Hello dear readers, writers and those who are both,

Oscar Invites You to a Conversation

I began writing Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas while in London in 2007. In late 2012, I created Oscar’s Salon — a new interactive publishing form I find provocative, even magical. Every month, I invite a guest writer or artist to dialogue with or bounce off of my excerpt. You, the readers, have also become a vital part of this exchange through your online comments.

On March 14, 2017,  Oscar’s Salon finale features a behind-the-scenes look at my great Oscar Team that enabled me to produce and promote the monthly Salon. Below is the full list of 50 Guest Writers and Artists and 41 Featured Readers from December 2012 – March 2017.

I am particularly eager to hear from those of you who have read both Oscars. How is your experience of each similar? Different?

I am always intrigued to read your thoughts.

We—myself along with the guest writers and artists—are all ears! Tell us about your experiences of, and thoughts about, “the Oscars” ( the digital salon Oscar and/or the book Oscar) in the comment box that follows the Featured Reader.

-Betsy ala Oscar

oscar of between book on a table

Buy Oscar of Between here and I’ll sign the copy with a personal message.

50 Guest Writers and Guest Artists

Click on their name to reach the Oscar post that contains their work.

41 Featured Readers

Click on their name to reach the Oscar post that contains their work.

Latest Excerpts from the book, Oscar of Between

Oscar, Part 12B Excerpt with Guest Artist Barbara Sternberg

Signals of membership often more subtle than obvious.
Café Rico yesterday, Erin talking about visiting her mother’s village. One of her mom’s final requests: “spread my ashes there.”
Erin talking of the Second World War Ukrainian Nationalists’ strategy for figuring out who were the Ukrainian Poles.Food in Polish and Ukrainian The person in question was asked the names of various foods. As simple as that: a word automatically emits from your mouth and your life is over.

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Oscar, Part 12A Excerpt with Guest Writer Cecily Nicholson

March 2009. Oscar sipping her Emerald Silver Green morning tea, gazes at backyard tree’s Matisse-like limbs against fresh blue. Oscar. Waiting for Oscar. Having worked on writing the final essay for Breathing the Page all week. Oscar. Wondering, would Oscar appear here? Here being Montreal. In all this difference where she finds most affinity with other writers. Oscar sensing Oscar nearing for three days now — trying to elbow out more space.

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Oscar, Part 10 & 11 Excerpts with Guest Writer Oana Avasilichioaei

2009. For over a year now in her new apartment – Oscar awakened by sounds of explosions overhead. Gunfire. Off & on. Day & night. Penetrated by. Sometimes she puts in earplugs (as she has just now). Sometimes, she puts on a CD to camouflage the violent sounds. And sometimes, she puts her fists to the ceiling. Pounds until the old logger turns down his television.

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Oscar, Part 6B, 7 & 8 Excerpts with Guest Writer David Leach

In 1963, at sixteen years of age, Oscar made her first visit here, on the Detroit side of the river. The Luther League Convention. A group from her church taking the train to attend. Detroit. Their anxious mothers. Sew them all matching plaid jackets. Membership flags of their little rural community worn on their torsos. Oscar now gazes across at Cobo Hall: site of their convention. Recalls. Viscerally.

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Oscar, Part 6A & 9 Excerpt with Guest Writer Claudia Casper

What to say – Oscar quickly assesses – decides to take a risk. Abridges: Time Out “Museums” listing jumping out at her; sense of a nascent narrative circling her; immediate revelation upon entering camouflage exhibit; lifelong inexplicable bewilderment exiting her body. Oscar notices Elee’s deep attention; softening of body; paling as though something is reorienting within her; then flush of face as Elee responds. “That’s amazing. I really felt that.” Then. Their mutual recovery. Oscar quietly stunned.

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Oscar, Part 5 with Guest Writer Saradha Soobrayen

Circling the writing. Dog instinctively beating down the grass, its pre-domesticated memory intact despite laminate floor chill.
Sadness: disenchantment with words then camouflaged with other words?
Oscar recalling her lines from What Holds Us Here —
and whether story entertains,
claims, blames or explains
its instinct the same:
to keep sadness at bay

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Oscar, Part 4 with Guest Composer Jeffrey Ryan

Time is everything. With everything.
The difference between: The First Time; The Last Time.
And between? “Time will tell.”
Virginia journaling about her nascent sense of writing Mrs Dalloway, how the “life of a woman” …might be told with almost “one incident – say the fall of a flower … my theory being that the actual event practically does not exist – nor time either.”

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Oscar, Part 3 Excerpt with Guest Artist Cheryl Sourkes

Category: Oscar’s anathema.
Although others’ descriptions for her loneness change over the years – tomboy, headstrong, stubborn, independent, odd, rebellious, arrogant, different, unrealistic – they all signal the same condition: one who does not play enough by the rules.
Categories being embodiment.
Of rules.
Being self-regulating
: automatic surveillance system.

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Oscar, Part 2 Excerpt with Guest Writer Susan Crean

Oscar, initially subtitled “A Story of Failures.”
Several writer-friends recoiled, said “No one will want to read it with a title like that.”
The longer she lives, the more interested Oscar becomes in failure — what we consider it to be. How so often it’s the unnamed force that shapes story.

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