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Wheels

When I was five years old, my mom took a sharp right turn into our neighborhood, and I fell out of the car. Well-trained child that I was, I picked up my wailing, bloody self and raced to the curb, because I knew I wasn’t supposed to be in the street. The question isn’t “How…


Wanderlust

I’m just back from a visit with my daughter and her partner. They recently moved to a new home, and I was eager to not only see them but to experience their new surroundings as well. I wasn’t disappointed. The house is charming. Inside, interesting rooms supply opportunities to create moods and memories. Outside, there’s…


Seventeen Years

I live in one of the fifteen states where Brood X (that’s Roman numeral X), the largest brood of periodical cicadas, has graced us with its presence this summer. Following a weirdly accurate inner clock, these insects emerge from the soil every seventeen years, live it up for maybe four to six weeks, and then…


No Business Like Show Business

My father was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1928. His was not the “typical” childhood: he spent the 1930s and ’40s performing on radio and in the Yiddish theater, where divas starred in ingenue roles even after their daughters were old enough to play their mothers, and the actual words of the script were…


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…


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