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Stories by Deirdre Lickona

San Diego Reader 2014 Fun issue

Wave House, Goat Canyon trestle, cat jetty, leopard sharks, pocket beach

Jetpack America Want to feel like Superman? After a training video and in-office instruction, strap on a jetpack and take to the air. During the 15- to 60-minute ride, the water-jetting pack can go as ...

23 Reader writers describe the regime of editor Judith Moore

She hated adverbs

Busy Fingers Are Happy Fingers — Joe Deegan Mother Reader — Barbarella Build Your Writing Muscles — Ollie Let the Tape Recorder Do the Work — Matthew Lickona Faith — Abe Opincar Make Something Better ...

She Knew How Fragile Writers Could Be

E-mails were short, sometimes five words.

I used to send Judith gifts around Mother's Day. Not on, but around -- because she wasn't my mother. But among her many titles -- mentor, boss, friend -- there was also this: the mysterious ...

France Meets California

"Old school vs. new school, Bob Hope vs. Adam Sandler, dirt vs. fruit."

Reader writers tell of great wedding moments and minor disasters

Here comes the bride

At Times It Was Like Shared Music, at Times Like a Skin Graft or Root Canal — Stephen Dobyns I do at a coffin sale — Dorothy Stewart A Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Cake ...

Loops Like Pillows

"Never say never," I thought to myself as I slid into my wedding dress in early May of '96. It wasn't that I had once supposed I would never get married. I was 25, in ...

22 Reader writers on school experiences

When the loud bell rang

My first day in school was really my second day — Jangchup Phelygal The Radiators That Ticked Heat into the Room — Laura Rhoton McNeal Rear Rank Rudy — Jim Morris Forget-me-nots — Rosa Colwin ...

I Wanted to Crawl into My Mittens

The soft cotton kept me from getting a grip on the slide.

I don't remember much from my childhood. Why this is, I don't know. I was happy; I remember that much. I came from an intact, loving, financially stable home. But when I go poking around ...

We Carried Each Other

In 1991, God seized my attention. So did Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and U2. I was 20, a freshman in college, raised Catholic but without much understanding or interest in practicing my faith. I had plenty ...

A San Diego survey of mustaches

Men behind the hairy upper lips

Mustache also mous-tache (m s-tash, m -stash) noun 1. The hair growing on the human upper lip, especially when cultivated and groomed. 2. Something similar to the cultivated, groomed hair on the human upper lip, ...

Reader writers honor Mom

The woman we never forget

"Careful, Ma; don't spill your soup," I warned. "First time you spill, that's it — you're going to the home.” Mom's reply was immediate. "I know. I've picked out what I want to take with me."

True in Love and True in Deed

My mother was becoming a feminist.

"A Woman's Place is in the House...and the Senate," read the banner on the door of the cabinet that housed our dinner plates and cereal bowls. Similar posters peppered the kitchen walls: "What if Prince ...

San Diego Christmas shoppers caught in the act

Santa's helpers

We used to decorate the outside of our house, but not anymore. We put a bow in front of our gate and we put lights up, that's about it. I always wanted the moving reindeer, but no.

Mission Hills

As State Street crosses Laurel heading north, its name changes suddenly to Reynard, and a little blue street sign welcomes you to Mission Hills. Don’t be fooled. This is Baja Mission Hills, like Kensington too ...

San Diego women on their breasts and their bras

More than support

But even if they were not big, they seemed to me very real and salient: there’s a breast. It was hard to imagine my flat front being sculpted into such fullness

Pretty Woman

Beach babes consider feminism

As it happened, only one of the 17 women I spoke with declared herself a feminist with any kind of conviction. Most said they were not, usually citing a lack of political drive.

Gene Dente of Serengeti Company tells me all about diamonds


I swallowed the lump in my throat as my eyes peered upward. Surveying the Jewelry Exchange, on the corner of Sixth and E downtown, I felt small and insignificant. I gazed up at the eight-story ...

Panhandled at the Sav-on drugstore near Mission Valley

Bamboozled by compassion

I saw Clyde outside the building. “We wanted to tell you the truth. We were just ashamed to admit we had lost our son. It’s hard to explain. We lost him over a stupid plate of enchiladas.”

The Hootchie Look

A steady hum and bustle flowed in and out of Star Shots Photography Studio in Mission Valley Center. Teenage girls strolled in and out in twos and threes, sometimes chatting, other times giggling with arms ...

By No Means Mr. Mom

He let me pick the music and blast it, even if it was Mötley Crüe.

Wolf’s Breath Chili. That’s what I’m making for you, Deeda my pigeon sweeta.” The words whistled out from beneath the chip in my father’s front tooth. He danced around the kitchen and executed a combination ...

Body Memos

What you may have been afraid to ask about piercing.

My right ear has been mutilated by my own hand.Once,it had three holes in it,starting at the lower end of my lobe and work- ing up in succession.The first came by way of a piercing ...