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 [...]

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 [...]