Category Archives: Blog

Out for Review

Image of a person reading a bookHooray!  From Peonage to Poverty and Back Again is being sent out for peer review. (An abstract describing the book is on the Other Publications space on this website). What this means is at least two people in the field of disabilities will be reading the manuscript and giving feedback. (I hate feedback).  But, if the overall feedback is positive, then it is very likely I will be offered a contract for its publication!  Hooray!  If not, then it is very likely that I will be spending my summer vacation contacting other publishers.

Top 10 Reasons for Quitting My Day Job

photo of footprints in sand leading to water's edgeAt the end of April, I am stepping down from my job as the executive director of the TN Association of Microboards and Cooperatives, Inc.,  an organization I founded in 2001.  The people I work with and for are awesome and inspiring.  So why did I decide it was time to move on?

Just in case you were wondering…

  1. I have finished a new non-fiction book on institutional peonage and a manual on self-employment and need to focus on getting them  PUBLISHED!
  2. I have two novels started and the characters in one of them are tired of waiting for me to tell their story;
  3. I have several articles to finish with Mark on the national research study about people with disabilities serving on boards of directors;
  4. I am supervising the construction of our new home in Trousdale County;
  5. The wonderful program director of Thomas’s microboard is going to be on maternity leave and I will be her barely adequate fill in person;
  6. I am one of the experts for the US Justice Department on the lawsuit against sheltered workshops in Oregon and that work is coming up soon;
  7. I am teaching an online summer school class on disability history for the Disability Studies program at CUNY;
  8. I have two big weaving projects that are way behind schedule;
  9. This summer I am traveling to  Baltimore to present at a conference, to Clarence NY for my 40th high school class reunion, to Myrtle Beach with Mark’s nephew’s family, and some other mysterious place to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary; and,
  10. While all of this is going on, I’m sure another call from my higher power will wind its way through all of these commitments and pull me in an entirely new direction!

So that is the personal lowdown that didn’t make into the press release.  I’m leaving TAMC to work on these other projects that hand been languishing in the wings for a long, long time. But I’m not changing my phone number or email address or moving away just yet. So stay tuned for intermittent progress reports and a call for new readers of the beta versions of the novels!


Upon Setting Fire to One’s Bed (rumors and questions will rise from the ashes)

“The Burning Bed”by Brad Silberberg
“The Burning Bed”by Brad Silberberg

upon setting fire to one’s bed
rumors and questions will rise from the ashes

was it an accident or arson or art
a symbolic feminist statement or an anti-smoking demonstration
an alien attraction or spontaneous combustion

was it a twin, queen or king
a Sealy or a futon or a waterbed
hard, firm or goose down soft

was it bare, made or rumpled
silk, satin or cotton
solid, plaid or print

was it smoldering or smothering or stifling
lackluster or spectacular
a one alarm or three humdinger

was it an isolated act by solitary suspect
the first in a series by an international terrorist
a new form of performance art by an imaginative poet

was there a profit and loss statement issued
a press release or an annual report
a temporary injunction

was a hot line formed
a national recall issued or a web site created
an environmental impact statement

was it the anniversary of an historic event
a memorial service or a political rally
a call to arms or merely an unfortunate oversight

(c) 2014 Ruthie-Marie Beckwith

2014 Revolutionary Leaders

This post is a plug for the 2014 Revolutionary Leaders Webinar Series! It is sponsored by the Tennessee Association of Microboards and Cooperatives, Inc.–an organization I founded in 2001.  Information will be shared through 10 consecutive live interactive webinar presentations featuring nationally recognized, inspirational, and Revolurevleaders2014tionary Leaders in the disability field.

For more information about the speakers and topics they will discuss, go to or click on the link below.








Chapter One

Plant growing in crack in concreteNew endeavors have a way of maneuvering themselves through the small fissures and cracks in the status quo walls we build around around our lives.  Not to worry–even writer’s block eventually succumbs to the pressure of forward motion.

Chapter one of the new novel found its way onto the page this week-end.  Much editing etc etc etc will be needed down the road.  But all the writers books say there is no turning back now.  Keep going until you find the end of the road.  Now that it’s begun, it’s going to be upto the characters to shepherd me along.  They have waited for me to join them for far too long.

In Earnest

Thinking about murder and mayhem can be dangerous to one’s pocketbook. Tonight I took a break to get a wonderful Banana Foster Ice Cream Cone at Baskin Robbins. I was so preoccupied with thinking about the Prequel’s plot line and new characters to feed it that I didn’t realize I left without my purse. Fortunately the ice cream ladies had taken it into custody and it was safe and sound I went back to retrieve it. It took a lot of willpower to forego a second cone. And, I don’t think there is a place in the plot for a missing pocketbook. But then again…..