About the Author

headshot-Phyllis-husband+LynnlikePhyllis M Skoy has been writing throughout her life. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that she submitted her work for publication. Phyllis was named Discovery of the Year for “bosque, the magazine” for her short story, “Life After.” Her first novel, What Survives, was short-listed for the Santa Fe Writers Project.

A one-time song lyricist, Phyllis practiced the short form as she studied and pursued a career as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. While living in New York City, she studied American Sign Language and Seido Karate and established a karate program for the deaf in collaboration with her karate grandmaster, Kaicho Nakamura. Although she retired as a second degree black belt, her program continues.

Phyllis has a master’s degree in counseling from Fordham University, a master’s degree in social work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work (Yeshiva University) and a certification in the child and adolescent from Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.

In 2000, Phyllis and her husband relocated to Placitas, New Mexico, but Phyllis returned to NYC in 2001 to work as a volunteer for the Red Cross after Sept. 11.

In addition to “What Survives,” Phyllis is making the final revisions on a family memoir and is writing a prequel to “What Survives” (“Fatma, Daughter of the Prophet”).
Phyllis maintains a small private psychoanalytic practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Seizing Opportunity: A Literary Reading at an Art Show

Posted by on Sep 20, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Seizing Opportunity: A Literary Reading at an Art Show

When Carolyn Flynn invited me to participate in her friend Katyraven Hernandez Dorsey’s art opening at 5G North Gallery at the Factory on Fifth, my initial reaction was, “This could be fun.” I went to meet Katy at her home and studio, so that we could discuss with Carolyn and the other readers (Albuquerque poet laureate emeritus Jessica Helen Lopez, Santa Fe author Rob Wilder) how we would approach the event. It was a brief meeting, one person on the phone and the other not available. Because I was buried in the second volume of Proust’s In...

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What makes a “hero?”

Posted by on Sep 5, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

The author ponders whether she is one, and takes a hard look at these times It seems to me that since Sept. 11, and perhaps much prior to Sept. 11, perhaps since the beginning of time, we have used the term “hero” too lightly. When I worked for the American Red Cross in New York City after Sept. 11, the office gave me a child’s drawing that was meant to present to volunteers, such as myself. It says on it, “Dear Heroes.” This was the one they gave me, and so I accepted it in the right spirit, but I did say to them, “I am no hero.” They kept...

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Goodbye, Aretha!

Posted by on Aug 28, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Goodbye, Aretha!

My tribute to the Queen of Soul The other day, I woke up to discover Aretha Franklin had died. The world feels different to me now. Whenever my life has needed a musical pick-me-up, I have always turned to Aretha and Janis. I can still turn to them, but they will never make another recording, just as Maya Angelou will never write another poem or William Trevor will never write another short story, Aretha and Janis have done all they are going to do. Aretha has been with me since the 1960s. I cannot remember the recording that first got my...

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Retirement Phase II: A New Relationship with Time

Posted by on Aug 14, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Retirement Phase II: A New Relationship with Time

Finding good fortune in the company of my next novel, my husband, our dog Django and Proust As most of you know, I closed my private practice office in July 2017. But for the few remaining patients whom I thought might benefit from another year with me, and who did not wish to have to see another therapist, we continued by phone. As of December 2018, I will be ending these most precious relationships as well. For those of you who have had the experience of long-term treatment, or those of you who do long-term treatment as therapists...

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Pondering Hatred

Posted by on Aug 6, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Pondering Hatred

Why are we so deeply entrenched in our own ideas that we cannot understand others? This little fellow reminds me of myself today, as I ponder a quotation I heard the other day on news commentary. It isn’t the exact quotation, but the idea is simple enough: One cannot dispel ignorance with arrogance. This sounds easy enough, but our passion for our beliefs is strong. When we become heated in our arguments, filled with the zeal to convey our truths, we tend to disregard what the other person (or persons) is saying. We are too deeply entrenched...

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Where do I gather my inspiration?

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Where do I gather my inspiration?

Many of my friends never knew that I used to write song lyrics before my memoir (Myopia, a memoir) was published. It was one of my great joys when I lived in New York City in the early years. My friend, Guy Strobel, and I would sit for hours at his piano, up four flights in a walk-up in Hell’s Kitchen. An actor, writer, composer and singer, Guy has always made me laugh. He is not unlike Peter Pan, although he is quite mature. I think of him as a creative wood sprite who just happens to have lived most of his life in the Big Apple. For several...

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Where is my pride?

Posted by on Jul 10, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Where is my pride?

I was born in America, and America is my only citizenship. Am I proud to be an American? Yes and no. When I was a little girl, I was raised to respect and love my country. It was the 1950s, and most of my friends and their families felt the same way. For some unknown reason, like many other white children raised in the North, I did not connect to slavery as something northern. Those down there in the South were responsible. I was unable to connect the dots until the rise of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. My friends...

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Whatever are we doing?

Posted by on Jun 19, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Whatever are we doing?

As humans, we have a long history of separation. It’s time to make peace with the price we pay for the killing fields. My memoir has already been written. Myopia, a memoir was published in 2017 by IP Books (International Psychoanalytic Books). When folks ask me if I will write another one, I look at them aghast. If it took me thirty years to write this one, what sacrifices would another one require? I cannot imagine. In any event, my thoughts on that particular topic have been exhausted. But as I reflect on the changes occurring in this...

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On the ‘elevator pitch’: My travels to the Jewish Book Council

Posted by on Jun 5, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

On the ‘elevator pitch’: My travels to the Jewish Book Council

A verbal contract for travel was noted in my marriage agreement. My husband has kept that spoken clause without fail. We have been to many places in the world, but my husband always said that I only wanted to travel to places where I needed a passport. He was delighted when we received a passport traveling through the national parks. Now that I have books to promote, I am traveling more in the United States than I even did as a child. In my book travels, I have met many lovely people. Some of them I am able to now call friends. This is a...

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I Want My Country Back – NO!! Forward

Posted by on May 16, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

I Want My Country Back – NO!! Forward

My dear friend Debbie, a talented woman, made T-shirts for us to wear to the recent gun law march in Santa Fe. And I must say that the youth who spoke and performed gave me much to look forward to in our country’s future. As we attempt to be optimistic in such combustible times, I reflect on this rally to boost my only sense of hope: our youth. The other day, I read essays printed in The New York Times written by college applicants. My sister commented, “I’m glad I’m not up against them!” They all wrote beautifully and from their hearts. Of...

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