About Lime Jell-O by Sandi Sonnenfeld ’85

Sandi Sonnenfeld is Founder and Managing Editor of The Lyon Review. Her short stories and personal essays have appeared in more than 30 literary magazines and anthologies, including Sojourner, The Story Teller, ACM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review among others. She is also the author of the 2002 memoir, This is How I Speak (Impassio Press), for which she was named a Celebration Author by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. “About Lime Jello” originally appeared in Volume 9, #1-2 issue of The Raven Chronicles: A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word.

Last Saturday, my husband Warren and I attended his aunt and uncle’s golden wedding anniversary party on Whidbey Island, an island located about ninety miles from Seattle. Though the happy couple, Dot and Wes, are close to Warren’s mother, I have spoken with them only a half-dozen times, and nearly always at some gathering similar to this one.

Married less than three years, I’m impressed by anyone who has managed to stay together for so long. As we pull into the driveway to the Catholic Church where the reception is to be held, I look at my husband’s profile as he negotiates the parking lot. I look at him for reassurance, hoping for a brief smile or a mild squeeze of my hand that tells me everything will be all right, to ignore the tightening in my stomach that I always get when I have to face a crowd of strangers. He does not return my look; his eyes are fixed on finding the right parking space, one that is reasonably close to the lot’s exit so that we don’t have to wait in a long line of cars when we leave.

Still this is why I married him. Ten years my senior, I thought that surely a man who carries a compass with him wherever he goes would be useful for a person like me who tends to get lost inside her head. I who cannot stop wandering around those messy crevices of the brain’s limbic region, ducking in unexplored caves, picking at half-buried wounds with a prospector’s axe, only to re-emerge moments later, blinking in the sunlight as I readjust to the external world.

Photo of green gelatin

Photo of green gelatin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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A Women’s Publishing Movement? Why Not??


A Women’s Publishing Movement? Why Not??

“Change requires intent and effort. It really is that simple.” Roxane Gay

(If you find yourself unable to read to the end of this post due to time, please do bookmark and read Ms. Gay’s essay, Beyond The Measure of Men. Do NOT miss her essay.)

The web is buzzing again with the righteous indignation of women about the infuriating discrepancies in publishing of men vs women. We had the American Society of Magazine Editors report and, as Alexander Nazaryan reports, “No, seriously. Many are up in arms about the complete lack of female writers nominated for the major categories of Reporting, Feature Writing, Profile Writing, Essays/Criticism and Columns/Commentary.” No females nominated in any of the major categories, despite some fine writing in those categories. Quite fine. Excellent, in fact. Read Nazaryan’s report and be angry.

Last February, I wrote about the VIDA count and the gender disparity in publishing. This February, another VIDA count, another round of frustrating, but not surprising news. Lyon Review’s managing editor, Sandi Sonnenfeld recently updated us on the new VIDA count. Another year of same song, same story, but most often coming from people with penises. Take a look at this graphic from the count.

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Essay: Hope in a Jar

Sandi Sonnenfeld ’85 is the author of the memoir This is How I Speak (Impassio Press) for which she was named a 2002 Celebration Author by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Her short stories and essays have appeared in more than 30 literary magazines and anthologies. “Hope in a Jar” was originally published in 2008 by the literary zine: Mr. Bellers’ Neighborhood.  Sandi is the Managing Editor of The Lyon Review.


I’ve become obsessed by wrinkles. Particularly the ones surrounding my eyes and across the map of my forehead that extend like arid rivers across my skin’s terrain. About a year ago, I purchased my first wrinkle cream, Oil of Olay Anti-Aging Eye Gel ($12.99) from the local Duane Reade. This was followed by Olay’s Regenerist Microdermabrasion Treatment and Peel Activator Serum with Lactic Acid ($26.99) which I had to apply twice a week to my face and neck.

Next I turned to Lush’s Sacred Truth, a green mud mask made of Kaolin, Ginkgo Biloba, Linseed Extract, Talc, Papaya, Yogurt and Free Range Eggs, which required refrigeration, and at $32.99, had a shelf life of just ten days. According to the saleswoman, for maximum effectiveness Sacred Truth was to be used in conjunction with Lush’s Breath of Fresh Air Toner ($14.99) and Skin Drink Rehydrating Moisturizer ($22.99) that smelled slightly like wet cement.

When the gingery freckles that playfully dotted my cheeks and my sunkissed arms and legs evolved into age spots (and you can be sure that some Madison Avenue hack in the 1960s looking to score it big with Avon or Elizabeth Arden decided that “age spots” would sell far more skin care products than “liver spots,” “lentigos” or “hyperpigmentation”), I tried Missha’s Illuminating XL 100 ($33.95), which involved my placing opaque latex-thin circles treated with a transparent gel directly on to the spots and letting the gel absorb into my skin for twenty minutes each evening before bed. Continue reading