent book has been longer than the previous: our third book Lanie’s Alphabet Book is 36 pages and will be a Valentine gift for my grand-niece Lanie and grand-nephew Caden (two of my sister’s five grandchildren). As with the second personalized book, my Leader Dog Zoe takes a prominent spot on one of the concluding pages. Such a writing-craft project is a wonderful way for two sisters who live a thousand miles apart to work creatively together.


Third, as you know from reading my blog, although I have lived in Wisconsin since 1991, my heart is still in Indiana: I will always be a Hoosier. Thus, I am happy to share with you that my poem “Immigrant from Indiana” is in the February issue of the online, monthly publication Indiana Voice Journal (IVJ). You can read my poem and this literary journal at:

After reading “Immigrant from Indiana” on IVJ, you may leave a comment on the page where my poem is displayed on Indiana Voice Journal. Although numerous periodicals will not consider pieces that have already been “published” on a blog, IVJ is one of many publications which does. The title of this poem may sound familiar to my Wordwalk readers because I posted “Immigrant from Indiana” on Wordwalk, on October 14, 2015.


Now, before the February 15 deadline, I need to select three of my writing pieces to submit to the online publication MAGNETS AND LADDERS, for which I am also a reviewing editor of the poetry submissions. I smile at these retirement years wherein most days are as full as can be with writing, editing, reading, and creating before and after my long walks (“Wordwalks”) with my beautiful and very hard-working guide dog Zoe.



Happy February!

Alice and Leader Dog Zoe


February 3, 2016, Wednesday




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  1. Fran Rayce permalink

    Congratulations, Alice! How exciting to have so many pieces published at the same time. Many people wait a lifetime to find an audience but your dedication and talent are being enjoyed right now. What a great way to spend your “golden” retirement years.

  2. Congratulations, Alice, on receiving much deserved recognition of your excellent writing! I appreciate your invitation and encouragement to collaborate with you on the special books for Lanie and Caden. All three projects propelled me to new learning experiences. I enjoyed the process as much as Lanie and Caden enjoy the darling books! You are an inspiration to me and to many others.
    With much love and admiration,

  3. Hi Alice,

    Congratulations on all of your publications!

  4. Congratulations on all your publication successes. I hope Laney likes the picture books.

  5. Congratulations, Alice and Mary, on your literary successes! I look forward to one day reading your keepsake collaborations!

    • Carole–Lanie opened her gifts today and really likes her alphabet book. Of course, with the help of the photos, she thinks she is reading the book all by herself. Good night–AZ

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