About SuziCate

Susan at ARE


SuziCate is a shortened version of my given name Susan Catherine. Many simply know me as Susan Payne. I have been married to “Dirt Man” for more than half my life. We have two grown sons. We spend much time hiking, canoeing, and photographing the great outdoors. Our labradoodle, Wylie, joins us on most of these adventures.

Basically, I write because I must. It is as much a part of me as breathing. I write in search of something not visible to the eye. I rely on human experience as subject and draw on emotional depth. I am just a feeler of feelings and a weaver of words. Simply, I live from the inside out.

I’ve published two books : Stepping into the Wilderness and Swimming the River. I am currently working on a couple of novels and another nonfiction book.

I am an artist, exploring fiber, glass, and paint.

I take dogs over cats any day. I’ve had cats, just prefer dogs. However, a new kitty has invaded our home and sucked me right in!

I am one of those crazy purple lovers. Recently, I have acquired a new affinity for turquoise.

I am the youngest of six kids. My sister and I are a bit younger than the first four. My Father’s explanation is that they bought a TV.

I think perfection is overrated.

I’ve always busied myself with doing. These days I am conccentrating on being. I am learning lessons and counting blessings on this spectacular journey of living a spirit filled life.

I have some poetry posted on this site, but I do have a separate poetry blog. http://suzicatepoetry.wordpress.com/

I used to post about many of my sewing projects/quilts/fiber art. I have now opened a blog just for this purpose. It is The Renegade Stitcher.

Both of my books are available on Amazon. Stepping into the Wilderness and Swimming the River

Contact Info:  suzicate@gmail.com

This is a poem I wrote that might somewhat explain the title of my blog.

The Water Witch’s Daughter

The Man flows
With the pull of gravity
His daughter gravitates
From the pull of the flow

Vein of life
Piercing like a dart
Through the palm of her hand

Vein of life
Pounding his soul
As he walks the land

He divines for streams
Beneath grass, stone, trees, hardened clay

She divines for dreams
Lost in the night and carried into day

Earth – flesh
Rock – bone
Water – blood
Where did she begin?
Where was she to end?

The river runs through her family blood
The river runs through her
The river runs

154 thoughts on “About SuziCate

  1. Hi Susan,
    Wow you are a pretty darned good writer. thanks for your tribute to Stephanie. I really was quite absent during her illness – living in CA. I was so saddened by her death and have thought of her so many times during these past 12 years. thank you for writing about her and giving me an opportunity to cry today. Your heart is a blessing.

    • Love the Dramatic or not so Dramatic parts of Life. So well said will be follwing your blogs. Saw this on Jan Carsons post and thought wow!. I had an AHHA moment. I’am 54 years old and sometimes you look for ways to express to people how you feel and can’t or is just is so hard to part into words. Cause some people just won’t get it anyway,.. you say it. As long as you,.. yourself no what it is your mojo is. safe travel……to those that don’t.

  2. Thrilled to meet you suzicate. Coincidence always mystifies me…Not only am I a crazy purple person with a Labrador mix dog, but my internet poker name is WaterWitch. How about that? Thank you for honoring me on your blogroll. I did the same for you on mine! Probably simultaneously!

    • You, too. Wow! In case you’re wondering about the waterwitch name see my 11/29/09 post “Daddy was a Dowser”…sorry, it wouldn’t link for me. And thank you! Yeah, it was simultaneously because I out of the blue updated my blog roll this morning!

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

    That list I posted is a listing of topics that are floating around in my head and just haven’t put down on paper (or more precisely in a post). If any of these you want to use, just ask. I am more than willing to share.

  4. Dear Suzicate: Thanks so much for being such a loyal follower of my blog postings. You have been greatly appreciated. I got your last comment, and clicked on “publish” only to find that it appeared a 2nd time. The second one I rejected, only to find that neither one of them appeared on my blog. I apologize for not getting you in there. Best regards, EFH.

  5. Hi Suzicate. Thanks for leaving a reply on my post. I’ve been out of town and will catch up on my blog stuff tomorrow. I look forward to reading some of your posts.

    • My goodness, It’s a small world!!!! Thanks, and look like I’ll have to keep writing because it’s pretty much a part of me…I only only people will continue to read it.

  6. Really enjoy your bolg and I greatly appreciate that you visit mine from time to time.
    Can I add you to my bolg roll? This only pending that I fianlly learn how to add someone to my blog roll.

    • Thank you. I keep looking to see if you’ve posted, but hadn’t gotten to you today.Absolutely, In fact when I finally get around to updating mine, I plan to add you. Your blog is one I think my hubby will even enjoy. He’s a nature guy. You jus click on Links/Add New and highlight url, copy, paste onto link.

  7. Greetings & salutations Suzicate. Wandered over to your blog through a comment you left on someone else’s and thoroughly enjoyed my visit! I will be back again.(what’s not to love about purple?)

  8. I am really enjoying your blog and I want to say a thanks for becoming a follower on mine! It looks like we have similar lives…though my last child, my son Sam, is off to college in the fall.
    I too am addicted to Facebook and love the color purple! Great to meet you!

  9. I love this poem!

    Where did she begin?
    Where was she to end?

    Makes me shiver.
    Thanks for your comment. I hope to follow your blog, I really enjoy your writing.

  10. Thank you for visiting today. I have always loved that poem: It says it all to me, what motherhood is about.

    You still give, no matter what, you are eternal.

    I’m so glad you loved it, too.

    • Tim, I’m glad you’re not feeling grey, but sorry you’re not fishing today. We’re coming up in July for several days on the river, and I’ll let the hubby fish! Hope we see you then.

  11. Hi, Suzicate: Your cousin, Jackie sent Finding Harmony in the River of Life to me; what a beautiful piece! I would like your permission to include it in the Nelson County Garden Club’s newsletter, Tidbits, please.

  12. Hello! I’ve been seeing your comments pop up here and there (we’re in overlapping blogging circles, I think), so thought I would come on over. Love your posts — I’ll be back~


    • Thanks, Jen. Your new fiction blog is going to be a roaring success. You really need to vlog or podcast it. You are hilarious when you do those voices for your characters!

  14. Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

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

    I invite you to visit my italian 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. ”

    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

  15. Just thought I’d stop by and let you know I’m bookmarking your site since I don’t have time at the moment to read all these wonderful posts. It seems we have a lot in common actually – purple is my favorite color, I’m a writer and a Virginian. I like cats, but am terribly allergic, so I tend to stay away from them…

    Your poem is quite lovely. Even though I know it’s about a water witch, it made me think of Native Americans too, and vision quests….beautiful work!

    And btw, if you hadn’t mentioned your general age, I would have assumed 38 or 39 at the oldest:D

    I’ll be back soon!

    • I’m hopping over to check out your site…I am a native Virginia, though I now live in a different part of Virginia than that where I grew up. And you’re very kind about the age thing! Hope to see you again!

  16. Hi there, what an inspiring blog you have! I am brand new to wordpress and blogging as well- I do like the sense of freedom within the structure though.
    Just wanted to say hi to my first ever subscribtion 🙂 and yes, purple does makes everything better:)))

  17. Hi Suzie,
    I just started blogging, so I decided to look around and see what others are up to. I just looked at a few of your posts, and I just love what you have to say. You have a good sense of humor and a heavy dose of compassion. Very admirable.
    I, too, enjoy nature, quilting, and purple.
    Here is a quote that you are probably familiar with….

    I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.
    Alice Walker

    Thank you for sharing yourself.

    • Thanks for intrducing yourself…nature, quilting, AND purple…YAY! I had forgotten that quote, thanks for the reminder, LOVE IT! Hope to see you around on wordpress. Thanks for you kind and generous words.

  18. Can I simply say what a relief to search out someone who truly knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know the best way to convey a difficulty to light and make it important. More folks must learn this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant imagine youre not more popular because you undoubtedly have the gift.

  19. Wow! All these comments. Hope there’s room for one more. Excellent writing! I was intrigued by the “water witch’s daughter” being familiar with the “gift” of water witching. Have subscribed to both blogs.

  20. Susie:
    You are an awesome writer and you are so very talented. I love everything you have written. You should write a book! Can’t wait to read some more!
    Have a blessed day!


    • Thank you, my sweet Margie. I have started a few but have never taken the time or had enough confidence to finish them. Posted a link to the video tribute on FB. You did a beautiful job on the portrait. Thank you for all you’ve done for us.

  21. SuziCate,

    Thank you for the kind words and encouragement for Connor. In case you hadn’t guessed from the name, I’m his father, and yes, Sallie and I are very proud of him. He’s made us slightly crazy every once in a while, of course. His travel blog about giving up on the idea of sleeping in the New York subway because the transit cops kept waking him up and finding a better place on top of a small hill in Central Park did nothing for his mother’s peace of mind. Still, he survived it all and came back much the better for it.

    In case you wondered (probably not, but I’ll add this just in case) I’m a suddenly-60 ex-cop turned mid-level bureaucrat, at least for a couple more years. Then I hope to have time to turn amateur archaeologist and full-time writer. I was commenting to an old college roommate, now an aquatic biologist-turned poet, that I wanted to write and to be an archaeologist and now my son is writing and my daughter is a few months from her degree in anthropology, specializing in archaeology. It feels a bit odd to see my children living out my dreams, but perhaps that’s really what this whole life business is all about, if we’re lucky.

    BTW, I did very much enjoy the poetry you’ve posted. BTW the old roommate is Arthur J. Stewart, and you can find a couple of his books on Amazon. I grabbed a copy of his latest, Circle, Turtle, Ashes, when it came out a few months back, and enjoyed it greatly. As I told Art, it was strange to open a book and turn the pages, listening to a voice I hadn’t heard in thirty years. At any rate, I think you’d like his poetry and he’d like your photos of the snakes and turtles.

    Again, thank you! I don’t Twitter, as a rule, and I’ve barely gotten a Facebook page started, but I’ll try to check in to see how your work develops.


    • Our kids have a way of making us crazy now and then. As the mother of two sons about Connor’s age, I can imagine those sleepless nights!
      I enjoy reading Connor’s thoughts on the world, and viewing his adventures through words and photographs. He is very talented.
      I guess if we don’t get to live out our dreams, the next best thing is watching our kids do it! We still have time, though dreams sometimes change.
      My latest poetry is not on this blog. I created a separate poetry blog. Link button is on upper right corner of this site’s home page. Thanks for telling me about your old roommate. I will check out his work.
      I don’t twitter either. Facebook and blogging are about the only technology I can handle! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • I did find the poetry website, and enjoyed the photo and the poem of the disc harrow. I’ve spent a bit of my life on a farm, but, thankfully, not that much, and I haven’t the felicity of style a poet needs. Plowing, in particular, is my idea of Hell, a job that is totally boring but requires constant attention.

      Even so, the last time I did it, years before Connor was born, I noticed something that had slipped by me before. Even above the clattering of the diesel tractor, if you really listen for it, you can hear the clear still ringing of the steel plow slicing through the earth, just as its sound slices through all the other noise., the sort of voice a dragon might have. Listen a little harder and you can hear the shuffling slap of the earth folding on itself. It’s an ancient dialogue, this conversation between the earth and the plow, and it brings an odd connection to countless generations of other farmers who listened to the same sound, following a patient horse or a yoke of oxen, stepping in the new furrows.

      I got about that far with my musings before the tractor headed for new territory, taking my furrow with it, and I had to turn back to business. I wonder, though, if the big corporate farmers on the plains, with their monster tractors and their air conditioned cabs, with GPS autopilots to keep them on course, occasionally turn of the stereo, open the back window and strain to hear that same sound.

  22. Hi Suzi,

    I’m so glad to meet you and found through your about me that we share a few things in common. I enjoyed this poem, and I look forward to reading more.

  23. You have as beautiful a flare with words as the photographs of the Shenandoah, or blue ridge or wherever those pics were taken. And speaking of Cats and Dogs. I’m a dawg man myself too, but the cats who rent me a room wont allow me to have one.

    I rescued a pregnant cat 6 years ago, and now have close to 30 of them outside, and two who come in and out daily just to set the rules of the house. Much to my present dismay, I learned over those years that the local animal shelter is so full that you have to practically camp out in their parking lot to catch a day that they will take a cat off your hands.

    The day I finally got that response from them, after showing up with one and having to take him back home because they were too full to take him, I learned that they had to euthanize from the day I first arrived with the first one, to be able to take any…So, Back home we came again…with the Cat.

    After they told us the cat wouldn’t even get a week to hopefully steel a heart, or home before being put down, we just couldn’t do it.

    Anyway, I love your poetry, and if you ever drop in check out my little poem simply called “Cats”

    It’s short and sweet, as “Dumplin” the Sia-mix landlady of the house gave me explicit instructions on just how much information I was allowed to disclose.

    God Bless You

    • It’s a cute poem. I call my sister the crazy cat lady…she has maybe five,not sure. I had three at one time, but now the dog rules the house. Although if she had her way she’d have a cat or another dog in here to play with.

  24. a random series of clicks brought me to your blog and thank goodness because i’m enjoying it immensely! your ‘about’ page reminds me of an excerpt from rilke’s “letters to a young poet”:

    “Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”

    (from Letter 1; full text of all 10 letters here: http://letterstoayoungpoet.com/)

    i’m glad i happened onto your blog as it gave me a chance to reread one of my favorite writerly passages, which i think i’ll blog about next!

    many thanks for your words.

  25. I have to say, youve got one with the finest blogs Ive observed in a lengthy time. What I wouldnt give to be capable of make a blog thats as interesting as this. I guess Ill just need to keep reading yours and hope that 1 day I can write on a topic with as a lot information as youve got on this one!

    • Over the past month I’ve received a few invitations to do this. While I am honored, I just can’t find enough hours in the day to sort through posts and link up. I do thank you, Christine.

  26. Happy Thanksgiving Suzicate …. I just wanted you to know I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I was blessed with this award recently and I wanted to pass along the thanks to you as well for your wonderful blog. Thank you for all you do. I think essentially what this award is is a pay it forward kind of award as I leave off with you a list of blogs who have been nominated and in turn you will hopefully check them out and make a list of your own and pass it on. This way we all get a chance to see blogs we might not otherwise have discovered. We are all in this together. Again my thanks for all you do…..Visionkeeper

    For those receiving an award, there are a few rules (though no obligation whatsoever to follow):
    Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
    Reveal your 5-15 top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
    Copy and paste the award on your blog.
    Have faith that your followers will link to other bloggers.
    And most of all – blog to your heart’s delight!
    Liebster means beloved in German and Versatile speaks for itself. The goal of both these awards is to spotlight well deserving blogs so that others may also discover them.
    Sharing our true selves is a wonderful thing…

    Blogs: http://www.suzicate.wordpress.com Good writer

    http://anilraheja.wordpress.com Amazing family who lost their son but stayed positive through blogging

    http://envisioningfuture.wordpress.com Young Pakistani girl staying positive depite the bombs falling around her.

    http://teszmillan.wordpress.com Good writer

    http://voicesofthemind.wordpress.com Writer of thoughts

    http://goss-coaching.com/blog words with positive input


    P.S. I couldn’t get the versatile blogger award seal to paste here so you will have to go to google and find it and paste it yourself…Sorry

    • While I am honored you think me worthy of this award, I no longer accept or pass on awards. I deleted my awards page well over a year ago as they take up so much time and focus off the sole reason I write, which is for the pure enjoyment of it. I enjoy all of the blogs I read and would have a difficult time choosing only a few. However, I do look forward to checking out this list of blogs. I thank you for your consideration and kindness. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

  27. Pingback: embrace the pauses | Altared Spaces

  28. The Water Witches Daughter, I love that! As a child my father was a developer and the way he decided where he was going to put the well was by witching or dowsing for the water. I use to follow behind him with two rods, practicing the art. I can still dowse, but I tend to use a pendulum now.

    I married a man who’s Uncle Walter was a world renowned dowser. His Uncle passed on a few months ago. You can use dowsing or witching for all sorts of things. Uncle Walter has written books on improving food and water quality along with health qualities through the process of dowsing. It is very interesting.

    I really connected with your poem above.

    Peace and Harmony

    Do you love to write? We are having a Murder Mystery contest on our blog, and the books proceeds will be given to charity. Contestants write the chapters, and readers vote. Come join in the fun! http://www.the777man.com

    • How interesting! It’s been a few years since I’ve tried my hand at dowsing, but I used to be able to do it with a forked branch or a wire rod, never tried a pendulum.
      Thanks for the invite.

  29. Wow your blog is so inspiring! I particularly like what you have written “I think perfection is overrated” and I entirely agree on this.

    Do visit my blog for a quote on ‘perfection’.


  30. Wednesdays is now guest post for poets and artists. I would like you to participate please send photo, brief bio and poem of your choice. Send as jpegs. To see what I mean see post 5/9, 5/16, 5/23 and tomorrow 5/30. Hope you will join the fun.

  31. I could not find an email address for you to send you my address–you can click on my little half head my blog, and it will take you to an email link–just say hi, and I will send you the address.

  32. If I did not say so before …. I LOVE what you have done with your blog!
    The organization, convenient links and look are perfect. You have inspired me to “spruce up” mine, too.

  33. So glad I bumped into you on wordpress… divine sister of mine… I love your words and inspiration… Your picture is so energising… Maybe we can enjoy each others journey into the unknown…. Barbara

  34. What I’ve seen of your writing so far, I just love it. It’s very heart warming.
    I read about the potter and the clay and then discovered your beautiful post: What If One Day . . .
    I really want to read many more of your posts!

  35. Oh I am so excited to have found your page! Thoroughly enjoying all of your posts thus far 🙂 I can truly relate to simply NEEDING to write. Writing has served as an energetic release and my primary form of creative expression for as along as I can remember… even though I have undergone many transformations which have truly left nothing in my inner or outer worlds unchanged. I am looking forward to seeing more from you. I will be following along! ❤ love and namaste beautiful soul, Luna XO

  36. I certainly understand ADD and when you add into that OCD…well, I can not only decide on one thing in life but I fuss over the particulars. Glad to find someone new who loves to write.

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