From Muse to Reality

Fiction, Politics and Essays


Dear Senator

Honorable Richard Durbin,

Keeping up with the news, several issues have troubled me.

The Department of Labor said Illinois’ unemployment rate is 8.6% (rarely to they report unemployment among people of color, which is generally more than 3 times higher). Also bothersome is the reduction in the food stamp program (hidden the Farm Bill). Hanging in the balance is denial of continued emergency unemployment compensation benefits will rock this nation.

“Worse, a recent report by the Pew Charitable Trusts projected Illinois would be dead last among 50 States for job creation in 2014.”

How is it possible that this “Great Nation” can be so callus?

I will listen very closely to President Obama‘s State of the Nation speech this evening, but I must say in advance, he cannot run this nation alone.

Retired but still connected.

~~~ 0 ~~~


Love of Writing

March 9, 2014

Primarily you must be in love with writing. Like most love affairs, it will have its difficulties. You will laugh, cry, starve yourself, and lose sleep over writing. You must also watch your temper when you receive your edits back. They are necessary to improve, not slander, your work. I feel for the brave souls who write their butts off, work day (or night) jobs, and rise raise families.

A bit about Minnie E. Miller, the writer: I have self-published three books (2 of them novels). I do not have an agent. I only shopped my first manuscript and received 10 rejections out of 30 queries. It was clear to me that at age 56, I could not wait for a publisher.

My first book consists of three short stories titled “Catharsis” (published March 2003). One reviewer was woeful, but congratulated me on the clean, clear writing. She said I had a “voice.” Damn, I thought.  Guess that’s good to know. There is so much emphasis put on finding “your voice.”

The first story in “Catharsis” is about two vampires rescuing slaves from plantations. Of course, Moses is the name I gave the driver of the horse and wagon delivering escaped slaves to the Underground Railroad. Most readers enjoyed it and wanted more. The second, a vampire love story–uh-huh, they love too –, and the third a paranormal contemporary love story. Many said the love story is also too short. As I said, this was my first self-published book. I have had a professional editor from the beginning of my writing career; IMO, this is very important.

My second novel is “The Seduction of Mr. Bradley” (published November 29, 2006). I tried writing it from a female POV, but Mr. Bradley was not having it. He stole the show with his struggle to change his lifestyle after he meets and falls in love with a straight, beautiful lady. Yet, he still loved his paramour/father image. He straddles the so-called fence, not sure if he wants to change. If you name your books according to your feelings about them, I call this one, My Baby. Allow me to brag here. I believe this novel was before its time.

Mr. Bradley was not an easy story to write. I felt the need to get into his head and heart at the same time. A lot of research went into bisexual men. When I asked to interview them for this story, none came forward. Most of the information came from gay men and my personal experience. (That’s another book.) During my research, I learned bisexuals deal with pressure from both sides of the lifestyle – some women generally felt they are simply cheaters. Gay men said bisexuals are gay, just in the so-called closet. Interesting thought, there are many bisexual career men, CEOs.

“The Seduction of Mr. Bradley” is also an eBook.

The third novel, “Whispers from the Mirror” (published 11/29/2006), is also close to my heart and contain streams of my life. It, however, is not a tell-all. I believe all writers have a bit of their lives mixed in their stories. It’s only natural — most everyone has lived through a wealth of experiences that sit in their subconscious. Most waiting for a word or a thought to attach to a story. For me, that’s one of the pleasures of writing — bringing alive those subconscious thoughts.

The protagonist in “Whispers,” Brianna, is an activist hiding behind a mask of feminism. She realizes at age 52 that she has been living in her mother’s shadow for years and needs to know more about the older Brianna. “The Mirror” in her bathroom shows Brianna her life, insists she must change. She must open her heart to love or she will die a lonely woman.

My writing career includes fiction, essays, and highly political articles. Moreover, when I feel it necessary, I send emails to President Obama, my Senator, and U.S. Representative in Congress. You might say I am a lobbyist for children and the poor. Nevertheless, I do not pay for political help, nor am I paid for my activism.

I cannot express strongly enough how important it is to keep writing; anything, anywhere, and about anything (but not in the bathtub, that doesn’t work too well), if you have chosen writing as a career. Write with value and purpose. Keep up with the literary world and our Nation – always have your say in both worlds.

After running from city-to-city and outside the United States, trying to shake a deeply painful relationship, I returned to Chicago, Illinois, aged and wiser. Now my days are devoted to writing and reading. Oh, and trying to understand this thing called aging.

Minnie E Miller
Writer, Essayist, and Humanist


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Spies of Mississippi

Bob Edwards Weekend, February 9, 2014, featured civil rights issues. Below is part of the information to be aired on PBS this Monday.
Please allow me to add that I read the book (in 1965), “Three Lives For Mississippi,” by William Bradford Huie, a reporter. I still possess this book. Huie writes about the murder of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman, young students who came to Mississippi to assist Negroes in the deliberately constrained voting process. Huie summed up his feelings in “A Personal Word.”
“Even those citizens who fear Negroes voting are beginning to understand that the Nobel Prize was won for Martin Luther King by Bull Connor and George Wallace … that passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was helped by George Wallace and Byron de la Beckwith … and that the Civil Rights Bill of 1965 is the handiwork of Wallace, Sheriff Jim Clark’s posse, and the murderers of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman.
Successful revolutions, it appears, are made as much by their opponents as by their proponents.”
William Bradford Huie
March 29, 1965
~~~ 0 ~~~
I’m anxious to see Spies of Mississippi on PBS Monday.
From The Bob Edwards Weekend Show
HOUR TWO:   In the mid-1950s, the government of Mississippi created the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a secret organization that spied on Civil Rights activists.  Director Dawn Porter’s documentary, Spies of Mississippi, tells its history and airs February 10th on the PBS series Independent Lens.


Minnie E. Miller

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Then and Now 2014

Originally posted on From Muse to Reality:


Then and Now

By Minnie E. Miller and countless others.

This work is based on historical events, facts, and today’s affairs.

I have been watching this case progress up to the jailing of George Zimmerman, and release on bond. He is (or) was a Sanford, FL volunteer, 28, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, 17, during an altercation on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman says Martin attacked him and he shot Martin in self-defense citing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. This law gives broad legal protection to anyone who used deadly force because of fear of death or great bodily harm. The shooting did not come to the attention of the media for two months after the parents of Trayvon complained that Zimmerman killed their son, who was unarmed.

Bruce A. Dixon, April 4, 2012: The murder of Trayvon Martin by a vigilante and son of a retired Florida judge has sparked more media heat, more column inches…

View original 1,271 more words


Then and Now 2014


Then and Now

By Minnie E. Miller and countless others.

This work is based on historical events, facts, and today’s affairs.

I have been watching this case progress up to the jailing of George Zimmerman, and release on bond. He is (or) was a Sanford, FL volunteer, 28, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, 17, during an altercation on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman says Martin attacked him and he shot Martin in self-defense citing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. This law gives broad legal protection to anyone who used deadly force because of fear of death or great bodily harm. The shooting did not come to the attention of the media for two months after the parents of Trayvon complained that Zimmerman killed their son, who was unarmed.

Bruce A. Dixon, April 4, 2012: The murder of Trayvon Martin by a vigilante and son of a retired Florida judge has sparked more media heat, more column inches, and more protest marches than anything since, well, the murder of Troy Davis only a few months ago. The fact is that literally millions of people have prayed, demanded, forwarded emails, shown up at meetings, marched in the streets and searched for concrete ways to contribute to changing the system that killed Davis, Martin and will continue to kill countless others.

Don R. Barbera, April 2012: My first move would be to sue the Republican Party for incitement. Since the infamous Southern Strategy of Richard Nixon, the GOP has played the race card to bring disaffected whites to the voting booth by playing on white fears. They admitted as much a decade ago and they still do it. It is the same as yelling “fire” in a theater and someone gets trampled to death. They have incited, cajoled and encouraged racist thinking and should have seen something like this happening, therefore, they have been reckless and endangered the lives of homosexuals, blacks, women, and Latinos. Although not directly responsible, they have created an atmosphere that made it okay to act out. They are accessories before and after the fact.

Now, to the “just us” legal system. It is a fact that more black men are in prison than ever before. Hispanics are a close second. The death penalty is administered unfairly especially if a black man murders a white.

 I have no sympathy for any criminal, but meeting a prison payroll isn’t on the list of things any prison system should be concerned with. The list of things wrong with the American justice system cannot be lucidly discussed in just a few paragraphs, but it is fair to say that it is horribly misaligned and criminal in and of itself.

Dixon: What would a real movement for justice in the wake of Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin look like? How can we actually engage the authorities, and the Obama administration with concrete demands to prevent the next Trayvon Martins?

Malcolm X, April 3, 1964: “The question tonight as I understand it, is, “The Negro Revolt, and Where Do We Go From Here?” or “What Next?” In my little humble way of understanding it, it points toward either the ballot or the bullet.”

Yours truly, April 2012: Our younger generation doesn’t understand what’s going on. It is imperative that they read about their history. I can image how confused and frightened that son must have felt facing a gun without reason.

Parents have had to deal with issues without reasons other than what modern-day media and activists say. Parents and their kids need to understand the mind set of individuals attacking our kids, young men today, and why. They need to understand that it is a learned attitude, rote thinking, innate in some American Caucasians’ mind over 200 years ago.

Douglass: These then-called Trade Slavers kidnapped Black individuals and complete families from their homeland, brought them by ships to America, and sold them as chattel.

“Oh, be warned! Be warned! A horrible reptile is coiled up in your nation’s bosom; the venomous creature is nursing at the tender breast of your youthful republic; for the love of God, tear away; and fling from you the hideous monster, and let the weight of twenty millions crush and destroy it forever!”

Dixon: The black political class has nothing to offer here because they too are deeply tied to the prison state, and to the corporate interests that profit from it.

Barbera: Prison systems becoming privatized is a case of the fox guarding the hen house. It presents serious opportunity for corruption. A private prison doesn’t make money without prisoners. How do they get prisoners? From the “just us” system come the majority of prisoners, that are sentenced by mostly white judges and juries.

Dixon: While they will admit that the vigilante killing of Trayvon Martin and the state sanctioned murder of Troy Davis are distinct threads in a seamless garment, their advocacy remains limited to a handful of exemplary cases. The last thing they want to see is a movement independent of them and of the two parties emerge on this or any issue. The last thing they want to hear are concrete demands for real change, demands they are prepared neither to make or to deal with themselves.

Douglass: “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to Him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.

“Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for republicans?” Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood?…To do so would be to make myself ridiculous and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.”

“What, then, remains to be argued?”

There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.”

“The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them.”

“In glaring violation of justice, in shameless disregard of the forms of administering law, in cunning arrangement to entrap the defenseless, and diabolical intent, this Fugitive Slave Law stands alone in the annals of tyrannical legislation. . . . I doubt if there be another nation on the globe having the brass and the baseness to put such a law on the statute book.”

“Long-established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness.”

Yours truly: The Obama Administration is fighting to open doors to affordable, higher education. Then it will be our move.

In 2012, America continued to struggles with brief pains of lynching (yes, lynching), lack of higher education, sexism, and prejudice. Many Americans—Black, Negro, brown and Caucasian—are slowly slipping into poverty.

“It’s been a long time comin’ but I know a change is gonna come. Oh yes it will.”

~ ~ Sam Cook


> Bruce A. Dixon, Managing Editor, Black Agenda Reports.

> Don R. Barbera, a print journalist—wrote for several major newspapers, serving as his own photojournalist—and a researcher/writer concerned with social issues, the quality of life, and the pursuit of knowledge.

> Malcolm X, April 3, 1964 at the Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. “The Ballot or The Bullet,” Great Speeches by African Americans, Dover Thrift Editions, Edited by James Daley.

> Minnie E Miller, (Yours truly), Founder of Mz Minerva Publishing, Writer, Essayist & Humanist.

I have not altered or corrected the words of individuals.

Minnie E Miller

Mz Minerva Publishing Writer, Essayist & Humanist

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Mz Raven

 Sorry I’m late. Had to stop for dinner.

I am Raven, a vampire. I did not choose to live in darkness, an evil demon created me, as did most of us, as far as I know. Why should we be relegated to life under the moon? Isn’t it punishment enough that we must subsist on a diet of blood? I’m up for making our little society a better place.

Raven was a visionary, a romantic. Her goal was to rid the world of thieves and greedy empire building. She was disgusted with the corruption of corporate influence as all pervasive and intended to put a dent in it. She would find them and drain their wicked blood. She would perpetrate upon them a death only they would be worthy of experiencing.

My friends would never believe who I am today, surely not my ex-husband. Maybe I should drop in and visit him. Hmm… something worth examining.

Friends from her mortal life would wonder if she’d lost her mind. They knew Raven to be a humanist. Self-fulfillment was paramount; freedom to choose was her credo; she did not react to environmental stimuli; she espoused reason, ethics, and justice. Nevertheless, as an innocent mortal, knew nothing about preternatural beings and even less how they selected their victims. Those allowed to live were in their early twenties, healthy, educated, and intelligent. While Raven had most of these attributes, early twenties didn’t fit. She had lost her marketing agency at forty-two, divorced from an unworkable marriage, yet maintained independence after both losses.

The mortal lady settled in an apartment in San Francisco, California, not far from the beach. She found her kindred spirit in the ocean and often walked the golden sand barefooted, drinking in clean air.

The mortal took her problems to the ocean and spoke in a low tone. “Well, here I am dealing with another turn of events, or a turn of the screw—the work of the devil. Naw. I’ve closed my failing business. And I love my new apartment! You gotta admit it’s the economy, woman.” She frowned at her assessment. “Yeah, I saw it coming, but tried to hold on long enough to accumulate emergency funds. I knew my cheap-ass Ex wouldn’t help. He had other self-centered plans and tossed me aside like an old shoe. I was no longer his bed partner, simply a barren woman standing in the way of his quest to find a fruitful one.”

She stood at the edge of the shore, pants rolled above ankles, and allowed the gentle water tease her bare toes. Although sad, she refused to cry. Daylight had begun to inch down into the ocean turning the sky dusty.

“Guess I’d better head for home. Not a good idea to be on the beach alone at night.” She gathered her belongings, stuffed them in a beach bag, and moved on to her car.

Another being, invisible to the mortal eye, had been watching Raven as she roamed the shores of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.


Minnie E Miller
Writer, Essayist & Humanist

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Jumpstart’s Read for the Record

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record – OCT. 3, 2013 – Save the Date!!
Janielle.Taylor <>
September 16 (1 day ago)
Greetings From Janielle Taylor, MBA

Jumpstart and our Read for the Record Campaign
Well, the BIG day is less than 1 month away!

Jumpstart’s premiere national campaign, Read for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, is one time of the year when millions of individuals come together to celebrate literacy and support Jumpstart in its efforts to promote early childhood education. On October 3rd, people across the country will read the children’s book “Otis” by Loren Long in support of Jumpstart’s mission to work towards the day that every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.
I want you to be included in that number…How can you do that? Easy!!

1.) Log onto and pledge to read. Pledge to read to one child, two children or a whole classroom.

2.) Get a copy of this year’s campaign book, “Otis” by Loren Long,  from a local retailer. Or, if you can’t purchase it, log onto our official reading partner’s website and read it online at

3.) On October 3rd, you’re welcome to join us at the Chicago Children’s Museum, 700 E. Grand Ave. from 5p – 8p for our Official Read for the Record event.

4.) Tell everyone you know…because we want them to be counted in that number on October 3rd also!! If they don’t have any kids to read to they can make a pledge which will purchase books for our partner children and allow us to continue our mission.
Thank you for your continued support and Happy Reading!!

Janielle M. Taylor, MBA
Jumpstart Chicago Advisory Board Member
Jumpstart Corps Member Alum

P.S. If you’re as anxious as I am to get started, feel free to join us at the Hyde Park Children’s Book Fair on Sunday, September 22, 2013 (

Minnie E Miller



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