Julie’s Journal

Coffee with a Canine Moment

That’s me, Julie Strauss Bettinger, and my “editorial assistant,” Lily Belle. I’m an author and she plays a crucial role in my mental and physical health as she’s in charge of humor breaks, naptime and walks to see her four legged friends up the hill. She just turned four, but, has no plans to leave puppyhood.

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Getting Literary

For as long as I can remember, I have been borderline obsessed with reading. From studying the cereal box as a child, to craning my neck so I could make out messages on billboards. Words are like a combination lock for me, when I hear it click open, I discover . . . What?

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Missing Grendel

The 180-pound European Great Dane lumbered into the psychiatric hospital’s recreational area, which looked a lot like an enclosed parking garage. He glanced around briefly at the dozen or so male patients gathered for the therapy visit, then elegantly lowered his horse-sized body to the ground.

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In Praise of Indies: They’re Keeping our Art Alive

It was one of those soggy Saturdays and, as I stepped out of my vehicle in the city parking garage, a huge drip from a crack in the ceiling hit my forehead. I thought this day would have been better suited for curling up with one of my books instead of talking about them.

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Artist Friendships and Sacred Spaces

I was at the dinner table with my new Fargo, North Dakota friend and her family, when I looked around at their curious faces. . .They were all characters from my friend’s memoir, So Many Africas, and it was like going back stage on a film set and interviewing the cast.

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Historian of the South

The 86 year old paused when I asked how many books he had written. He looked down at first, then up toward the ceiling as if retrieving that bit of information. Then, with a voice laden with his native Alabama, he answered, “I think it’s 34.”

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