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The Public Nature of Private Journals

(A version of this post was originally published on Nov. 13, 2013 on the Late Last Night Books blog.) I write journals. Year after year, the stacks of filled notebooks on my closet shelf grow taller, leaning into each other until I’m forced to start another pile. This stash doesn’t even include my high school…


Victoria Woodhull as Muse

Hillary Clinton’s historic turn as first woman presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party has sparked renewed interest in Victoria Claflin Woodhull. Victoria who? Back in 1872, when Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President of the United States, nobody would have asked that question. Considered a visionary by some, a…


Beyond “Mom”

This is my third Mother’s Day without my mom, although I don’t need a special day to think about her. Not a day passes where she doesn’t cross my mind. There is always something I want to share with her, because she always wanted to know. We were her favorite reality show. She used to…


Who Tells Your Story?

My husband’s godmother passed away last night at the age of 100, and attention should be paid. Here are some facts: Madeleine Alena Hebert entered this world on August 22, 1915, in Montpelier, VT. She was number 10 of 13 children born to Alexandre and Alouisia Berube Hebert. She served in the WAC for three…


#Notwriting

I’m just back from a few weeks away from writing. I needed the break. There were so many household projects glaring at me that I felt guilty every time I did anything else. Besides that, my manuscript wasn’t gelling as it should, and I couldn’t figure out why. It was time for the sort of…


To Blurb or Not to Blurb

Do you buy books based on their covers? I’m not talking about the actual cover image, here. That’s a whole other blog post (ooh, look, I’ve already written that one!). I’m talking about blurbs. A blurb is a short, positive description of a book, written by other authors (because let’s face it, your mom is…


Island of Misfit Manuscripts

When I was very young, I looked forward to the Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Back then, I was most interested in Rudolph and Hermey the Elf, lovable characters rejected by the Establishment because they didn’t fit an expected mold. I’ve grown up. The part of the show that sticks with me the most these…


Overload

I’ve been on something of a vacation, although not the traveling kind. Mine was more of a stay-inside trip … stay way inside, because the “vacation” I took was away from the internet. I don’t hate the internet, but neither do I believe it’s particularly good for me. If I’m on it for too long, I…


So Many Books …

My mother had a severe book addiction. She needed a “hit” everywhere she went. She was so hardcore that she would do several books at the same time. There was the book-club book, the one she was supposed to be reading. Depending on how interested in that book she was, she’d go a few pages before…


Let’s Talk!

Perhaps you’ve seen the New York Post essay making the rounds. It’s entitled “Why I’ll Never Join Your Stupid Book Club.” I’m not going to link it, because its fifteen minutes of fame should be over. Here’s what you need to know: 1. The author had attended a book club to discuss her first novel…


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