Writing Tools to QuickStart Your Memoir

I was straightening out a bookshelf and I noticed a gift I’d forgotten about, a large  hardback  with a floral cover I’d catalogued with the cookbooks. The title, “A Mother’s Journal.”  Divided into sections, it has questions such as “Where I lived” and “What I remember about my family home” and  “How Your Father andContinue reading “Writing Tools to QuickStart Your Memoir”

Why Ebenezer Scrooge is Misunderstood

One Christmas song keeps playing over and over again inside my head and I want it to stop. Yes, I like some holiday tunes, but this song reeks of expectation that may or may not be fulfilled, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” an over sweet voice exclaims. Is it? I ask myself,Continue reading “Why Ebenezer Scrooge is Misunderstood”

Random Acts of Kindness

Do one small good deed a day, is a resolution I made to myself many years ago. Just a moment or two of unselfish kindness, maybe help a stranger lift a heavy package, give an unexpected compliment, or take the time to personally direct someone to the place they’re seeking when lost.  Tiny good deeds.Continue reading “Random Acts of Kindness”

Too Many Parking Lots in Paradise

Floods. Fires. Famine. Heatstroke. A man attacks the husband of the Speaker of the House with a hammer. And the response from some of the nation’s Republican leaders is to hint at a possible justification. Conspiracy theories. The polarization continues, because instead of looking for common ground, places to find mutual agreement, the emphasis isContinue reading “Too Many Parking Lots in Paradise”

A GOOD WAY TO HONOR ARTISTS

And the winner is…. Contests and awards usually involve money. But just the idea of being recognized for your accomplishments can be a reward. Enter the idea of the “Annie Award.”   For artists supporting themselves on marginal incomes—writers, painters, performers— cash awards are great, but Arts Councils, as nonprofits themselves, don’t have a lotContinue reading “A GOOD WAY TO HONOR ARTISTS”

Close Your Eyes and Make a Wish

The quest to achieve your heart’s desire can make you susceptible to the wiles of snake oil salesmen. Over and over again I see blogs with titles that claim to include insider information for writers peppered with phrases that include: how to get published, insider tips, and editors’ preferences. I plead guilty to putting theseContinue reading “Close Your Eyes and Make a Wish”

The Best Tomatoes for a Fast Yummy Sauce

Cherry tomatoes. I’ve been obsessing over them. Yes, I know I’ve written several blogs about home grown tomatoes, but not one specifically focused on cherry tomatoes. This year’s crop is huge. Usually I’m picking the cherry tomatoes while they are still a red/orange, anxious to pop them in my mouth, but this year we haveContinue reading “The Best Tomatoes for a Fast Yummy Sauce”

What Sunflowers Can Teach Us About Writing

Earlier this week I posted a photograph on social media of one of our sunflowers that had lost its head, literally.  One of our recent thunderstorms with high winds must have snapped off the bud.  However, this particular sunflower refused to give up. Seeking another opportunity to bloom, it managed to create several tiny sunflowerContinue reading “What Sunflowers Can Teach Us About Writing”

What are the Best Kinds of Endings?

It’s difficult to finish things. Jobs. Relationships. Home improvement projects. A manuscript. A writer gets a fabulous idea for a story or a character and then they just don’t know whether they’ve said enough or too much.  You work and work at something with fervor, and sometimes energy and enterprise fade out. You start askingContinue reading “What are the Best Kinds of Endings?”

Should Writers Pay Submission Fees?

Many years ago I had my fortune told. The psychic told me she saw me sitting at a table with another woman surrounded by stacks of books. It sounded like a wonderful future for an aspiring author. But before she commenced with her reading, she asked for a silver coin placed across her palm  andContinue reading “Should Writers Pay Submission Fees?”

What Does Our Democracy Have in Common with a Cup of Coffee?

I’m not real excited about celebrating Independence Day this year. The two words that keep flashing into my mind are Why Bother? If you’re ordering  fancy coffee, Why Bother?  is a phase to describe a decaf skim milk cappuccino or latte. Take away the caffeine and the milk fat and you’re sipping a faded imitationContinue reading “What Does Our Democracy Have in Common with a Cup of Coffee?”

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Remember when you were a kid and you’d lie about something small. I’d be called in from playing outside and my mother would ask, Have you  washed your hands?  I’d look down at my pink palms just before dinner was about to be served. They didn’t look dirty. I wanted to sit down at theContinue reading “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”

Sports and Exercise the best cure for Stress

I was petrified, the first time I went downhill skiing. But it was great, because I realized after congratulating myself for making it down the mountain still standing, that I felt completely refreshed. While one could chalk this up to adrenalin, I attribute this to something else. Challenging myself to learn an unfamiliar sport, tookContinue reading “Sports and Exercise the best cure for Stress”

Describing Home. Do you Hear it or Smell it?

I find, when I tap into my memory bank, that sound is most frequently my touchstone. I think of a scene and I hear it.

The Juxtaposition of Life and Death Has Its Consequences

They call it God’s Country, open space where the sky is solid blue and the leaves on the trees a vibrant green. Birds sing outside my window in our Maryland home, but my mind is clearer, more open to their melodies while sitting in the Cape Cod woods. Memorial weekend provides a time for reflection.Continue reading “The Juxtaposition of Life and Death Has Its Consequences”