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.

A Question of Carbon Footprints and Other Potential Transgressions

Posted by on Jun 18, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

I was in conversation with a dear friend, one who constantly challenges me to examine my better conscience and my behavior in relationship to the earth. I had just returned from my fifth trip to Mexico, a place where I am always happy to be. The kind and loving nature of the people, the colors, the tastes and smells, the music and fireworks, the history and cultural blend of Indigenous and Hispanic influences inspire and intrigue me. As I have had a long love affair with the desert and Turkey, I also dearly love Mexico. Call me fickle, I have...

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Reading Proust in Book Club

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Reading Proust in Book Club

My book club, like most book clubs, has shifted its membership over the years. When I was invited to join, there were at least a dozen members. Now we are six. Several folks moved away, and a couple passed away. We made a declaration to keep going. During one of our most doubtful periods, and at the loss of another member, someone asked: Has anyone read Proust? These are really bright people. We do have one man in the group, so I cannot say “bright women,” but these are not readers of best sellers or pop fiction. We are serious readers. And...

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Life isn’t fair

Posted by on Apr 5, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Life isn’t fair

As I gaze at the photo above, I cannot know if these little boys were merely having fun or this was how they managed to eat. They look clean and decently dressed, so perhaps it was a game. Who can come up with the best treasure? I hope it was all in fun, but the neighborhood was poor. I will never know. A number of years ago, when I was a white belt in karate, there was an instructor who would get us all into push-up position, and while we held our bodies up by our palms or fists or fingertips—whichever push-ups we were doing that day—he...

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Belonging to the Critter Club

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Belonging to the Critter Club

It has often struck me, as indeed it has struck most of us who love our dogs with great passion, that the length of life allotted to dogs is exceedingly short. In my humble opinion, this is an unfortunate failure on the part of Mother Nature. After losing my beloved English cocker spaniel in the late 1980s, I swore never to have another dog. The loss was too hard to bear. I could not conceive of going through it all again. Years later,  after moving to New Mexico and living in a house with land, surrounded by open spaces nearby, my husband...

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Embracing the Winter Skies

Posted by on Mar 5, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Embracing the Winter Skies

Thoughts on our current political climate No place I have ever been has skies quite like New Mexico. They reflect moods that can turn on a dime. This was the winter sky at the beginning of our walk last week, indicating by all signs that a storm was coming. We were the only car in the parking lot and the only people in the park. A light snow blew around us. Our blue heeler Django led the way, searching for life, dogs, other humans. My mind went, as it almost always does these days, to our political climate. The storm has been coming and...

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Love and Food in a Turkish Kitchen

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in The Writing Life, Turkey | 0 comments

Love and Food in a Turkish Kitchen

There is nothing quite like the kitchen at the Raindrop Foundation, which is a center for Turkish culture in Albuquerque. Sorry for the blurriness of the photos, but these are women in constant motion! It is impossible to get them to hold any pose, as they put together an incredible meal for all of us. On this occasion, some of us washed our hands and joined them in rolling the dolma and filling in the squash. My cabbage rolls looked nothing like theirs. They kindly assured me, saying that it takes much practice. My Japanese neighbor said the...

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A Song is Born

Posted by on Feb 8, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

A Song is Born

To my friends and readers: After many years of not writing song lyrics, my songwriting partner looked me up and we are back at it again. Guy Strobel and I spent many hours at his piano and in Greek diners in New York City. I was 30 years old and he was 29. While I was under the knife, many years later, having a bilateral knee replacement surgery, Guy looked me up and found my brother-in-law in Long Island. Bob gave him my phone number. He called me up while I was still on pain meds, and I was so thrilled to hear from him that I probably...

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Facing the Music by Showing Up

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Facing the Music by Showing Up

Like many Jewish women, I had to think and rethink whether or not I would participate in this year’s Women’s March. Since the March began, my dear friend, Debbie, and I have gone to Santa Fe to participate. We love the spiritual dedication to the native Tewa people and their land, as well as the strong Native American and Hispanic participation in such beautiful surroundings. Some of you may not know about this, but the Women’s March organization has been fraught with accusations of anti-Semitism. I will not go into the details here, but I...

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It is Time: Thoughts on My New Relationship with Time

Posted by on Jan 22, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

It is Time: Thoughts on My New Relationship with Time

All of my adult life, I have wished for more time. I dreamed of a life where I only did what I wanted when I wanted. I would read and write as many hours as I wished. I would prepare only healthy food, go for nice, long walks in the country, time being a smorgasbord laid out in front of me, just as it might seem for this fellow, ready to rest all day after a successful kill. But I never really believed I would have this kind of time in my life. Two weeks ago Thursday was my last day as a practicing psychoanalyst. I feel good about the 36...

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Just For Fun: Best Christmas Gift for Django

Posted by on Jan 6, 2019 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Just For Fun: Best Christmas Gift for Django

After my “bah humbug” blog, I thought it only fair to share about Django’s Christmas. He does have the most fun, because he spends Christmas Day (as do we) with the Firestone Clan and all of their musically named dogs. “Django” is for Django Reinhardt, the French gypsy guitarist. When we named him, we decided to follow in the fine Firestone tradition, as our dogs form a pack. Django was so looking forward to all the dogs he would be seeing there on Christmas Day; I’m never quite sure how many! Last year Django acquired an additional toy, as...

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