Fiction, features and food

Welcome to the portfolio Web site of Kate Jonuska,
a freelance writer of fiction, features and food based in Boulder, CO.

Fiction: Kate’s style is one part literary fiction and one part speculative fiction/sci fi. She’s currently at work on her first novel, but also occasionally writes for the stage with a local theater troupe.

Features: A Colorado native, Kate has written for top-notch local and regional publications, including The (Boulder) Daily Camera, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette, Colorado Daily, Boulder Magazine, Boulder Home & Garden and Colorado Springs Style. She’s also a former features reporter for NPR affiliate KRCC.

Food: Kate’s experience includes working as The Colorado Springs Gazette’s restaurant and dining critic and more than five years of food blogging and photography for nationally known 37 Cooks and on her personal project, Local Dish.

Kate is also the author of dozens of ghost-written books, mostly biographies and instructional non-fiction.

Please click the tabs above to view Kate’s featured work, or see below for links to her most recent pieces.

In addition to writing, Kate is a published photographer, blogger and Internet-culture fiend whose life revolves around her kitchen and her keyboard. If she can help with any project you have in mind, please contact Kate at:

  • Email: kate.jonuska@gmail.com
  • Twitter: @Kjonuska

Recent Posts

BOLDER ACTS: Boulder Blues Beat Poetry Night

Boulder Blues Beat Poetry Night
Composed with the prompt: “Times are gettin’ hard boys, money’s getting scare.”
This was performed by Bolder Acts on Aug. 9, 2014

SETTING:

Just a stage, the same type you’d see at a coffee shop or jazz club. A microphone for each character. The important setting element is the music. A jazzy background track over which beat poets or slam poets often speak, that the characters can snap their fingers to and groove with a little, like beatniks.

CHARACTERS:

Beatnik poets, because beat poetry doesn’t need to rhyme. They should be dressed in all black. Perhaps ironed-straight hair parted in the middle, John Lennon sunglasses, cigarettes to hold as props, etc. They are both arty and spacey, often taking long pauses as they speak for effect — or because they forgot what they were saying. Whether they’re just blissed out or stoned is hard to tell.

  • Moonbeam Swanson. Has an iPad or tablet computer in which she keeps her poetry
  • Hildy Katz. 

 

An empty stage with two microphones, the jazz music begins to play and continues to play in the background until the end. An announcer voice speaks.

 

ANNOUNCER:

Ladies and gentleman. Hepcats and hipsters. Welcome to the Boulder Blues Club’s Beat Poetry Night. Put your hands together, or snap your fingers together, for your hosts: Hildy Katz and Moonbeam Swanson.

 

HILDY and MOONBEAM enter, grooving to the music. Maybe they nod to one another, smile or somehow acknowledge one another, then they make their way to their mics.

 

HILDY: (To audience)

Hello.

 

MOONBEAM:

Yes. Hello.

 

HILDY:

Welcome to Beat Poetry Night.

 

MOONBEAM:

Yes. Welcome.

 

HILDY:

Are we all ready out there? Has everyone got what they need?

 

MOONBEAM:

Your coconut water? Your kombucha? Your open mind? Your poet’s heart?

 

HILDY:

I’m Hildy Katz, and this is my friend and fellow soul-walker, Moonbeam Swanson.

 

MOONBEAM:

The second. Moonbeam Swanson, junior.

 

HILDY:

Really? Well, right on. (Pause.) I am so glad to be here.

 

MOONBEAM:

And why don’t you tell the folks why are we here, Hildy, my friend?

 

HILDY:

Oh, not to answer that question. Not in the big, cosmic sense of, “Why are we here?” Not the “what does it all mean” or “what is my purpose on earth” sense of the question. We’re here with a little show we put together. Together.

 

MOONBEAM:

We put it together together.

 

HILDY:

And we’re going to beat a little poetry for you about…

 

IN UNISON:

#firstworldproblems. (Said like, “Hashtag, first-world problems.)(Both poets snap their fingers, the beat-poetry version of applause. They might groove to the music for a few measures.)

 

MOONBEAM:

We’re talking about like when you’re in yoga class, right? And you get there early, because you’ve got your regular spot. Your mat’s spot. Your known spot in the universe. But someone’s beat you there. She’s got your mirror. She’s got the ass you used to have in your 20s. She’s got her eyes closed like she’s meditating, so it’s not like you can disturb her.

 

HILDY:

(In agreement.) Oh, no.

 

MOONBEAM:

You can’t whisper into the eucalyptus-scented, zenned-out room, “Psst. Could you slide over a bit? Could you make some room in the mirror, because I need to check my alignment.” So instead, your mat gets placed over in the awkward corner, and so you fall out of triangle, and your airplane pose crashes and burns. And what kind of namaste is that?

 

UNISON:

Hashtag, first-world problems. (Finger snapping, grooving a few measures.)

 

HILDY:

So I’m living the dream. I’m in the ground-floor of the newest, bestest start-up, and it’s got everything the dream promises. We’re the talk of the town. We’ll be the next Twitter. The next Google. The next latest thing. We have the office on Pearl Street. The money, money, Angel Investor-funded money. The beer tap in the break room.

 

MOONBEAM:

And it’s a local, craft-brewed IPA?

 

HILDY:

You know it. There’s the 80-hour work weeks, the long nights, the deadlines, the pep talks, the midnight pages about servers going down or markets crashing in China. And then without warning, the next Google is the next nothing. They say, “because times are getting hard, boys. Money’s getting scarce.” And the only thing I hold onto as I’m booted out the door is the now-shut-down start-up’s T-shirt. (Pause) That really soft, really cool T-shirt.

 

MOONBEAM:

I do like that T-shirt.

 

HILDY:

Yeah, me, too.

 

UNISON:

Hashtag, first-world problems. (Finger snapping, grooving.)

 

MOONBEAM:

When your partner eats all your dark-chocolate-covered goji berries.

 

HILDY:

When there are no electric-car spots left at Trader Joe’s.

 

MOONBEAM:

When you finally find a place to live. You know, a place that exists in that teeny, tiny pool of real-estate that fits within your budget but is still in Boulder County, and then two college kids move in next door.

 

HILDY:

I mean, sure, “GO BUFFS!” and all, but…

 

MOONBEAM:

College kids with their bass reverberations through the walls and their red solo cups.

 

HILDY:

Or, how about when your basement gets flooded up to the waist with waste-water and FEMA —

 

MOONBEAM:

Ha! FEMA.

 

HILDY:

They give you 10 cents on the dollar for the repairs you already paid for. Out of pocket. Over-drawn. Home Depot credit card maxed out.

 

UNISON:

Hashtag, first-world problems. (Finger snapping, grooving.)

 

MOONBEAM:

When your recreational pot shop is all out of Kush.

 

HILDY:

No?! Really?

 

MOONBEAM:

Indeed.

 

HILDY:

When the farmer’s market is out of chard.

 

MOONBEAM:

Ah, man. That sucks.

 

UNISON:

Hashtag, first-world problems. (Finger snapping, grooving. But the mood gets more serious.)

 

HILDY:

I watch the news. Bad habit, I suppose, but I do. And I don’t think my parents ever had to worry about their kids going to school like I worry about my niece and nephew. Grades 1 and 3. Elementary schoolers with chubby cheeks, basic chapter books and shoes that light up when they walk. Kids that now have shelter-in-place drills at school because someone could walk in that supposedly safe place with a mental illness and a gun. It’s not crazy to think it might happen.

 

MOONBEAM:

But it’s pretty damn crazy to watch the news anymore, ain’t it?

 

UNISON:

First-world problems.

 

MOONBEAM:

I had cancer. I have three surgery scars and one implanted, fake breast. I had insurance. I still went bankrupt, and I will be working way past retirement age because retirement is an endangered concept. Every time I cough, I’m scared my only legacy will be medical debts.

 

HILDY:

And maybe the breast-cancer gene.

 

UNISON:

First-world problems.

 

HILDY:

(Trying to be more upbeat.) When the Twitter handle I want is already taken by someone else. I mean, like, taken way back in prehistoric 2008.

 

MOONBEAM:

And let me guess. They don’t use it?

 

HILDY:

They’ve tweeted all of six times!

 

UNISON:

Hashtag, first-world problems. (Back to finger snapping, grooving.)

 

MOONBEAM:

When your Netflix-streaming connection sucks.

 

HILDY:

When you break your smart-phone screen.

 

MOONBEAM:

When the menu has nothing vegetarian.

 

HILDY:

Or vegan.

 

MOONBEAM:

Or gluten-free.

 

HILDY:

Or raw.

 

MOONBEAM:

(Has been using iPad/tablet for notes.) When I lose my wifi connection… (Pause.)

 

HILDY:

Right? (Expecting Moonbeam to join her in unison.) Hashtag, first-world problems.

 

MOONBEAM:

No, really. (Gestures to the tablet.) I lost my wifi connection.

 

HILDY:

Oh, sorry.

 

MOONBEAM:

Do you remember the password here?

 

HILDY:

I think its the theater’s telephone number. Or is it Nomad123?

 

MOONBEAM:

(Fiddling with the tablet.) Neither is working.

 

HILDY: (They start to talk to one another rather than the audience.)

Can we move on? I’m a little sick of how your attention when we’re together is always on that device and not the real people in front of you.

 

MOONBEAM:

Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? I never hear your voice. You never call. It’s only text after text after impersonal text. We put this poetry show together via email!

 

HILDY: (Embarrassed.)

And maybe that’s showing? Maybe we pull it together here? Ahem. (Nods toward the audience.)

 

MOONBEAM:

Ahem. We should, because someone out there is filming this whole thing for YouTube right now. (They both look accusingly at the audience.) I suppose that’s inevitable.

 

HILDY:

(Sighs, begins to groove again.) Well, if so, let’s hope they hashtag that video with…

 

UNISON:

First-world problems. (Finger snapping, grooving.)

 

MOONBEAM:

Thank you, Boulder!

 

HILDY:

And remember: Namaste.

 

The lights can go down on the characters or as they dance off stage, whatever. 

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