Author Archives: readersquest

About readersquest

I'm a retired naval officer and writer. I live with my husband, two sons, and several family pets in a house in the woods.

“Describe a barn…”

I always find the criticism of war literature on friend and colleague Peter Molin’s blog Time Now thought-provoking, and one of his posts this week challenged me to some personal reflection. A subsequent e-mail exchange provoked me into writing about … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literary Criticism, Stories, Writing Life | 3 Comments

Between Us “Girls”: The US Naval Institute’s 2016 Naval History “Athena Conference”

I’m going to call out an admiral and a general in this post, with all due respect and only the kindest of intent. But first, I’d like to start with a story that I’ve told elsewhere. As a lieutenant on … Continue reading

Posted in History, In the News | 6 Comments

The Water Is Off in the Fountain. Don’t Let the Lights Go Out, Too.

Friends who are veterans (and family members): I had an email yesterday from the Women’s Memorial Foundation, which is in immediate and serious danger of closing. The Foundation has been forced to cut staff, and when I visited the Memorial … Continue reading

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Writing Life: Down the Rabbit Hole (Again)

I’ve been struggling for a couple of weeks to write the introductory section of Chapter Four of the book Tracy Crow and I  are working on. I have pages of research notes and only 1,500 words or so to write. … Continue reading

Posted in Writing Life | 2 Comments

The Matriarch of Contemporary Women Veterans’ Literature

Since Cara Hoffman wrote her op-ed “The Things She Carried” for the New York Times in 2014, critics have either pointed out the “absence” of women veterans’ narratives in the canon of war literature, or wondered what female authors today’s women … Continue reading

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Writing Life: Year in Review

I’m not usually inclined to write a “year in review,” even in my journal, but I ended up with so many projects about women veterans and writing that a recap seems to be in order – especially since I got … Continue reading

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Writing Life: Stitch-and-Bitch

Was recently reading over some of the emails home that served as my journal of our three-year tour in Moscow. My late mother-in-law, God bless her, had the foresight to print out the ones she found interesting and collect them … Continue reading

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Writing Life – Call for Submissions, Upcoming Deadline

The response to our call for submissions to the Veterans Writing Project’s literary journal O-Dark-Thirty for a special themed issue, writing by women veterans, has been gratifying. We’ve received four or five times the usual number of submissions for a quarterly issue, and … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing Life | Leave a comment

War, Leadership, and Love: The Contemporary Romance Novels of Army Officer Jessica Scott

Summer of 1976. I’m eleven years old, and I’ve just finished sixth grade. I’ve read everything that the librarian in charge of the little one-room public library in a small town in West Virginia thinks is suitable for a good … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literary Criticism | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Writing Life: I Want to Smack Sam Sacks

This post is mostly not about the writing of women veterans; please forgive the digression. In 2005, a couple of weeks into my first semester of the Writing Program at the Johns Hopkins University, my mother-in-law asked to read some of my … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, In the News, Literary Criticism, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments