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Emoji elegy

Not long ago, my nine-year-old granddaughter took my picture with her iPad and made an emoji of me.  I loved watching her do it.  She was totally adept at navigating her emoji app to pick the hairstyle most like mine, the color of my hair, eyes, and skin, the shape of my face and lips.  As you see above, the final product is cartoonlike, but isn’t that what emoji are?  [...]

By | 2017-01-26T18:00:30+00:00 2017|Blog|2 Comments

Confessions of a chronic dieter

I was a pudgy child, or so I saw myself.  Others may have called me solid.  One boy friend told me I wasn't fat, just well-packed – like this was what a teenage girl wanted to hear from a guy she wanted to date? I have been thinking of food all my life.  Seriously.  I don't need a shrink to tell me that food fills emotional holes.  The first one [...]

By | 2016-12-30T05:00:08+00:00 2016|Blog|9 Comments

Word Revolution, Part 2: YOU

You wordsmiths, you!  Thanks so much for reading last month’s blog and jumping in with your own suggestions.  I was thrilled with the words you posted – and dismayed at not having thought of them myself!  In an attempt to rectify the latter, I hereby revisit the word revolution issue.  Just to refresh your memory, last month I listed words that have taken on new and previously unimagined meanings.  This [...]

By | 2016-11-30T12:00:40+00:00 2016|Blog|1 Comment

Word revolution

Here's a fun exercise. But first, a bit of philosophy.  Contrary to many people in the news who use words to destroy, writers use them to create.  I love words – love putting them together in a way that paints an action, a sentiment, a hope or a dream.  I play with them endlessly when I write, modifying, exchanging, and reordering them until I read them a final time and [...]

By | 2016-10-26T03:00:42+00:00 2016|Blog|8 Comments

Daring to dream

A dear friend recently celebrated a milestone birthday.  After the food was eaten, wine drunk, toasts offered and dessert served, my friend rapped her glass for attention. She had a toast of her own to make, and, in the process, offered a word of wisdom.  Follow your dream, she said, and told of something she had wanted to do all her life, that, after many close calls and much persistence, [...]

By | 2016-09-26T05:00:15+00:00 2016|Blog|7 Comments

A Skeptic's Guide to Hashtags

First, disclaimers.  (1) I'm new to hashtags; I've only used them since I joined Instagram in April.  (2) Hashtags have been the hardest part of social media for me to understand.  (3) They make me feel old. So I write this with a built-in bias.  Please remember that. I can't tell you how many times I’ve searched Google for a meaningful telling of what a hashtag is, what it does, [...]

By | 2016-08-26T05:00:19+00:00 2016|Blog|2 Comments

How to pick the right title for a book?

If I knew the answer to that, I'd save myself a lot of angst.  Picking a title is easy.  Picking the right one, not necessarily so. Who picks the title?  Sometimes it's me.  From my initial conception, Flirting with Pete was Flirting with Pete.  Same with Lake News, Heart of the Night, Not My Daughter, and The Vineyard.  My publisher picked other titles, like Coast Road and Family Tree.  My agent came [...]

By | 2016-07-28T05:00:36+00:00 2016|Blog|8 Comments

Cousins' lunch

"You can choose your friends, but you sho' can’t choose your family."  So wrote Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird.  It isn't a new thought.  Variations of it have appeared before and after, but the sentiment is spot on. Blood connections are a physical reality.  Unfortunately, many of us are stuck with relatives we don't much care for.  Arguments, bitterness, estrangement – I've heard so many stories of these [...]

By | 2016-06-28T05:00:12+00:00 2016|Blog|6 Comments

Why I included what I did in BLUEPRINTS

With Blueprints going on sale in paperback this week, I just reread it to refresh my memory.  Does it surprise you that I would need to do that?  But consider this.  I've written and published more than 80 books.  No human mind can keep straight all the details of 80 books.  Moreover, it's been two years since I finished writing Blueprints, and since then, I've been immersed in writing The [...]

By | 2016-05-29T05:00:53+00:00 2016|Blog|6 Comments

Why I'm not retiring

A reader just wrote that she heard I was retiring.  Who said that? No.  I'm not retiring.  Let's be clear about it.  I.  Am.  Not.  Retiring. Not that I haven't considered it in moments of frustration.  Life for a writer has changed.  When I started – more than 30 years ago – all I had to do was write.  Ha ha.  That's funny.  I was a full-time mother of three [...]

By | 2016-05-04T16:00:03+00:00 2016|Blog|15 Comments