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Kate Frick Sheridan
KATE FRICK SHERIDAN, memoirista /writer, reader, plant nut / www.frickatewrites.com

Lost in Levanto

Photo by Matt Twyman on Unsplash

They say promiscuity in teenage girls is a cry for help, a quest for their father’s love. But Dad was right there that summer, and if you’d asked, I’d have said he loved me. Though I wouldn’t have described us as close. I felt no connection to him, or anyone else, least of all myself.

Even back amongst my family once school let out, I felt as desolate and alone as I had all year long.

Mom had envisioned English boarding school as a sort of high-brow finishing academy, a place where I might have my rough edges smoothed over…


I would weed it.

“Kristallnacht” by author

Friends send me urgent New York Times articles about current events, and I skim them, consumed with guilt and shame because I know — I know! ‒ this is critical stuff. That we are teetering precariously at a pivotal moment. I wish I were more highbrow, that I had the interest and ability to thoughtfully compare and analyze relevant facts, to truly understand historical references, to argue and debate. But I don’t.

When I try to focus ‒ to concentrate, damn it! ‒ on the news, as dire as it is, my mind drifts into daydreams of my next outdoor…


Stealing from my ex with the best of intentions

I wasn’t always a thief. But some losses demand rebalancing. Redistribution. Retribution?

But the habit of self-sacrifice was so ingrained it barely crossed my mind. Instead, in the dead of winter I took our tiny travel trailer to a campground along the river and left him our two-bedroom rancher on its fertile country acre.

Later that spring, when I moved into a real house I took only the minimum from the home we’d shared, relinquishing the myriad artifacts of our life together that meant nothing to him: the dusty framed pictures upon the walls, the cyclamens blooming in the greenhouse…


Personal Essay

My father’s misguided mission of mercy

Photo by Amy Frick (author’s mother) circa 1957

The tears began flowing in September, shortly after I managed to extricate myself from my marriage. Although there had been plenty to cry about in the past seven years, I’d never wept once. It hadn’t been safe. Now I cried because I could, and because I’d given myself so freely — for nothing, really ‒ to such an awful man. There was no one to blame but me.

My bedroom window overlooked a nearby maple tree, and that fall, I wallowed in bed for hours, bawling as I gazed upon its leafy mass, too listless to get up to pee…


Kicking and screaming, of course

Photo by Kate Sheridan

The cashier pauses, a turquoise fingernail hovering over the register, before totaling the sale. I take in her artfully messy upswept hair, enormous hoop earrings, some sort of nose jewelry I don’t care to consider. Gen X? Gen Z? Millennial? I get them mixed up. Young. She’s young.

“Are you a…” Hesitating. “Person… of age?” Her tone respectful.

Of age? What does that mean? I consider myself for a moment. I’m a person, certainly, but hadn’t imagined myself a member of a protected class or special interest group. How can I be “of” age? I have age, but so does…


When your dead brother is a super star

Missing From His Own Memorial

When your dead brother is a super star

After the service, Quentin and I sat around the kitchen table and catalogued Alex’s faults.

“He was so arrogant,” I began.

“Yes, and selfish, too,” Quentin agreed. “Do you remember the time he wouldn’t let us have any strawberries?” Our older brother, usually so fair minded, had denied us a single berry from an entire flat of luscious fruit. …


(It’s their turn now)

My sophomore year of college I miraculously scored a double dorm room all to myself. The soaring penthouse ceiling met a wall of windows overlooking a courtyard lively with the comings and goings of my fellow students. A narrow loft ran the full length of the room opposite. Best of all, the room was painted a screaming yellow that perfectly matched my joy and the now ever-shining sun.

I loved that room. Late at night, I’d fire up my pot pipe, put on headphones and dance ecstatically to Stevie Wonder. Once the light arrived, I’d lace…


At first light, I awake with the fluttery anticipation of a little girl on Christmas Day. Except I know there will be no overstuffed stockings on a mantelpiece, no magic or mystery or wonder awaiting me.

“It’s just a birthday,” I remind myself, ever the killjoy to my own inner child. “And kind of an advanced one, at that.” I chide.

Still, there’s no denying the day feels pregnant with promise, like the first day of school. I leap out of bed and surprise my chihuahuas, still asleep on the sofa. Weezle cracks open an eye. …


My sophomore year of college I miraculously scored a double dorm room all to myself. The soaring penthouse ceiling met a wall of windows overlooking a courtyard lively with the comings and goings of my fellow students. A narrow loft ran the full length of the room opposite. Best of all, the room was painted a screaming yellow that perfectly matched my joy and the now ever-shining sun.

I loved that room. Late at night, I’d fire up my pot pipe, put on headphones and dance ecstatically to Stevie Wonder. Once the light arrived, I’d lace up my sneakers and…


Memoir: A “Bloated Genre?”

Last year, I joined our local writing association, hoping to meet like-minded writers. At a newcomers’ meeting, we introduced ourselves with brief bios.

“I write YA, though I’ve dabbled in poetry and suspense,” a middle-aged woman like myself offered. The president of the organization beamed. “I write horror,” a gaunt goth-wraith murmured, eyes downcast. The leader chuckled his approval.

“I’m Kate Sheridan, and I write memoir,” I said.

“Mem-wah?” Mr. President sneered, giving it the French pronunciation. “Such bloated genre.”

There was no un-hearing that comment, the connotation of decay married to excess. …

Kate Frick Sheridan

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