Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Happy 20th Birthday, Sasee

The first time I read a Sasee Magazine I was waiting (impatiently) for my appointment with my new doctor. She was already ten minutes late, and I hated waiting. I looked around the room full of patients and realized I had to relax. I could be there a long time.

This appointment was one of the last items to be checked off my list of things to do as my husband and I became acclimated to our new home in coastal North Carolina. I had located the necessities: the grocery stores, local bank, medical facilities, and local restaurants that would make us a part of the “neighborhood.” I hadn’t had the time or inclination to explore further than the town’s borders.

I crossed my knees to keep from tapping an annoying SOS with the heel of my shoe. I repeated a mantra in my head–I no longer had a pressing place I had to be. Life moved slower here away from the hustle and bustle of the working world–which is why we retired to this quaint coastal town. We could enjoy life.

I sifted through well-worn reading material strewn across two side tables: golf and motorcycle magazines, a Newsweek, a Women’s Day, and a Readers’ Digest. There was only one that caught my eye. The cover was a piece of art: a woman adorned in scarves and flowers. The title, Sasee, scrolled across the top margin in a fancy script. I picked it up to keep my hands busy and take my mind off the reason for the appointment. I flipped through the issue, stopping to note a few jewelry store advertisements. The ads were bright and attractive; seductive, not intrusive. The pictures introduced me to places I wanted to visit.

I thumbed through to a page with a title and byline–a story. I settled back into my chair, my foot solidly fixed to the floor, and began to read. It was a short story. I would be able to finish it before my name was called.

The essay was about a family event gone wrong. It was entertaining and ended on a humorous note. I looked for another one. The minutes ticked by, but I didn’t notice. I was halfway through the second story when the nurse called my name. One more minute–I needed one minute to finish reading the story–I couldn’t just leave it. What if someone picked up this magazine while I was gone? I tucked it under my arm and brought Sasee with me.

Every month I looked forward to the new issue–a treasure trove of information, enticements, and entertainment. Friends and I made day-long shopping trips to previously unexplored North and South Carolina areas like the Hammock Shops, Pawleys Island (one of my favorites), and the multitude of markets and boutiques featured in the magazine. And, of course, we stopped for lunch at charming restaurants that I recognized from my “guide.”

It was several years before I submitted an essay of my own. My piece was a sweet memory for me, but would anyone else be interested to read my nostalgic meanderings? I wasn’t so sure. I sent it anyway.

Almost a month passed before I received a response. I was elated (and relieved) that my submission would appear in the next issue. I celebrated by buying a piece of jewelry to mark the occasion at a shop–you guessed it–advertised in Sasee Magazine.

I devoured the features written for the publication by the other writers. Feeling a bit insecure, I tried to compare my writing to theirs, but our perspectives were so creatively different. After a year of reading my favorite authors, I could identify each of them by their tone and style. They were strangers… but not strangers. Erika Hoffman, Linda O’Connell, Jeffery Cohen, Diane Stark, Melissa Face, and Joan Leota, (Sasee contributors) began to feel like old friends. I knew more about their inner thoughts than I did some of the people I saw every day. We had that particular commonality of non-fiction writers: we pulled happy, funny, and sad memories from our hearts and laid them bare for all to see.

* * *

This year, Sasee celebrates twenty years of its publication. Every issue is a map of unique places to see and fun things to do for residents as well as tourists. It has introduced us to some of the interesting people that reside in our expanded neighborhood. This journal of delights with its southern flair is where you can find that sparkling moment that defines a vacation or an ordinary day. There’s something special for everyone bursting between the covers.

Happy 20th Birthday and thank you to Delores Blount, Leslie Moore, and Sarah Hawkinson for allowing me to be a part of the Sasee family for the past eleven years!


  1. I’m happy for you, Rosanne. You’ve always been a great writer and a great friend. I’ve now stopped writing for magazines and newspapers and am concentrating on getting my three finished novels published (or republished in the case of Find Edsell). Creating worlds by creating words is a fabulous thing to do and helps and entertains and challenges our readers. It can be poetry or memoir or short story or thriller novel. It all works.
    Elsa Bonstein

  2. Rose Ann, your essay made me reflect on when I first learned about this charming magazine. I think it was through Terri Elder. I never have met Terri, but I had read a few of her stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul and reached out to her because I admired her writerly ways! And she told me about this excellent venue for women writers, mostly women. Before Covid, I taught a course for OLLI at Duke University, and I’d pass out Sasee magazines I’d collected at Bennie Rappa’s when I was in Myrtle Beach. We’d read them so I could show my students how to write a good story. Many of my OLLI students frequent Myrtle Beach because Durham isn’t so far away; they also enjoy learning about the boutiques and restaurants. I’m proud to be a contributor to this magazine as I feel I’m in good company!

  3. I discovered Sasee when I started reading your stories. Like you, I began venturing out and exploring my new surroundings because of what I learned while reading Sasee. It was a fun adventure and I continue to look forward to reading your stories that have brought both tears and laughter. To many more years of reading Sasee!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *