Susan Mihalic

Susan Mihalic
August 05
Writer & editor. Passionate about freedom of expression. Liberal, aspiring to be pointy-headed. Follow me on Twitter: @susanmihalic.


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We’ve all read the tortured-writer books. We’ve seen the movies. I’m blocked! Someone stole my story! My number-one fan cut off my feet—or broke my ankles, depending on whether you read the book or saw the movie. And then there are depictions of crazy, wild success, in which wRead full post »

OCTOBER 4, 2014 12:23PM

Fishin' for Cancer

I believe in growth and change, kindness and compassion, being mindful, and trying to be a better person. Am I there yet? No. I am not.

Nearly six years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Today I’m healthy. I still feel fall-on-my-knees gratitude for good doctors, good science, and myRead full post »

Perhaps it’s one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time. Perhaps you’ve never seen The Shining. But if you’re contemplating a relationship with a writer, you need to know the good and the bad. There is no middle ground. Dont say you werent warned.

10Read full post »

DECEMBER 6, 2013 10:05AM

I Can't Get There from Here


The boyfriend and I agree that we have too much stuff. We don’t need or want any more. At best, conspicuous consumption makes me uncomfortable. At worst, I find it repellant, a symptom of everything that’s wrong with society. You really don’t want to… Read full post »

OCTOBER 30, 2013 8:55PM

Funeral for a Friend

Tomorrow, on Halloween, I will attend your memorial service. I wasn’t part of “making the arrangements,” as one inevitably says of planning funerals and memorials. Your family picked the date. I don’t know if they picked it because it was Thursday or because it was Halloween.Read full post »

OCTOBER 16, 2013 9:32PM

The Librarian

When I was a kid, my mother, like many stalwart Southern women of her generation, had her hair fixed once a week at the beauty shop. Fixed is not an accidental verb. Her… Read full post »

AUGUST 4, 2013 4:48PM

A Day Apart

The president and I were born one day apart. Barack Obama’s birthday is August 4, and mine is August 5.

The year was 1961, and if you don’t think his election to the presidency is astonishing, consider the era we were born into:

In 1962, about two months after… Read full post »

AUGUST 3, 2013 2:34PM

Invisible Me

Forty-five years ago, I sat on the floor of the den in my mother’s house, watching one of her favorite programs, “Mission: Impossible,” with her. In this particular episode, the character of Cinnamon was to impersonate a princess who was about to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. Usi… Read full post »

JUNE 13, 2013 10:27AM

Summer Reading

“Summer reading” is one of the most evocative phrases I know, bringing to mind long hours spent in a lounge chair on a deep, shaded front porch, a glass of iced tea nearby, and a tower of books, books, books, all waiting to be read. The porch might be traded forRead full post »

Hallmark produces so many cards for so many occasions that the company has been accused of concocting holidays for the express purpose of selling cards that celebrate them. Whether the accusation is true or not,Read full post »

APRIL 30, 2013 10:12AM

ZZZZZZZZZ: A Buzz of Excitement

One month and twenty-six posts later, I’ve made it to Z in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. This isn’t a notable achievement to anyone except me, but I am doing the dance of joy—not because the challenge is over, but because it turned out to be a far more enriching experience… Read full post »

APRIL 29, 2013 10:00AM


Last month, Kevin Ashton published the blog post “Creative People Say No,” a post with which I agree wholeheartedly. If you haven’t already read it—or even if you have—I recommend that you read it now. Click on the link, leave my page, and read it. Then come back here. I… Read full post »

In second grade, I was sick a lot. Part of the time, I was faking it, although I did run a low-grade fever that my pediatrician diagnosed as school-itis, telling my mother, “She hates school so much that she makes herself sick.” Real, fake, or psychosomatic, my various ailments caused me… Read full post »

APRIL 26, 2013 9:32AM


In case you had any doubt, it’s official: Whatever has polled as the most annoying word in the English language—for the fourth consecutive year. The research comes from Marist College, which reported these runners-up: like, you know, just sayin’, Twitterverse, seriously, and gotcha.Read full post »

APRIL 25, 2013 11:19AM

Vampires or Vaginas?

I haven’t read a lot of vampire literature. Vampires are hugely popular. They spawn gazillion-dollar movie franchises.

Vaginas are also hugely popular. They, too, have spawned gazillion-dollar movie franchises, although those are somewhat… Read full post »

APRIL 24, 2013 10:32AM


One of the members of my writers’ group who has been reading my posts in the A to Z Blogging Challenge suggested recently that I might consider the value in learning to unclench and being open to surprise.

One thing that didn’t surprise me was her assessment; she has a backgrou… Read full post »

APRIL 23, 2013 6:24PM

Transforming the Critic

Years ago, an artist-friend was experiencing a crisis in her creative work. Her inner critic was so harsh and condemning that it had paralyzed her. We discussed how she could transform the critic into something or someone that would better serve her, and I’ve never forgotten what she came up wi… Read full post »

APRIL 22, 2013 9:31AM


As I enter the homestretch of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m reflecting on the fact that writing some posts has been effortless and writing others has caused much hair-tearing, swearing, and general dissatisfaction with the result. If the challenge hadn’t recommended picking a th… Read full post »

APRIL 20, 2013 10:17AM

Reading: I Don't Like Dick (or Jane)

School was never a happy experience. I spent the entire first day of kindergarten huddled in a cabinet. I faked illness frequently and with the dramatic prowess of Meryl Streep. And I began first grade by getting lost. On the very first day, I went into the wrong classroom and sat… Read full post »

APRIL 19, 2013 10:36AM


Shh. Just stop talking. Turn off the television, turn down the music, and listen to the silence.

That’s better.

I don’t think of myself as a temperamental writer. I have no patience for people who attribute someone’s assholery to the person’s “artistic temperament,&rd… Read full post »

APRIL 18, 2013 10:04AM

Print: It's Retro-cool, Baby

In the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, I have a sentimental favorite: paper. Sure, it can be cut by scissors, but it’s paper. Some people collect rocks, and  probably a few collect scissors. I don’t exactly collect paper, but I accumulate a lot of it: inexpensive copy paper for workin… Read full post »

APRIL 17, 2013 10:02AM

The Obituary Game

A few years ago, one of my fellow writers on Open Salon issued an open call for us to write our obituaries in exactly 101 words. It was more fun than it sounds, and it reminded me of who I actually want to be.

It’s easy to be who other… Read full post »

APRIL 16, 2013 12:25PM


The willingness of memoirists to expose themselves never fails to earn my admiration. Some of them paint themselves in the most flattering light, but the best ones are honest about their lives and experiences. They show you their vulnerabilities and hurts; you feel their embarrassments and failures.… Read full post »

APRIL 15, 2013 9:38AM

M Is for Maze

Several years ago I was waiting for a friend who was doing some research at a library at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. The campus has a labyrinth that’s open to the public, so I decided to check it out.

A colorful, hand-painted sign greeted me with these instructions:… Read full post »

APRIL 13, 2013 10:25AM

Loosening the Logjam

The A to Z Blogging Challenge is pretty lenient about what constitutes a blog post. It isn’t easy to write 26 posts in a month and have every one of them turn out to be a good stand-alone post; that is, something you’d post if you weren’t under the pressure (never mind tha… Read full post »