Craft books for writers

If you’ve ever done a job you really, really love, at a certain point you begin to ask yourself how it works, why it’s important, and how those who have come before you have done it. [...]

Reading the Constitution

Perhaps the most impactful moment of either of the political conventions was the one in which a Muslim father of a fallen U.S. soldier reclaimed dignity and patriotism with a six-minute speech. [...]

My new tattoo

I have always lacked the courage to get a tattoo. Well, not lacked it, exactly, but haven’t spent much time looking for it. When I was maybe sixteen, and like every sixteen-year-old, ever, [...]

A love letter

I know a ton of librarians. I first went to the librarian convention in Philly the winter before my book came out. Here’s what I learned about them: librarians are some happy people. And [...]

So precious

If you want to feel warm and tingly all over, go visit a Little Free Library. The Little Free Library movement began in 2012 in Wisconsin, as a tribute to the founder’s mother. Perhaps [...]

Sweet summer days

I like to live in the northeast because I enjoy the change of seasons. I try not to play favorites, although if I had to pick I’d probably say spring is my favorite, with its return of [...]

This actually just happened

The man who would be leader of the free world, Donald Trump, called the man who is running as vice president on the ticket opposing him “the governor of New Jersey.” There are several [...]

Working it out

Seems like computer mayhem is in the air. Like the DNC, I too was recently h@cked, and the fallout has been truly nightmarish to deal with. The saga continues, but thanks to your sharp eyes I [...]

Too old is no excuse

Somewhere in my life, I went from feeling too young to do things to too old. The truth is that making the “age” argument is a cop out on both ends of the life spectrum. You can always [...]

A message of hope

I watched every night of the Republican Convention last week, and I’ve watched every night of the Democratic Convention this week. Most nights I’ve texted and messaged with friends as [...]

Meditation for writers

I have been meditating since I was eighteen years old, and I’d venture to say I’ve only scratched the surface of its benefits. My mind is too active, needing engagement at all times [...]

And yet we rise

I’ve been thinking a lot about the path of history this week, and the many people who struggled but never got to see the outcome of their work. I was also thinking about all the darkness we [...]


So I saw my sweet chickadees off on their grand European vacation with their dad. I drove them all to the airport. My daughter hugged me hard and said, “You’re not going to cry all [...]


Flower-lovin’ peeps! I have long heard about this elusive “reblooming” iris, that put in first flower in the spring, as iris usually do, but then come back in summer. I’ve [...]


The other day a friend actually said to me, “I left my house the other day and two of my neighbors were talking to each other. And I just got the feeling they were talking about me.” [...]


I was moved with pride when Hillary Clinton became the first woman to get enough primary votes to become the nominee of a major political party. Politics aside for a moment, this is an historic [...]

Coming together

A few weeks ago, I watched President Obama’s speech at the memorial service for the five Dallas police officers killed in the line of duty. They’d been protecting marchers during a [...]

My writing habit

For a couple of different reasons, I’ve been thinking a lot about I why hunger to write. Both reasons are related. 1, I’ve started work on my memoir about my childhood, and 2, [...]

Bursting with love

I love my life so completely. I have lucked out in sooo many ways, and I often have to pinch myself to believe that a kid like me got to grow up into a woman so surrounded by love and [...]

Where the land is rugged

It began with Journey to the Center of the Earth. I read it when I was maybe twelve years old, and I was absolutely captivated. I dreamed about it all the time, and imagined finding myself in the [...]

Scratching the itch

When I was fifteen, my parents read my diary. It was a defining moment in my life, placing them firmly in enemy territory in my mind. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me that they [...]

So happy, y’all!

Tim Kaine for veep, peeps. Yes, he’s a safe choice. Yes, Warren would have been more exciting (or Sanders… imagine!). But… habla Español! Plays harmonica with a bluegrass band. [...]

Winning over fear

Every single life on Earth is precious, unique, and irreplaceable. I mourn any life lost… even one is too many. So it is not with a casual attitude that I say this: we are being absolutely [...]