Libbie the Lobster

To purchase the children's book "Saving Libbie the Lobster" go to


New Year’s Day in Philly

Have you ever seen the New Year’s Day celebration in downtown Philadelphia. mummers-parade-three-guys The Mummers Parade is something not to be missed. Having lived in the city at 11th and Pine Streets, and 16th and Lombard, and 17th and Spruce and well you get the picture. I lived in several downtown places from ages 25 to 37 but one thing was consistent and that was that every year on New Year’s Day, I would stand with friends on the sidewalk among throngs of onlookers to watch 10,000 men and women strut, dance and twirl in their colorfully lavish costumes along Broad Street. Mummers021-RKennedy-587

Nothing could compare to being on the sidelines as each group showed off their richly designed costumes and strutted like proud peacocks in unison. The excitement was contagious. The well choreographed performances set to banjos and string bands added to the carnival-like atmosphere. filtered-excellence-mummers

This year, living near the beach in Florida, I look back on those days in the big city partying with the best of them on new Year’s Day with fond memories and gratitude for having had the experience.

Happy New Year Everyone!



Bring It On 2015

Happy New Year! There is so much to look forward to. If the last year was evidence of where my life is headed then I say, bring it on 2015! Happy-new-year-wishes-pics-2015

I plan to make it my best year yet! As I look over 2014 I see the things I’d like to change and the things I’d like to do better. I look forward to pushing the envelope this year and walking through fear which always results in fantastic things. I will finish my novel, have it published and I will love it! I will write and publish more children’s books with Heather Chalmers, my friend. I will be a better friend to my friends. I will let go of self-doubt. I will think of myself less and of others more. And most of all I will love more and remain grateful. Zig Ziglar quote

What will you do in 2015?




A Year in the Life of Marybeth

Every year about this time, I become introspective. No matter what I busy myself with, the thoughts intrude and feelings are stirred up. But never before has it seemed more important to give a voice to my ruminations. Perhaps it is my age. This year I became 63 years old. I am wiser now I think, and as I look back I understand how every experience, every choice I have ever made has led to who I am in this moment. find_create_yourself

All of my experiences over these many years have been characterized by extremes. Raised by wonderful parents in an upper class suburb in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, educated in private schools, a high school drop out, a hippie and a rebel, married at age 17 and a mother at the same time, divorced, an addict on the streets of Center City and a life in the underworld, entered recovery at age 37, college and a master of arts degree, a career and a relationship, physical illness–close to death, loss of freedom, freedom gained, health renewed, and more.1977158_642036509247493_9030602463521013173_n These are the things I brought with me to 2014. To have lived though it all is a gift. To have the drive to survive is my nature. This year saw me 27 years in recovery, 19 years cigarette free, 2 years vegan, and 4 months cured of Hepatitis C. And in this year, I suffered with ill-health, extreme depression and some of the best, most exciting moments of my life when a new adventure as an author began, all because I laid eyes on a rare yellow lobster.

I realize that I see things differently these days. My life is simpler now and my mind is peaceful because I no longer have the incessant need to understand deep existential matters. I think that for the first time I have an understanding of what contentment is.

I was supposed to write! Everything in my life has led to this one thing! My experiences and my interpretation of them pour from my very being to tell a story. This will be my legacy. I will leave something of me behind and others who find my writings will perhaps know they are not alone.

A quote from my beloved son, David, sums up this year for me. He said, “I bet it wasn’t that long ago that you thought you’d never even see 2014, and now look how amazing it’s been for you. That suggests near-limitless possibilities for 2015.”

I look forward to it!



One Tiny Moment in Time

In one tiny moment in time, one instant of my life, all the love, compassion, and connection I feel to all of life burst forth to create one choice, one action that culminated in saving one rare yellow lobster and my own life.

I truly believe that what I feel within is what I will see without. If I am fearful and angry, the whole word becomes a fearful, angry place. But if I feel love within, I see a world of beauty and light. 1549789-thumbnailThis all sounds philosophical I know and yes, I’ve been a seeker my whole life. The uniquely human questions of “Why am I here?” and “How did it all come about?” have always intrigued me. I am a deep thinker but growing older has taught me simplicity. I am content learning about the physical world and my deepest connection to it is the feeling of love.

Not to belabor the idea of love and connection to the earth, I simply wish to impart my sense of awe at how that one tiny moment in time, that one lightning fast decision to snap a picture of the beautiful rare lobster to find her a home, was absolutely profound in its effect on my life.

Every thought, every choice I make in every instant creates my life. I choose love.

May you, my readers, have much joy these holidays.

Have there been moments that have changed your life? I’d love to hear about it.

Flagler Beach Fun on the way to The Nation’s Oldest City


A new author friend S.K. Nicholls Loves our beach town and our book! Thanks Susan for writing about your visit in our fabulous town.

S.K. Nicholls

The RS and I took a notion to travel on Saturday and headed out to St. Augustine for an overnighter. We usually travel south for Old World Florida fun but this trip took us a bit north. The highlight was a detour off I-95 across Hwy. #100 to Flagler Beach where local authors were having a book signing at Change Jar Books. All of these authors write their stories set in Flager Beach and are local celebrities. They should be regional or national celebrities. When they are, we can say, “We knew them when…” You can follow Tim on Twitter @blindoggbooks, drop by and show some love. He’s almost at 10,000 followers.

The RS knows the work effort that went into writing and publishing Red Clay and Roses and he really appreciates independent authors. One of our favorite writers, Tim Baker was at the signing. We picked up a…

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The Naysayer (A short Story by Marybeth Jeitner)

Through the crack of the door, Phaedra heard the familiar six chimes of the grandfather clock in the grand hallway. “No, not yet. It’s far too early,” she moaned. She turned onto her side and covered herself with the thick satin quilt, settling in for a few more moments of sleep. It’s always cold in this mausoleum of a mansion! She thought. classic-old-home


Suddenly, she heard commotion in the antechamber. In one fluid movement, Phaedra threw off the covers, swung her legs over the side of the bed and jumped onto the floor without using the step stool.  She walked barefoot on the gelid marble floor to the top of the staircase and saw Malcolm, the butler, awkwardly trying to comfort Alister Bradley, mother’s friend, who was flailing her arms and weeping.


“Mz. Bradley, Madam will be with ya soon,” Malcolm said nervously. 


Phaedra felt her mother whisk by, the sweet scent of her perfume lingering in the air. She watched as her mother approached her friend and said in her feigned motherly voice, “There, there my dear, tell me all about it.” And turning to Malcolm she said, “Bring us some tea in the sitting room, please.”


Returning to her room to dress for school, Phaedra wondered what horrible thing could have happened to Mrs. Bradley. Then, she remembered what Mavis, the housekeeper, had told her and her friend Alexandria after school one day while sitting in the kitchen. Mavis had said that a tragedy would befall Alexandria’s family soon. Mavis must be a fortune teller. How else would she predict things are going to happen? Phaedra thought.


Practically running up the steep hill toward her friend’s house, Phaedra could see her breath in the cold air. She had worn her kelly green high school blazer which was little protection from the threatening frost. As she approached the Bradley estate, Phaedra saw her friend, Alexandria, walking slowly toward her with her head hung low. 


“Lexy, are you alright? What awful thing has happened?”


“They had one of their fights last night. It was the worst yet. Father has left us! Phay, he’s gone! What will become of us?”


“Lexy, I don’t know what to say. Hey, let’s skip school and go down to the cabin by the lake. You’ll feel better. It’s your favorite place.”


Walking hand in hand, the girls headed out across the baron field. The grass was turning its winter brown and dark clouds overhead concealed the sunlight. As they approached the tree line they kicked playfully at the red, orange and yellow leaves that littered the ground beneath the old oak trees.


“Hear that wind, Phay? It reminds me of the day that we went on the hay ride when we were eight years old. Remember Mavis went with us because your mother thought it was dangerous? The wind was howling that day and even the horses wanted to turn back.” 


“I remember, Lexy. And you wanted to jump off the wagon because you got so mad when Mr. Keenan wouldn’t let you sit up front with him to drive the wagon!” Phaedra said laughingly.


The laughter was soon replaced by fear as Phaedra recalled a warning that Mavis had given her later that same day. “Miss Phaedra,” she had said. “You be very careful, now, ya hear! That friend of yours is evil. There’s somethin’ dark about her!” Phaedra knew Mavis was always right about the things she foreshadowed but Lexy was her best friend and she had never seen her hurt anyone.


Inside the cabin they sat on an old, warped, wooden bench and huddled together to warm them but Phaedra felt a growing sense of doom as she looked around the dusty, dark, old cabin that until then had been a place she and Lexy felt at home. Wallpaper_Autumn_Landscape_Old_Kentucky_Country_Home-1600x900


“What happened Lexy? What were they fighting about?”


“They were fighting about me.” Alexandria said flatly as she looked at the floor.


Nervously Phaedra stood and walked to the window. “What about you?”


“My father thinks I need to go back to the hospital. He said I’m a ticking time bomb but my mother said I can stay home and she’ll take care of me. She said she can keep me from getting so angry. I don’t know what they’re talking about Phay. I don’t think I get angry. Do you think I do?”


Shocked by hearing her words and the strange tone of her voice, Phaedra thought, Whatever is she talking about? Why would she go back to the hospital? She was there because she had pneumonia, wasn’t she? Could this be what Mavis warned me about?


Out of the corner of her eye Phaedra saw movement in the trees. She focused on the spot and began to see the outline of a man. As he emerged from the shadows, she saw an old man with long, white, tangled hair and a beard filled with leaves and dirt from the forest. His tattered clothes hung loosely on his thin frame. In an instant he was within inches of the window. When Phaedra looked into his large, round, brown eyes, she saw that it was Mavis. She held a crooked finger to her lips motioning for Phaedra to stay quiet.


Gripped with terror, Phaedra turned to Alexandria only to find her friend had transformed into someone she barely recognized. Her eyes wide and glazed over seemed to pierce through her. Alexandria held a machete in her hand. In an instant she was on her and thrust the knife into Phaedra’s stomach, ripping upward. 


“Lexy why?” Phaedra garbled as she collapsed to the floor.