Susan McCorkindale

Author. Editor. Autism Advocate.

Dear Cuyler, I promise to fill it before you get home

I think I can hear an echo in here


I promise, I really do, to stock up before you come home. I’ll fill it with steaks and Alfredo sauce and of course more eggs. I think there are three in that carton right now. And don’t worry, I’ll get Gatorade and ginger ale and those chicken things you like, too. I didn’t take a picture of the freezer, but there are two full gallons of chocolate ice cream in there just waiting for you to slather in chocolate syrup and enjoy. (Don’t worry, I threw out the leftover, bizarre frozen baguettes we somehow took with us when we left what’s his name’s house. I took the strange bread and left the Maserati. What was I thinking?) Since you’re certain to come home with a hankering for meat pies and all the cool things you’ve been enjoying in New Zealand, I promise to leave some room so we can stock up on the new stuff too. But for now, I’m sort of enjoying our empty fridge. For one thing, it’s much easier to clean. And when the wine refrigerator gets too full, I can stick the extras in without a hassle.

Your bathroom’s a little less cluttered, as well.


Hmmm. Should I ditch the zombie plaque for the other?

I mean, it’s the one the girls use when they visit, so I had to pretty it up a bit. Don’t worry, your razors, vitamins, hair products, nail clippers, sunscreens, retainers, shampoos, body washes (yes, I cleaned out the shower too; sometimes the girls stay over!), etc. are all tucked away safely, and I promise to return them to their proper, scattered spots prior to your return. Although ya gotta admit, it does look kinda nice like this.

As for your bedroom, never fear. It’s fine. The same. I plan only to paint.

And I really think you’ll like the shade of pink I’ve picked out.


Mom xoxo

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Sometimes I bury my face in it

Stu is gone six years on Thursday. Shortly after he passed, the boys and I went through a few of his favorite things. Casey wanted his dad’s Marine Corps album. Cuyler wanted his watch and wallet. I wanted his ratty Marines sweatshirt. I used to tease him about its decrepit condition, but he sure looked cute in it. And he let me wear it when I was pregnant with Casey, and then with Cuy, when I was as big as a bear. I keep it on a box under my bed and every now and then I pull it out and bury my face in its softness. It hasn’t smelled like him in a long time and yet a few days ago, when I sat on my bedroom floor holding and kissing and sniffing it, and it smelled of nothing, I was surprised. And angry. Six years is a long time. The three of us have been through so much in that time. And I’m not whining. No one’s life is smooth sailing. But, crazy as this sounds, I sat there thinking we deserved some sort of reward for having survived and just a whiff of the dad and husband who left us too soon would have been enough.

And then it hit me. If it couldn’t smell like Stu it’ll smell like Sue. It’s not the same by any means, but the boys will be happy to see it. They might even want to borrow it. And then God knows what it’ll smell like.





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Did I ever tell you?

A million years ago I was on a bus in NYC on my way to school (I went to Marymount Manhattan College, best four years of my life until my kids came along), when I looked up at one of the huge skyscrapers and thought, “I’ll bet they publish a big, fat, glossy magazine up there. Wow, I’d love to be a magazine editor.” I didn’t pursue that thought, though I did go into magazines, and I did ultimately find out that the building I looked at wasn’t home to Hearst or Conde Nast or any of the major magazine publishers, but isn’t it crazy that years later I should find myself a magazine editor? And I love it. Best job I’ve ever had. And I don’t have to commute to a skyscraper to do it.

The other thought I recall having – and this one I did share with my best friend Trish – is that someday I wanted a job where I could work with all my favorite women. Smart, strong, talented, take-no-prisoners, dish-no-drama women driven to help other women. And you know what? I got that job. As editor of SHE! and InPrince William, Times Business, Living 29 and any of the other magazines and special sections my fantastic publisher comes up with, I get to work with all my favorite women. Even better? I’ve met more smart, strong, talented, take-no-prisoners, dish-no-drama women and my Go-To Girl network has exploded. I can’t tell you how incredible it is.

Oh wait. I did just tell you. That’s good, because I think starting another post with “Did I ever tell you?” would be a bit repetitive!

Oct 2016 Debut Issue

Winter 2016 Second Issue


Spring 2017 Issue

From left: Sandra Packwood, Amy Bakalov, Carolyn Thombs and Erika Postelle. Just a few of the Go-To Girls I couldn’t live without.

And where would I be without Maddi Mae, (far right, black and white sweater)? Model, musician, and super cool SHE! contributor.



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The bags under my eyes are Prada

Devil Wears Prada

And that’s as close as I’m going to get to dressing (or, God forbid, behaving) like fictional magazine editor Miranda Priestly (played by the always spectacular Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada) in my new role as editor of a brand new women’s magazine called SHE!

SHE Banner

Written by busy women for busy women, SHE! covers the topics that call to a woman’s soul. Fashion. Family. Good books. Great getaways. Fine wine. Fun cocktails. Trail blazing heroines. And a whole lot more. The debut issue will be available on newsstands in Northern Virginia on October 12th. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and send us a photo of yourself reading SHE! with the hashtag #wheredidyouseeshe. You can find SHE! on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (shemagazineva) so please “like” and “follow”and let us know how we can make SHE! the best it can be. We’re eager to hear from you.

You know, in my 20+ years of being in magazines, I was always on the business side. I started as an assistant in the ad sales department and worked my way up to Marketing Director. Somewhere along the way, I started writing and pitching magazines my slice of life essays, but I never spent a single, solitary second on the editorial side until now. And I’ll tell you, I love it. Working with writers, photographers, hair and makeup people, and fashion stylists (pssst….my favorite is having a HUGE SALE now through Friday. Stop in and see Sandra Packwood at Do You…DeJaVu, 43 Main Street in Warrenton, and tell her I sent you. You’ll love her stuff and her style, and you’ll leave looking like a million bucks without breaking the bank.) is the most fulfilling, challenging, joyous experience I’ve ever had. I’m the luckiest girl in the world – thanks to Pam Symington and the powers that be at Piedmont Media.

If you’re an advertiser and you want to reach the demographic that makes 98% of the purchasing decisions (yep, that would be women), give Pam a buzz at 540-347-4222 (or

If you’re a clotheshorse who can’t resist a sale (me! me!), go see Sandra Packwood, pronto.

And if you’re ready for a magazine that’s classy, a little sassy, and written for real women by real women, look for SHE! October 12th. And do tell us, #wheredidyouseeshe ?








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