About Me

While listening to NPR one day, I heard a writer declare, “Unless you’ve had a tragic life, you can’t write anything truly interesting.”  Since I’ve led a remarkably happy life with no more than the usual amount of sorrow, you might find nothing I say very interesting.  But if you are like me and think the writer on NPR was spouting a bunch of poppycock, you might enjoy some of my posts because they are heartfelt and reflect reality for many of us, people who are just trying to live our lives day by day and find joy and laughter in the small moments.

So that you will understand my perspective, I will tell you a little about myself.  My name is Susan Okaty, and if you Google me, you will find I am the only Susan Okaty in the United States, probably in the world.  I went to college in the ’60’s (UCONN—Go Huskies!), raised three beautiful children, have been happily married since 1972 to my best friend, and retired in 2008 after being a classroom teacher for many years and the academic dean of a large middle school for seven.  I decided to start this blog for no other reason than I thought it might be fun, and when it is no longer fun for me, I will stop.

119 Responses to About Me

  1. Ciao,
    i am an italian writer, i was looking for a picture of Algoinquin Round Table, for my new book.
    Do you know in what year it was done that paint and from who?

    Thank you so much,

    • Coming East says:

      I believe the picture was painted by Natalie Ascencios, maybe in 1998? I took the picture in my post with my camera, so you should be able to get a much better picture of it.

  2. Ryan says:

    Hi I’m wondering if you took this photo from a previous post or know the person who did?
    https://comingeast.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/cimg2612.jpg Please let me know as soon as possible. I’m interested in using it for a project but would need permission, thanks!

    • Coming East says:

      Ryan, are you talking about the swan boats in the Public Garden in Boston? I took that photo. If you would like to use it, just give me credit and you have my permission. What is your project?

  3. Angeline M says:

    Thanks for following my blog. Now I know you’re going to be keeping an eye on what I do in retirement 🙂

  4. “Just for fun” is my favourite reason to start anything!

  5. One of the best blogs in wordpress. I am looking forward for your posts, Madam. 🙂

  6. Nanny_cool says:

    I have nominated you for the Liebster Blogging Award.

  7. Just read your about page and that alone made me hit the ‘follow’ button. Can’t wait to read the rest. Have just copied this and will put it somewhere I can see every day: “Living life one sunrise at a time”. Thank you for brightening this insomniacs’ morning.

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks for that sweet comment, Hasna. How did you even find me? That’s what I love about blogging—a young woman in England can find a connection with an old woman in the USA.

  8. smile breathe and go slowly says:

    I’ve nominated you for the Super Sweet Blog Award 🙂 love reading your posts, though I don’t always get to commenting..

  9. tchistorygal says:

    Hi, I’m back with another award!!! As I meet new bloggers, I am always impressed by the creative blogs I see around me, and for that reason I have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Enjoy it as a compliment. http://wp.me/p2jC53-136 Marsha 🙂 I look forward to getting better acquainted in 2013. 🙂

  10. mavimet says:

    I have nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Please see this link at
    http://wp.me/piVRT-2M6 Congratulations!

  11. jeffsocrates says:

    Cool. Having seen many tragic lives and having lived one, at times, myself, this is a breath of fresh air in a world full of – well, global warming. It is joy to see someone write from a positive life in order to share the good things. You go mom!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Jeff. There are a lot more of us positive people out there than the media would suggest. In fact, I find the majority of the people I’ve met to be happy, contented souls.

  12. alexisdeluca says:

    Hmmm….sometimes destiny is convincingly trippy. I was looking for yet another reason to help build up my writing confidence and I came up with this….because I had such a strange and unusual life. Strangely antithetical, right? I am excited to follow you and see where our differences lie. I do hope you keep on writing…it’s inspiringly lovely<3

  13. Well, if you’ve had a tragic life, you can probably write something that’s depressing which may interest a few. But if you’ve had a happy life, you can write things that are fun and inspiring…like you are doing now. So, ignoring NPR was the right decision!

  14. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    I am visiting from Lori Lipsky’s blog. Congratulations on your award from her. I look forward to reading more of your articles. Blessings – Patty

  15. Just popping in to say hello from one former new englander to another! I see you’re in VA now, where I also lived for 5 years! Parallels abound! Looking forward to following your blog!

  16. Hi Susan! Did you go to the writing conference again? I went to the SWCC last weekend, but hope to get to Hampton next fall!

  17. shofar says:

    I’ve enjoyed our conversations! Be great to visit with you! Take care!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Liz. I love making friends through blogging. So easy to read the “About” and posts and decide it the blogger is someone you would enjoy having as a friend. In your case, it’s a definite Yes!

  18. Shalvika P says:

    Hey Susan! I really like your blog 😀 I’m gonna follow it and look forward to reading more of your stuff 🙂

  19. Hi,
    We have a lot in common- grandmothers, teachers, writers. I’m from CT originally.

  20. So happy to “meet” you! And what a pleasure to have found your blog…lots of loveliness here to enjoy 🙂

  21. w5th says:

    Hi and thanks for visiting my blog. I hope blogging continues to be fun for you for a long time to come. Blessings.

  22. fiztrainer says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I love all your posts. I look forward to keeping up with your posts.

  23. found your blog as I was lookiing at comments on another blog. I look forward to reading your posts. I am new to the blogging world also and appreciated your comments on about. Thanks.

  24. Laura Best says:

    Nice to meet you Susan, and thanks for dropping by my blog. Im usually the first one to say that I have lead a pretty ordinary life. I do think though that our world is filled with ordinary people who do extraordinary things.. 🙂

  25. Huffygirl says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy yours!

    • Coming East says:

      Funny thing, HG, all this time I thought I was subscribed, and then I saw I wasn’t. You’ve been on my blog roll forever. I’ve loved your bog since I first discovered it.

  26. Yes she is, as is my son. But unfortunately, she will be treated as a foreigner back in the UK if we don’t go back early enough for her education and university fees for foreigners are far too expensive. So we have little choice really 😦

  27. nice to come across you – I’m a teacher too from the UK but currently teaching in Bangladesh. Great blog 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      How nice of you to visit, Ken. How do you like teaching so far from home? Is it a long term assignment?

      • I do like it. I love teaching wherever I am but Bangladesh is a beautiful land with wonderful people but they’re in a difficult situation – poverty, climate, politics – everything seems to be against them. I’ve lived here for nearly four years and used to come out in my school holidays to do extra teaching for a couple of years before. My family and I love it here but currently we only have a couple of years left here before we have to return to the UK for my daughter’s higher education.. Thanks for replying and taking an interest! 🙂

      • Coming East says:

        Your daughter is already getting an incredible education, Ken!

  28. Hi Susan,

    Just visiting from E.C.’s place to say congrats for being a “Lovely Blog” nominee. I’m in great company I see. Fun blog. I like when you said when doing this blog stops being fun, you’ll stop. I’m with you on that. All the best, Margie

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Margie. I’m going to pop on over to your blog in a minute. I’ve been out of the loop for awhile because I’ve been traveling, so I don’t know anything about being a “Lovely Blog” nominee. I’ll have to investigate.

  29. Kris says:

    Love that quote you heard on NPR, and I’ll use it in the future. What writer said that?

  30. Thanks for letting me know! Would love to hear how this year’s conference went, too, when you’re back. I’ll hop on their website as well.

  31. notquiteold says:

    As a UConn grad of the early 70s, I’m there with you. And I’ve had a very happy life, and yet I have lots to write about!

  32. I wish I could go to the conference! My old friend from Denmark is coming to visit me then. I hope it’s an annual event, CE!!

    • comingeast says:

      How wonderful you are having a visit from a friend! This is our third annual conference, but I’m not sure we are going to do next year’s on such a grand scale. It’s been so much work. We will have a conference next year, but what it will look like, I do not know. I’ll keep you informed.

  33. Love your first paragraph! I’m so glad to read your posts that reflect your grateful perspective and a life of satisfaction. I’m writing now to collect stories for a self-published book I will present to my husband, daughters, mother, siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins. I want them to have those memories and stories. Thank you for visiting today.

  34. Hassaan says:

    i stumble upon your blog today and it fascinated me a lot.. keep on writing,
    i am new at wordpress, can u suggest me something..


  35. Hi! I love your introduction. I am in the same mind thought that you don’t have to be tragic to have an interesting life. I also live in Connecticut and am looking forward to reading your blog.


    • comingeast says:

      We tried to move back to Connecticut, but Virginia is as far as we could get. Our children live in Boston and Michigan plus we still have friends and my husband’s family in Connecticut. Love that little state. Thanks, Louise.

  36. Hello there, and thanks for subscribing to my blog. It looks like we have similar motivations for starting our blog. Similar to your experience with NPR, I thought of what Leo Tolstoy said: “Happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Your blog reminds me of so much happiness in my life and in the world. Keep writing. We need more positive vibes out there.

  37. Josè Pascal says:

    Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in your interesting blog.

    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

    I invite you to visit my “italianglish” writing blog http://parolesemplici.wordpress.com/mytinbox/.

    I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories”.

    I dream an intercultural blog. Already involves more than 100 authors/friends.

    If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to inparolesempli@gmail.com

    Good life and I hope to soon

  38. I stumbled upon your blog today via Freshly Pressed, and I am so glad I did! Tragedy is overrated, but your blog is certainly not. Your stories are wonderful. Please keep telling them.

    With sincere admiration,
    Amy Bilhorn Thomas

    PS – Even though I didn’t go to UCONN, I did grow up in Connecticut. Go Huskies!

  39. I totally agree; I lead a super happy life and I still have stories to tell. I specialize in humour writing about global issues. That’s worth reading! Agreed.

    • comingeast says:

      Glad you agree! I think most intelligent people would!, unlike that tormented writer on NPR! I’m looking forward to reading your blog, too. Thanks for commenting.

  40. Laura4NYC says:

    What a great motivation to start a blog! Just because of the fun! Seems like the same reason I decided on sharing my stories… Congrats to this and keep on blogging, even though it is “just” for the enjoyment you get out of it! 😉

  41. Chris says:

    This was a very good blog! Do you have e-mail?

    • comingeast says:

      Thanks, Chris. Yes, I have an e-mail. Look for it on the right side of my blog home page and click on subscribe. It will take you right to it. Thanks for your comment.

  42. leakamila says:

    aww if I only could write like you one day !!! ^_^

  43. benganje says:

    What a great reason to start a blog MOM!

  44. Leah says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting today. I love finding new blogs and yours is a great one. By the way, my dad went to school at UConn, graduated in 1964.

    • comingeast says:

      Small world! My brother graduated in 1968 and I graduated in Jan. of 1971.

      • Leah says:

        I just went back to this comment I left you months earlier. My dad actually graduated UConn in 1968 (not sure why I aged him like I did). What was your brother’s major?

      • comingeast says:

        My brother’s degree was in zoology. After his graduate degree in marine ecology, he went on to become the curator of mammals at the San Diego Zoo and eventually was the executive director of several zoos in the country. What about your dad? UConn was pretty large, so I doubt if they knew each other, but you never know. So you are young enough to be my daughter! 😉

  45. oldereyes says:

    Congratulations!! You have been awarded The Versatile Blogger Award. Stop by at Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog for more details.

  46. Susan says:

    I also don’t subscribe to the idea that a writer has to have had a tragedy or tragic life to be interesting. There are plenty of great storytellers out there of diverse backgrounds. So kudos to you for jumping in and sharing your thoughts and ideas!

  47. judithhb says:

    Isn’t it great when your kids read your posts and like them.

  48. K.B. Owen says:

    I’m a husky, too! Got my master’s there in 1987. I found you through your comments on Kristen Lamb’s blog. Can you give me more details about the September Hampton Roads workshop that provides advice on opening pages?

    Many thanks,

    P.S. – I think the garden-variety suffering is sufficient to enable one to write interestingly.

    • comingeast says:

      Yea! Another Husky! Did you watch our women beat Duke last night? Awesome! Do you live in the Hampton Roads area? To find out more about Hampton Roads Writers, go to hamptonroadswriters.org and our site will tell you all about our conference that will be held in September. It also will give you information about our Traveling Pen workshops and our Open Mic nights.

  49. Pamela Johnson says:

    This writer’s concept that one can only write something interesting if he/she has had a tragic life….my personal observation is that this is not true. First of all, all people on this planet get their fair share of sorrow. There is no escape. It is unfortunate that there are some people get more than their “fair share.” Sometimes the spirits of these people just “die.” And if they don’t, their daily efforts are centered on just coping. They have neither the will or desire to delve into writing “something interesting.”

    Perhaps I should not speak on behalf of victims of tragedy. Indeed I could be quite wrong, as I am only speaking from my own observations. I would like to extend the invitation for them to speak for themselves.

    I believe that this link between tragedy and creativity is a “romantic” notion encountered in the belief system of writers. It does seem that there is a disproportionally high degree of depression afflicting writers. This is not just my opinion; the subject is discussed widely on the internet and can be found by anyone who might be interested.

  50. We’re a Husky household, too. Husband was a graduate and a proud Husky!


    He. was. THE. Husky. Dog.

    Put on the Jonathan suit and raced around at all the big events including TWO Big East Basketball Championships in the Ray Allen days. (He’s young.)

    He loved it.

    • comingeast says:

      OMG! Wait until I tell my husband, brother and sister-in-law! We are all devoted Huskies. We were lucky enough to see our women play in the first round of March Madness this year in Norfolk at Old Dominion University. We had front-row seats.

  51. Kara says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thank you for sharing with me on a day I most needed it. You are a true delight and such a valued member of our community. Should have know you were a Huskie! Thank you for turning a Monday into a great day. Kara Spiers

  52. Linda says:

    Susan, you have been my best friend forever…. since 1962 when we were just babies, okay ninth grade English class……we’ve spent many years apart in different parts of the country…..but I am always amazed at how close we remain and can just ‘pick up’ where we were when last together…… I love your writing, getting inside your head as it were and learning more about you.

    Besos y abrazos,

    • comingeast says:

      I don’t think you have to try to get inside my head. You’ve been there for nearly 50 years! You know me better than my husband, my BFF! Thanks for the comment.

  53. Olga Poltoratskaya Okaty says:

    Great blog, Mom! Looking forward to each new entry…


  54. comingeast says:

    You might be my only fan! Thanks, Darling.

  55. pajamadays says:

    This looks great mom! You know I will be your number one fan.

    All my love,


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