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Needs Coaching

Needs coaching. This phrase was recently used about me. It was assigned to me by a man.

Needs coaching. I discussed this phrase with a group of female colleagues. It was literally his job, left undone.

This blog post was not the blog post I planned for today. When I learned today was International Day of Women and Science, I could not let it pass by. Many years, I celebrated the International Day of the Woman. Now it seems not enough. Across my lap is Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Girls who Code founder, Reshma Saujani. More than coding, I am compelled by her story. She arrived at coding, or coding came to her, when her other paths had disappeared.

I wonder what the path, the life, the understanding of womanhood, change and world might have been if it had been framed in science, in problem solving, in game play, instead of nurturing.

In honor of Girls Who Code, in honor of stories not heard and stories not yet written, I share a series of poems from my recent coding novel in verse. It is a love letter to story, to identity, and to my niece, who I hope receives her coaching now, instead of as a warning, in her forties.


“Games are not great

Without great writers.”


Uncharted by Amy Hennig

First woman to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

From Game Developers Choice Awards


Our game mentor doesn’t want

To talk

About what

We are.


“You might forget and choose words that are not positive

Or that are too positive.

You might describe yourself by what others see.”


But who

We are.


“It’s special to connect

Not just instruct

When you code.


Find a story


Find your story


Find a center

Find a soul

In all stories.


Mom told me not to tell other people’s stories.

What choice do I have



All my stories

Have always been

Other people’s stories.



New day

New shirt

“Girls don’t play games”

Nothing in life is ever

Just a game.


Women game


They know it’s not

A game.



Social impact.


“For tomorrow,

Use the story you chose

A character,

A woman,

Who has made

An impact.”


I haven’t but I need.

I could

But should I?

Choose a video

Of all

My videos.


Click.  Scroll.

Except, these are not my stories.

New day

New t-shirt 

"Code meaningful action"




I do so many things


In rhythm

I am lucky to do so many things



I never stopped to

Identify what I need

To carry out

So many things



I sit on my bed

Wet hair


Tears don’t


I unfold

All my folded papers.


Games teach




Games can’t teach


To be you




To hide you




To define you




To deny you




To find you




In all the white spaces

Across all the wrinkles


I outline

My program

For me



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