Just Do It!

BettyiconThe people we love remain with us long after they are gone.  While we may no longer hear their names each day or recall the ordinary moments we have shared, they stay, nevertheless, within us.  Their voices brace our spirits for whatever the future holds and spur us to seek our passions, no matter what the cost.  I continue to hear the voices of my departed loved ones speaking to me each day; they are the force which keep me trying, keep me writing.  In the words of the NIKE ad, they say simply, “Just Do It.”

I am happy to announce the publication of my personal essay, “When She Sleeps” in  www.biostories.com.  You may recognize this essay as it appears as the prologue of my novel, MY MOTHER’S SHOES.  Check it out!

Also, I would like to share a new poem which expresses my desire to pursue our passions, no matter what age we are!





I am afraid.

Afraid to look

to examine too closely

that thing which

beats within us all.

Virginia’s angry moth, Emily’s insistent fly

I do not like to look at them

for fear of getting to the edge

and plunging toward

my own mortality.


And yet I write.

Some say it is a futile task

to dissect the pit of a plum when after all

soon all will turn to ash and earth.

What worth the pages in a desk drawer

if no one bothers to turn the lock?

But does not the simple sparrow delight in the beating of wings against the breast

as it makes a first ascent into the clouds?

Or the bee shiver with ecstasy as it yields its honey?

Or the whale inhale deep such liquid elixir as it plows beneath a wave?

The youth who dares smile as he tastes sweet wine upon the lips?


I cannot but move toward joy—

And if no one ever reads my words,

would I bother to write them?

Yes—I think—yes.



–Shirley Russak Wachtel 7/1/13


Zoey eats cake

Finally, I want to give a big shout-out to my adorable granddaughter, Zoey Grayson Wachtel, who just celebrated her first birthday.  She is the other voice in my head–the voice of the future.  Zoey, I love you more each day.


About shirleywachtel

Shirley Russak Wachtel is the author of The Story of Blima—A Holocaust Survivor (publ.2005), a novel which recounts the early years of her mother, Betty Weisstuch Russak. The novel s listed as a recommended novel by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Wachtel is the author of several children's books, including a series of interactive mysteries, Charlie Wonder, Chef-Detective (2005), which includes several recipes; Brad Sureshot, Coach-Detective (2007) which details basketball skills; and Howie Rocket, World-Traveler-Detective (2009) which has handy foreign language phrases. In The Mellow Light (2009) is her first book of poetry. She is a professor of English at Middlesex County College in New Jersey. In addition, Wachtel is the co-author of Spotlight on Reading (2011), a textbook for college-level students. A mother of three sons, she resides with her husband, Arthur, in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Initially written as a doctoral dissertation for her Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew University, My Mother's Shoes , says Wachtel, is not just the novel of her life, it is the novel of her heart.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s