Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Burning Girls

Burning Girls is an award-winning novella by Veronica Schanoes. You can read it online here. It begins,
In America, they don’t let you burn. My mother told me that.

When we came to America, we brought anger and socialism and hunger. We also brought our demons. They stowed away on the ships with us, curled up in the small sacks we slung over our shoulders, crept under our skirts. When we passed the medical examinations and stepped for the first time out onto the streets of granite we would call home, they were waiting for us, as though they’d been there the whole time.

The streets were full of girls like us at every hour of day and night. We worked, took classes, organized for the unions, talked revolution at the top of our voices in the streets and in the shops. When we went out on strike, they called us the fabrente maydlakh, the burning girls, for our bravery and dedication and ardor, and the whole city ground to a halt as the society ladies who wore the clothing we stitched came downtown and walked our lines with us. I remember little Clara Lemlich, leaping to her feet at a general meeting and yelling, “What are we waiting for? Strike! Strike! Strike!” Her curly hair strained at its pins as if it might burst out in flames, the fire that burns without consuming.

I was raised in Bialystok. I was no stranger to city life, not like those girls from the shtetls who grew up surrounded by cows and chickens and dirt. Though I had my fair share of that as well, spending months at a time with my bubbe, who lived in a village too small to bother with a real name, three days’ journey from the city.

My sister, Shayna, she stayed in the city with our dressmaker mother and shoemaker father, and learned to stitch so fine it was as though spiders themselves danced and spun at her command. Not me, though. I learned how to run up a seam, of course, so that I could be a help to Mama when I was home, but my apprenticeship was not in dressmaking. Mama could see from the beginning that I was no seamstress.

Mama didn’t have the power herself, but she could find it in others. Eyes like awls, my mama had. Sharp black eyes that went right through you. When I was born she took one look at me and pronounced, “Deborah—the judge.”

When Mama saw what I was going to be, she knew that I would have to spend as much time with my grandmother as I did with her, and so when I was four years old, my father rented a horse and cart and drove me out to my bubbe’s village.

ATCs (with the inspirational prompt named before each card):

Hot Cuppa (for my T Stands for Tuesday connection. Our host Elizabeth will have a live link as soon as her electricity comes back on -those Kansas storms don't play around- and I'll add a link to the post then. edit: Here's this week's T link.):


Just One Word:

In the Sky/In the Air:






Random (not from a prompt):


  1. Fabulous ATCs this week ! Happy T-Day!

  2. That story sounds interesting. And you have a wonderful assortment of ATC art. I think I like "opposites" the best, because I love celestial themes. Happy T-Day! (I mentioned you in my T-Day post this week.)

  3. I'm going to have to make time for that story today. The Hot Cuppa made me smile as well as sunflowers. I bought a packet of sunflower seeds to plant as soon as the house is finished getting painted. Happy T Day

  4. Good morning, I really enjoy seeing your art-loved the beverage reference atc. Thank you for the novella preview I am back reading more in the evenings again. Happy T wishes Kathy

  5. Hi D. My faves today are: Traveling, In the Sky and Random.

    Happy T-day! Eileen xx

  6. Anonymous9:15 AM

    I really like this crop of ATCs; I especially like "Take a Sip" and "Weekend." (Hmmm -- both have to do with food, don't they?...)
    -- A Pal

  7. Stopped by to let you know the T Tuesday post is now live. As soon as I notify everyone and make a pot of much needed coffee, I will be back by to share a drink with you. Hope to see you at TSFT.

  8. Loving the take a sip atc card this week.
    Happy Tea Day,

  9. Great ATCs!! You are getting quite artsy with them and I love it. That bit from the book was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing and happy T day!

  10. It sounds like a good story to read, thank you for sharing.
    Your ATC's all look fantastic, the first one appealed to me and I take no asking to join friends for a cuppa. I also loved the pretty sunflower ATC.
    Happy T day wishes.
    Yvonne xx

  11. I went to your link and started reading then realised I wouldn't get any visits done so i have saved it for another day! Your ATCs are so varied! I love the 'One Word' ones most this week! Happy T day! Chrisx

  12. I love each and every one of these, dear. Of course, I love the drink with friends atc, but they are all great this week. Very, very impressive.

    Thanks so much for joining us for T this Tuesday AND for providing the link to my post. It is greatly appreciated.

  13. Happy T day! I love that happy coffee man. And your ATC's are great. The Shakespeare quote is one I recently used on an art page myself, but I think my favorite is the T rex, as i still have a fascination with bones and the creatures or people lived in them. Hope it was a great T day. Hugs-Erika

  14. just going through your atcs and must say, i´m not ready for a change;) i often hear to leave the comfort zone, but i´m stuck in it LOL and i don´t come out:))
    have a great week ♥

  15. Love all your beautiful ATCs, and especially the one with the Shakespeare quote. Happy T Day, Valerie

  16. A great selection of ATCs! The abstract ones caught my eye.

  17. Fun bunch of ATC's. I like how you tied one into our beverage theme.
    Happy T day!

  18. WOW some of the descriptions written ... a spider dancing on the fabric ... gives me a clear vision of that.

  19. I'm loving your ATCs! The opposites one is fabulous so impactful and your cuppa one made me smile 😁. Sorry I'm so late visiting this week, not sure how I missed this - sending you belated T Day wishes and much happiness! Jo x

    1. The best things about blogs is that the post stays right there :) There's not really such a thing as late in blogland ;)