Another tongue-in-cheek piece I wrote for The Urban Realist is live on their site. It's part homage to my Cousin Bonnie whose guidance helped me through a rough patch in my life, and it's part inspiration to other young women, many of whom I feel like settle for second-place in life. It's your life, ladies! You should be the star of it! 

I don't really believe in dating rules, but I do believe in boundaries and self-love, and I have the many great women in my life to thank for that wisdom. I hope my wonderful, kind, funny Cousin Bonnie's words can help others as much as they did me. 

Please check it out here ! And let me know what you think: are these "rules" helpful, inspiring, true to life? Any advice to share of your own?

My funny, little poem "Potty Training Awareness Month" is live at Every Day Poets. Please check it out here.  
And please follow me on instagram for more updates. 

Let me know what you think of it in the comments below or on the page. Was it funny? Disturbing?

Thanks for your support!

The First Line has published my story "The Great White Way Is Where The Heart Is" in their winter volume. It's available for download on their site: or via the Kindle Store on Amazon: or at bookstores around the U.S.:

I'm excited to announce that The First Line is publishing my story "The Great White Way is Where the Heart Is." It's the second part of the tale of Tom and his twin sister and will be available this winter. Part one, or "The Homecoming," was published this summer, and the pdf version can still be purchased here:

I'll publish a link to the list of bookstores or to a pdf as soon as it's available for the second, more bittersweet part of the story. For a long essay about my experience writing this "novelette", please visit this link

A Night in Brooklyn

We undid a button,
turned out the light,
and in that narrow bed
we built the great city--
water towers, cisterns,   
hot asphalt roofs, parks,
septic tanks, arterial roads,
Canarsie, the intricate channels,
the seacoast, underwater mountains,
bluffs, islands, the next continent,
using only the palms of our hands
and the tips of our tongues, next
we made darkness itself, by then
it was time for dawn
and we closed our eyes   
and counted to ourselves
until the sun rose
and we had to take it all to pieces
for there could be only one Brooklyn.

Upcoming events:

D. Nurkse, poet laureate of Brooklyn, will be reading from his poetry volume A Night in Brooklyn on Wednesday, November 14 at 7 pm at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. This Monday, November 12, my podcast of author Warren Easley's short story "The Promise" will be available on Every Day Fiction and iTunes. 

We're rebuilding here in Brooklyn, and life is slowly getting back to normal. My husband's office building, located a block from the water in downtown Manhattan, was badly damaged, but it looks like he might be able to go back to work as early as next week, which means I'll have my office back as well. Hurray! 

The subways are finally up and running again, and despite the fun of an additional nor'easter thrown at us last week, the city is getting back on its feet. For most folks...However as many as 40,000 in New York City alone are in need of temporary housing. Please consider donating whatever you can to the Red Cross-- even small donations can help. Follow this link for more details here.

Thanks for your messages of support!
This past year I've been very fortunate to work quite a lot with Every Day Fiction and their sister site Every Day Poets. The feedback and insight I've received from the site's readers and editors has proved invaluable and has helped me grow in ways for which I'm incredibly grateful. Grown from someone who was half a writer, half an actor into someone who understands herself a little better and is putting all her energy into writing and nearly, finally and good God hopefully finishing up her first novel. 

At first the unfiltered feedback frightened me, but over time (and this was very unlike my experience with acting), I began to welcome the comments. All of them. I really want to know what works and what doesn't, what resonates with people and what leaves people cold. That never happened with acting. With acting I just wanted to be patted on the head and called a good girl.  

Writing is different. Writing makes me better and braver. I'm delighted how the process has pushed me to write about matters outside my comfort zone-- take my latest protagonist for example. He's a 38-year-old alcoholic stuck in the (not-so-distant) past, a Little Italy and a New York City that no longer exist, and his bitterness is consuming him alive. And there's also a dog in the story. A dog who was so real to me I couldn't kill him off... I did in the first draft, but, well... you'll see I hope. And let me know what you think please. Whether you hate it or love it, I'd love to hear why. Thanks for stopping by my site!
Every Day Poets is a wonderful resource for poets. Not only does it publish English language poems from poets around the world, but it also frequently posts ideas and essays to inspire poets. Recently, one of those posts was about a Japanese short-form called haibun. A haibun is essentialy a prose poem with a haiku at the end, although there's much more to it than that. I'd never heard of the form before and instantly fell in love with it. I began to study Japanese poetry for the first time in my life, and I was thrilled when Every Day Poets published the second result of my studies Monday, August 7. (The first I self-published on my lifestyle blog here). I actually spent my "honeymoon" this May and June helping my professorial sister move across country from Colorado to Maine and the second haibun, the published one, was inspired by that trip through the American heartland in summer. You can read it here.

Every Day Poets is also the site that recently published my poem "The Trophy Bride", which I wrote as an exploration of the charcter I played in the short film Michel Jean-Michel: Overexposed. More about that here.
I hope you enjoy both poems, or well even if you don't... please let me know what you think. At this point in my writing career, I value feedback more than anything.
First: don't worry! I do have news about an exciting venture I'm part of, but it's not actually called "Hear Izzy Speak". Thank goodness, right? That's just me being cutesy, because...well...because I got my library card at last this week, and I'm thrilled about it. It's no exaggeration to say I'm bouncing off the walls. My first library card in years. Yippee!

Free movies, any book I want and they'll order it, plus free foreign language conversation groups...It's an incredible resource for a big language nerd like myself if such a term exists. And why shouldn't it? I'll say it loud and proud: I'm a nerd. A card-carrying, lifelong, big language nerd. Yesterday I watched HBO's About Face about aging supermodels on the recommendation of my favorite feminist blog, and I loved what Cheryl Tiegs had to say about staying beautiful through the decades: "The key to feeling beautiful is educating yourself, always learning something new, having something to say for yourself." Yes. And so I'm back to learning Spanish.

If you've ever lived in New York, you'd understand why I'd want to although the downside is understanding when people discuss you. Two women in a bodega once called me  La Blanquacita con los ojos verdes. "The very white one with the green eyes." I decided to take that as a compliment. If you speak Spanish better than I do (which most likely you easily do), please don't disabuse me.

In college as a comp lit major I tried to learn four or five languages at once-- Latin, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Greek-- and failed at actually learning all of them. Now I've learned the wisdom of focusing on acquiring one language at time. I've been driving my husband crazy insisting on turning the Spanish subtitles on for every program. Viva los olympicos!

Speaking of focusing I just realized here I've gone on and on, and I still haven't told you the news. A bit more backstory first regarding my honeymoon this summer, or well lack of one. Instead of a honeymoon I spent two weeks helping my sister move across country from Colorado to Maine, where she's a new professor of hydrology. (I wish mere type could convey my pride in her.) We drove from New York to Colorado and back, and oh boy, it was painful doing so, packed into her vehicle with all her worldly goods en tow much like shrimp in a tin can, but on the plus side I discovered I loved reading stories aloud to my sister, and what was even better...she loved hearing me read them. 

Well, my great, self-effacing, honeymoonless virtue was rewarded twice over. I wrote a haibun about that trip which is going to be published August 7. I'll have a link for you then. And also around that time I saw that Every Day Fiction was looking for people to record podcasts. Inspired by my experience of making endless, infinite Kansas cornfields whizz by simply through the power of reading stories aloud, I applied, and they said yes, hooray! First I recorded two of my own stories which you can see..or rather hear... here and here. And then I recorded two whimsical and hilarious stories written by other authors that will be up on the site and available on iTunes this August. 

Barbara A. Barnett's "The Little Things", an utterly hilarious tale of the travails of internet dating, will be up Monday, August, 13 and Madeline Mora-Summonte's whimsical, clever story "Back Roads" will be available Monday, August, 20. I have to admit I enjoyed reading other people's work much more so than reading my own. I felt much less self-conscious and had a lot of fun bringing the characters to life. I hope you enjoy them, too.  I'll post links closer to the dates.

-- Izzy
I'm so pleased and happy to share that today Everyday Poets has published another of my poem's here. Everyday Poets is a site I check for daily inspiration-- not only to catch up on poetry being written by poets from around the world but for frequent inspirational essays on themes and form.

This particular poem "The Trophy Bride" came together through a funny set of circumstances. After long reflection on a character I'd played in the Funny or Die short film above-- reflection concerning what I felt I'd done well versus what I felt I could improve on after finding it surprisingly challenging to bring depth or sympathy to such a shallow character-- well, around that time I happened to read an Everyday editor's post on Greek mythology and (what with having trophy wives on the mind) wondered to myself: how might Midas's wife have felt about her husband's obsession with the finer things...? The result was this poem. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you!

Postcard Shorts is a wonderful site for fans of micro fiction. The site only publishes stories so short they could "fit on a postcard"-- so about 250 words or less. I've been exploring the Japanese prose poem form called haibun this summer (more about that here) and challenging myself to describe moments using as few words as possible. My biggest weakness in writing is self-editing. Instead of writer's block I've got the opposite, and it's an affliction just as serious. If Flaubert described good writing as finding "the one precise word" no matter the time or effort involved-- and his efforts involved spending a lot of a time in "the shouting alley" shouting his work aloud to himself-- then I am in trouble. Today I feel like  I've won one battle at least, even if not the war.  My first micro fiction story "Concerning a Lost Balloon" was just published. You can read it here and then enjoy paging through the site. You could spend hours: there are many stories that are like little gems on there, and I'm honored to be included among them.