artist: Birgit Reitz-Hofmann/licensed by shutterstock

Today I mourn the passing of Claire, one of my fake mothers. “Good grief,” I say to myself, “I’m not certain I ever thought of Claire or any of the others under the fake mommy label.”

I know plenty of people affectionately applying that title to their stepmom, mother-in-law, the lovely neighbor next door, you name it. “Not this girl,” I used to insist, “why would I need it?” Tough, strong, self-sufficient me.

Even though I had a stepmother for the bulk of my teen years. No fake mommying there, let me tell you. …


Artist: Palto/ licensed by shutterstock

My Mom was very much alive when I was a junior member of the Girl Scouts. She gave it her all, trying to talk her headstrong, almost nine-year-old daughter into either dressing warmly or staying home. After all, on that Saturday morning, the temperature was early winter freezing cold.

No luck, the front door slammed shut, and I was off, my red wagon weighted down with the first of three loads, twenty Holiday Wreaths at a time. …

Work/Quitting/Starting over

Artist: Augusto Cabral/licensed by shutterstock

I noticed I was clutching my coffee cup a little too firmly. No wonder because the jerk sitting opposite me in the cafe, Byron, was condescendingly telling me about his new multinational contract. He discovered it, he bragged, out of the blue.

Yet two months earlier, I sat down with Byron and that very same new piece of business, brokering an introduction and a deal. This day in the coffee shop, I was fuming while this wanker ignored reality.

Here’s another fact. It took me months to convince Byron to take the meeting with this prospect. He refused to accept…


Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Susceptible at fifteen
to the dominance of
emotional floods,
her body mimicking a
shoreline with
static pools of
self-doubt, pepper grinded
over the beach-scape
and the waves rolling
not water, but
liquid fear configured
in lapping motions,
coating skin and seeping
into nostrils or
any crack in the dermis,
then transforming to
cloned brain trembles
paralyzing creativity
her nose is too
not-turned-up in that
cute pseudo piggy
style the mean girls
declared cool and
made fun of her short
skirts or anything
to torture her immature
insecurity so
goes rigid as she mocks
the squished rabbit decorated
with tire pockmarks on the
road in front of her house,
still, she said yes to the
the one seeing her potential


Written by: Suzanne V. Tanner, Paroma Sen, Amy Marley

Artist: Linda Staf/ licensed by shutterstock

Hello, Amazing Winners of our Very First FROM LEMON Challenge:

Why yes. Yes. You heard correctly. Plural. Winners.

Remember the dilemma written by FSUC and the excellent eFriend comments to her troubling situation?

Remember we said our criteria for picking a top response to FSUC would be random, cause hey, we are just getting our feet wet on this whole shebang?

Remember the prize is twofold?

1.a guest Lemoness spot for you to write a dilemma post and also respond to that story with the FROM LEMON team ( the Suze, Amy and Paroma trio)

2.when we finally get around to printing our t-shirts (it might…


Photo by Victor Rodríguez Iglesias on Unsplash

one. The first time I ever felt this degree of peace in my head and heart while in a state to enjoy the concept of pure love of life and you.


Photo by Derrick Treadwell on Unsplash

No, no, I was not bitten by a rodent. Yet sure as hell, I was stung by a bug.

One definition of hamsteritis: extra speedy, compulsive, task repetitive behavior. Becomes worse (speeds up significantly ) if one frequently pauses for a cookie. A racing heart is a possible side effect.

I went to a clinic uttering:

“Doctor, doctor, give me the news.”*

I listed my symptoms while crying the blues.

When I reached item seven, she said:

“Feel no shame.

Your hamster piece in May did not falsely claim.”

All to declare, I find myself wanting to write, write, write this month. And “Ok,” you are probably thinking, “Yeah, sure, you just want the Medium July bonus.”

And hey, maybe that’s true, and I do.



Artist: Lilkin/licensed by shutterstock

I am going to tip my hat and mention two publications and two editors. Please know that easily, quickly, I could name fifty more. And counting. I stick with two in these moments because of the fit with this post and prompt.

We all appreciate the gifts of support, experience, knowledge, and guidance sent our way from many owners and editors of various publications. Those inside and outside Medium.

Please note an additional perk extended by the amazing Sherry McGuinn of Rogues’ Gallery and ScienceDuuude of Woodworkers of the World Unite (WotWU). I call these remarkable skills: engagement and creation…


Artist: VikkiMir/licensed by shutterstock

Ok ok. First, you should read this funny post by Kitty Whitemore, my reply and then the weigh-in from Thief
Spoiler Alert: all 3 together will take less than one minute!

Are you all done?

Hope you had a few giggles reading the above back and forth. The thing is, it also made me recall this 14 year old’s cringe-worthy life event ( AKA will-never-leave-the-house-again story).

I just have to share the saga with you.

It was not a bikini. Picture a two-piece bathing suit, hip-coverage style, solid black panties. The top, white with quarter-size black polka dots all over it. …

From Lemon/Friend Advice Column

Written by: Suzanne V. Tanner, Paroma Sen, Amy Marley

Photo by Michelle McEwen on Unsplash

Funny, the way things from childhood stick to your ribs.

My Mom treasured a framed piece of embroidered words and kept it propped up somewhere in our house. It did not seem to own any particular wall or mantel. I think maybe initially, it belonged to her mother.

The full quote was “Friends are like diamonds, precious and rare.” I remember Mom holding it in her hands from time to time, staring intently, while her eyes sparkled, yes, like diamonds. Those stitched words reflected a family value. How the Tanners felt about friends.

Is this the reason why I thought of…

Suzanne V. Tanner

Reinvention wizard.

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