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.

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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At bosque launch, I read from ‘Neighbors’

Posted by on Dec 18, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

At bosque launch, I read from ‘Neighbors’

The support of this community sustains my writing life, and I am grateful On Dec. 6, bosque launched its eighth issue at Bookworks in Albuquerque. What began as a tiny seedling has grown into a rich and committed writing community, and this photo taken at the Bookworks reading shows that. Seated behind me in front is Hilda Raz, poetry editor. On the other side behind me is Jill Root, nonfiction editor. And on the end, next to Jill, is Lynn C. Miller, bosque editor and co-fiction editor with Elisabeth Sharp McKetta (who was not present). We...

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Bah Humbug

Posted by on Dec 4, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Bah Humbug

The holidays are upon us once again, and I will take this moment to express how I feel about Christmas gift giving. First of all, in my home, I do not celebrate Christmas. I am Jewish, and I did not grow up in the South where it is more common for Jews to celebrate Christmas. We never had a Hanukkah bush. We always lit the menorah every night. I would have Christian friends over, and my mother always had little gifts for each of us, along with the traditional potato latkes.  As an adult, I prefer to buy a gift when I see something that I...

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The Joy of Reading My Work Aloud

Posted by on Nov 18, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

The Joy of Reading My Work Aloud

Why You’ll Be Hearing More from Me The first time I read for an audience, I was shaking like a palm tree in hurricane winds. Writers are by nature more introverted folk. We tend to enjoy being with ourselves and our characters, and only with much hesitation and the painful necessity of book sales, do we step up to the podium to speak. These days, after several years of appearances here and there, I have learned to enjoy reading my work to enthusiastic audiences. And it is true that most audiences at readings are enthusiastic, or they would...

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When There Are No Words

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

When There Are No Words

In the aftermath of a mass shooting of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue, my sorrow and outrage lead me to ask: Where is the safe place? When there are no words, I breathe. I take in deep breaths, let them out slowly, until the words come. They come to me reluctantly, and then I have to breathe again until they flow more easily. When they cease to come, I breathe again, and finally, I take a break to make çay (Turkish tea) and drink it while I breathe. People often ask me what I do to keep on writing. Am I ever at a loss for words? Often,...

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Holding on to a Loving State of Mind

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Holding on to a Loving State of Mind

These are crazy times in a world gone mad, but fear does not have to control our lives, our speech, our manner of being in the world or how we respond to our fellow human beings. Let me use an example. I cannot know about you, but I was quite disappointed in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s publicizing of her DNA. She let Trump’s insanity occupy her and caused her to behave in ways that echo Trump himself. We have to try our best to continue a spiritual state of mind before and after meditation or prayer, whatever it may be that we do. Praying or...

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‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight’

Posted by on Oct 9, 2018 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight’

For the sake of our republic, this is no time to sleep Our republic has fallen asleep. Like a person whose partner is cheating, we have closed our eyes until it might be too late. In our innocence, we are slowly (perhaps not so slowly) losing what we once fought so hard to achieve. If we are the guiding light for the world, our world is in trouble. Our president has declared recently sworn in U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh “proven innocent.” Can someone tell me please, in what court of law? In fact, he has not been proven innocent...

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Watering Holes, or the Magical Qualities of Tea

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

Watering Holes, or the Magical Qualities of Tea

I do not feel a strong urge to revisit Europe these days, perhaps with the exception of Spain. Africa, though? Yes. I most definitely wish to return. The places where I hear the call to prayer in the mornings (no, I am not Muslim) and the animals still roam free, that is where my heart is. Many years ago, I ran away from home to Europe and North Africa. I turned 21 in Morocco. I did not make it to the Atlas Mountains or the Sahara. I was a poor young traveler/adventurer. We are considering visiting Morocco next year with friends, and then...

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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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