Author Archives

Suzannah Gail Collins

I am the author of a poetry chapbook, I Will Meet You at the River, (as Suzannah Gilman) the mother of four adults, frequent traveler, and a licensed attorney who represented victims of domestic violence under a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. My poetry, essays, fiction, and nonfiction have in such in such publications as The Florida Review, Pearl Magazine, Calyx Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Pearl Magazine, Prick of the Spindle, Slow Trains, The Cafe Review, and The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and I have recently begun competing in flash fiction slams, winning every one I’ve competed in. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize for my poetry, I now concentrate on blogging for The Gloria Sirens and writing fiction.

Confessions of a Christmas Letter Writer

My last Christmas letter was written a few years ago. My daughter, a freshman in high school then, read my letter and then wrote a spoof letter. When she read hers to her big brothers they laughed and laughed. I realized that my own children, who once thought the letters were special, had matured enough to know the letters were ridiculous while I, who should have long since outgrown the need to write them as a way of making myself feel better about my life, was still taking them seriously.

Why Won’t She Leave Him?

Don’t tell her what to do; talk to her and listen. Offer your help, but understand that to leave or not to leave is her decision. Respect it. And tell her you respect her.

Acknowledge the pain and turmoil she is in, most especially the emotional turmoil. If she doesn’t leave him, don’t give up on her leaving him. Give her love, respect, support, and time. It’s going to take all of that.

Growing up With a Mentally Ill Mother and the Stigma It Should Not Entail

As I listen to the commentary and interviews in broadcast media and read op-ed pieces about the recent stabbings and shootings, I struggle to accept the truth: there but for some sort of grace goes my family. We could have been chasing after my mother on a paranoid spree of violence. We could any day be the victims of someone else’s unstable loved one. So could you. How do we face such a threat? How do we diffuse the ill, who are so often victims themselves.

I’m Allergic to Being Allergic

(c) Suzannah Gilman

Bananas that have even one brown spot? Off limits. Nothing that has started to ferment goes into my mouth. Wine is fermented, I say. “Yeah. You’re not drinking any wine. Or beer. Or any alcohol of any type except for potato vodka,” which was something I had never heard of, and neither have most bartenders in the world, I have since found out. “Also no chocolate, and I might as well tell you right now, no bacon, either.” You have to have a lot of guts to tell a woman she can’t have wine, chocolate, or bacon, all in one breath. Turns out this woman is ex-Navy. That explains it. Good thing she didn’t mention the prohibition of tequila right then, because I am an ex Navy wife and we might have had a throw-down.