Chris Watts, husband of murdered Shanann Watts, father of murdered daughters Bella and Celeste, was arraigned today on 9 charges, including 3 first-degree murder charges.

Look at the photos, especially of Chris, and ask yourself if you had met him at a party or stood next to him in line at the grocery store, would you have thought him capable of murdering his family? The media often portrays men who murder their wives as monsters who “snapped”, and yet statistics prove that men who murder their wives are all around us, and usually appear to be nice, loving, hard-working men in public. Chris Watts could be any man you or I know, and any one of us could be Shannah Watts, just as I almost was many years ago when my former partner held me for 17 hours with a shotgun.

Almost half of the women who are murdered in the United States are murdered by their husbands or partners, just as Shanann was murdered by her husband, Chris. When someone tells you (or even hints) that they are being abused, believing them may actually help save their life.

Chris Watts pleaded for his family’s return. A week later, he’s charged with their murders.  By Madison Park and Eric Levenson, CNN

I am in NO way saying that ALL men are like Chris Watts or capable of his violence. I know that many men are incapable of violence and many men are also survivors of it themselves. SO, to the many men who support women and who work to end the violence that BOTH women and men experience, THANK YOU.

All peace to each one of you today.


My family moved from Danville, California to West Chester, Pennsylvania the summer before I began Sixth Grade at Unionville – Chadds Ford Middle School. During the first week of school that fall, I met Jennifer Rickards in Reading Class, where we shared a textbook while our class was reading Shakespeare aloud together. Jen and I quickly discovered that we were born days apart in the end of April, were both 11 years old, green-eyed and prone to shyness (then). We bonded over the infamous Shakespeare line: To be or not to be, that is the question that I ask of thee and we have remained friends ever since. Our friendship has allowed us to support and celebrate one another, while asking and answering many of life’s questions together for decades. We promised each other our senior year in high school that we’d go to our reunions together, and here we are at the last one we attended in 2016 at the Kennett Square Country Club.

I’m excited to now also support Jen’s amazing storytelling project, Three By Five.

When Jen first called me to talk about this project, which was only an idea that she was developing then, I told her I thought it was brilliant and that the snapshot stories of moments that altered people’s lives would be powerful when read both individually and as a compilation. The stories are obviously brief, but riveting and resonant, and the array of them speaks to the power of one moment to change us, just as my meeting Jen so many years ago changed my life.

Join the lineup of stories by sharing anonymously a small moment that has altered the path of your life by recording it on a 3”x5” notecard and mail it to:

PO BOX 308, ETNA, NH 03750

For more information and to read the anonymous Three By Five stories, visit:

And join Three By Five on Facebook here.

All peace to each one of you.



Former California Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky was voted to be recalled from the bench by 59 percent of the Santa Clara County, California voters. He is the first judge in 86 years to be recalled.

Aaron Persky was the judge who sentenced convicted rapist Brock Tuner to 6 MONTHS for crimes that could have delivered a sentence of up to 14 YEARS, after Turner was unanimously convicted of THREE FELONY counts of sexual assault in 2016. Persky’s sentencing, which he justified as an effort to “protect” Turner from the impact of prison, resulted in immediate, international public outrage that only intensified when Turner was released from county jail after serving only 3 months of his 6 month sentence.

On June 6, 2016 I posted about the movement by several groups demanding the removal of Persky from the bench: REMOVE JUDGE PERSKY FROM THE BENCH – STANFORD RAPIST SENTENCING

Read the NPR article about the recall of Persky here.

It took two years to accomplish, but Aaron Persky is no longer serving on the bench in Santa Clara County, California, showing that judges who perpetuate rape culture by not upholding the law with convicted sexual offenders cannot remain in office any longer.


All peace to each one of you today.


Beware when you honor an artist.
You are praising danger.
You are holding out your hand
to the dead and the unborn.
You are counting on what cannot be counted.
The poet’s measures serve anarchic joy.
The story-teller tells one story: freedom.

Above all beware of honoring women artists.
For the housewife will fill the house with lions
and in with the grandmother
come bears, wild horses, great horned owls, coyotes.

Ursula K. Le Guin

photographer unknown

All peace to each one of you today.

I rise up into storm sky, writing my poems like fragments of longing that I fold into overlay and slip beneath my cheekbones so that when your hand unfurls to fingers grazing my face, you become the blind man learning longing in Braille, skimming meaning from the message you cannot see but can only feel, were you willing. My eyes that have been called bottle glass and the undertow of the ocean and cat almond look on, telling you nothing, revealing only reflection of the fissure when the lightning finally strikes.

© 2018 Dora E. McQuaid

photographer unknown

All peace to each one of you today.



Connect with Dora on Facebook

Connect with Dora on Linkedin


 Now shipping!

the scorched earth

Order copies here

the scorched earth spoken by Dora E. McQuaid


Comments or questions are welcome.

* indicates required field


Dora’s efforts to use her voice as an means of activism and advocacy, social and political engagement and individual and collective empowerment and healing are funded, in part, by her readers. This website provides a wide array of resources to support visitors in exploring and living into their truths, and the support offered in return has allowed Dora to maintain this website as a community-driven, advertising-free space for over sixteen years. If you find that this website offers you inspiration or support, information or resources that benefit you or your community or you appreciate Dora’s voice and efforts, please consider making a contribution to keep her work and art alive. Thank you.
All peace to you.