Linda was an English major and has followed up her formal education with a continuous stream of writing workshops. She has also published in local media and taught Business English. Her humorous essay, "Signs & Blunders," appears in Woe of the Road, winner of Beach Book Festival's Best Anthology 2012, now available on Kindle. More info on The samples below include a press release, a profile, and two informative articles.


Linda Morgan

Nothing good ever happens there - in the movies.  It's a spawning ground of murky evil.  It's where that strange guy lives, at home with the swarming insects and snapping gators.  It's a swamp, a lagoon, a marsh, a bog, a bayou.

All of these fall into the category of wetlands.  Not surprisingly, wetlands are defined in terms of water and its relationship to the soil.  In reality much good can be accomplished in what looks like a shoe-sucking, when-is-this-field-trip-going-to-be-over, should-I-be-drinking-quinine mini-purgatory.
After Katrina, amidst all the anguish and denial, we heard some talk that lost wetlands would have offered some protection.  What could an already saturated stretch of land accomplish in the face of that onslaught of water when the levees were breached?  Actually, it's the rich soil and plant life that serve to slow down the flowing water.  And, counter intuitively, what looks like organic litter - leaves and stems - along with the particular chemicals in the soil, serve year round to filter and clean our water.

This is why ponds, especially man-made ponds, don't quite fit the bill as "wetlands" in the context of ecological value.  Although statistics recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicate a first-ever net gain in wetlands, it is important to note that these figures do include ponds.  Taking that into account, we are still losing our wetlands.  This country has so far lost half of its natural wetlands.

We can't always predict the effect of such losses.  Bird Flu, for example, may owe some measure of its threat to the loss of wetlands.  Deprived worldwide of their former habitats, wild birds are consorting with domestic fowl such as chickens and ducks.

Unfortunately, at a time when consistent standards and well thought out regulation would help serve the big picture, the Supreme Court has returned these powers to the states.  Tossed into the arena of local politics, land grabs, and short-term gains, regulation has in some areas (such as Houston), met the fate of a milk sipper at the Belly Up Saloon: literally bit the dust.  Even defenders with martial arts training were no match for the caravan of dirt-laden trucks.

While Florida is losing much of its wetlands to strip malls and sub-divisions, New Orleans suffered as a result of the very levees built to control flooding.  Alterations to the path of the Mississippi created a more swiftly flowing river, resulting in a decrease of silt deposits in the delta.

About six percent of the planet's land mass is wetlands.  Connecticut's come close at five percent.  That translates to 173,000 acres.  Not just for coastal areas, freshwater wetlands in Connecticut include the West Rock Ridge Vernal Pool in Hamden, the Connecticut River Silver Maple Floodplain Forest in Rocky Hill, the Mohawk State Forest Black Spruce Bog in Cornwall, the Calcareos Red Maple-Black Ash-American Elm Swamp in South Canaan, and the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp in New London County.

Connecticut's wetlands are not immune to political wrangling.  A friend of mine lives near a parcel of land once designated as passive open space and which includes wetlands.  Several years ago the town decided to build a soccer field on this land.  Never mind that there were already seven soccer fields in the town; never mind that the water would be contaminated with motor oil, gas, anti-freeze, transmission and brake fluids; never mind that the activity and screaming parents would scare off wildlife.  The agenda marched on like the Terminator in overdrive.

Although my friend joined with a handful of others to fight for it, the town sent in bulldozers without permission from any of the boards.  What finally halted the venture was a lack of funds.  Yet there is still talk of creating a ball park and fields.

My friend remarked that the biggest obstacle is the attitude of the citizens.  "They have a teenage mentality," she says.  "It won't happen to us."

Wetlands do not shimmer in the setting sun.  Nor do they rise up in white-capped majesty.  Like a battered briefcase, their value is not apparent at a quick glance.  Yet burying them can be as devastating for our children's future as bulldozing our schools and hospitals.  And unlike the mountains and the sea, without constant vigilance, we can't trust that they will be there when we wake up in the morning.


Linda Morgan

She's not your housewife next door. She may be a Jewish Mother, but this irrepressible estronaut from Jersey City, New Jersey, does not stay at home in suburban Hartford making brownies for PTO meetings. When Linda Belt is at home, she's writing new material, thinking way outside the split level box. Once a licensed massage therapist she's now massaging funny bones across the country. In just a few short years she has graduated from the open mic circuit to headlining sometimes two or three times a week, a grueling schedule of travel that she says is one of the few downsides to the Life. (Such a downside!)

The universe of comedy is a case study in chaos theory. A rule of thumb is to expect the unexpected. Linda has driven hours to discover a show is canceled, gotten paid less than promised, and once found herself rooming in for five nights with a male colleague. "He's a sweetheart," she says, unperturbed, "Good thing we got along!" And although some bookers still exclude females entirely or follow a "one-per" policy, Linda feels that this disadvantage has been offset by venues specifically seeking the mom perspective as well as all-woman shows, which have proven to be rousing successes.

While most comics take much longer to get this far, Linda - with a background in theatre - pretty much hit the ground running. She says if she had it to do over she would not have headlined so soon. Her advice to new comics is to remain true to themselves and to "break away from the pack - become memorable."

Linda's humor is high voltage bawdy, brassy, and bold, replete with act outs, yet relatively low in profanity and audience insult, a perfect storm of qualities that place her in demand from Temple, PTO, and Elks' events to private parties and comedy clubs. Her own tastes in comedy range from the dry to the hydro-powered, dark to light, cerebral to visceral - the one common thread being to "tell it like it is." She cites George Carlin and Joan Rivers as comics who inspired her. What makes her laugh out loud? South Park, Will Ferell as Robert Goulet (SNL), HBO's Extras, Christopher Guest's Best in Show, and yes even Airplane.

Linda claims she was not as a child the class clown. She was, however, told she was "so funny" because of her wisecracking. Turning this trait into a profession was triggered by a desire to "get out of the house and reinvent myself," along with an experience shared by many in the Life: She saw a "truly awful" woman at an open mic and said to herself, "Gawd, I've got to be funnier than this."

I hope it wasn't me!


Comedy Events
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  
October 18, 2006                                       
Linda Morgan
Sold-out Event at The Prospect Cafe
Spawns Second Show to Benefit Breast Cancer

Hartford, CT - On Saturday, November 11, the Prospect Cafe in West Hartford is hosting a second night of comedy to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  The first production on October 19 elicited such an enthusiastic response that a second event has been scheduled.  The 8:30 show features an all female roster of performers, and the $5 cover will be donated to the Komen organization to further its efforts in research and awareness.

The month of October, designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is marked by the distribution of PINK ribbons to serve as a vivid reminder of the importance of early detection in an illness that is the leading cause of death among women 40-59.  A wide range of awareness and fund-raising events continue throughout the year.  Details on these events can be found on the Komen CT Affiliate website Komen Ct Affiliate awards over half a million dollars annually to more than 30 breast cancer programs in the state and has contributed over $1.5 million to breast cancer research throughout the nation and the world.

The third-Thursday monthly comedy nights at the Prospect Cafe are produced by Just for HaHa's, a comedy booking duo comprised of veteran comics, Barbara Jurgelas and Linda Morgan, who keep a rolodex of area talent available to provide entertainment for charitable events and private parties.

"What better way to celebrate the courageous spirit and sense of humor with which women battle this disease," says Barbara, "than with the healing power of laughter."

The five performing Witches represent a variety of styles and backgrounds.  The MC, Jan Flanagan, goes to Bombeck and Beyond, Jersey Girl Linda Morgan explores the near and far of dysfunctionality, while Ann Podolske proves the personal is political in what the Somerville News termed an "understated  but lethal wit."  Ann is followed by Jennifer Myskowsky, who manages to be irreverent with the utmost integrity.  Winding up the mischief is Eve "Oy" Olitski, an area artist whose material is colorful, vivid, and often off-the-palette.

Reservations for the 90-minute show are recommended and can be made by calling the Prospect Cafe at 523-8069.  The Prospect Cafe is located at 345 Prospect Avenue, West Hartford, 06110.



Linda Morgan

Last year’s Wall Street nosedive and mortgage crisis prompted many investors to seek out more stable markets. A handful of success stories (such as that of the 1961 Chateau Latour) make wine an attractive prospect. The Chinese in Hong Kong have recently begun investing heavily, garnering a good chunk of the fine wine market.

Yes, wine is a somewhat unique commodity in that improvement in quality is built into its molecules. This characteristic cannot, however, be equated with resale value. There are no guarantees or easy rides. Factors to consider:
Taste is subjective. A bottle of wine’s resale value is only as much as someone else is willing to pay for it.
The “butterfly effect” – in a global economy, the fine wine market can be affected by shifting currencies and even schemes such as Bernie Madoff’s.
The quality of a wine is not discernible at time of production.
Preserving and storing fine wines is expensive and subject to risk – floods, earthquakes, power outages. A bottle of wine, while aging, is subject to problems such as oxidation, corking, and cooking (exposure to heat). 
One must be licensed to sell wine and must produce proof of provenance. Besides "chain of custody" that means documentation that storage requirements were consistently met.
Counterfeiting is on the rise. Even if a label is authentic, the bottle could have been refilled with an inferior product. (A clue to this is lack of sediment).

Wine futures can be a good investment for those who have the time and resources, along with knowledge of the product and the increasingly complex marketplace. Otherwise, the value of a bottle of wine is based on how much you will enjoy it when you drink it.